Quick Reviews: Navi, Glen Check, and Ga-in

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Navi – Real Love

Release: September 26, 2012
Distributor: Loen Entertainment
Genre: Pop, ballad

Navi’s had some consistent showings for the past couple years, but she hasn’t yet been able to produce a true signature work. Looks like we’ll be waiting a little longer for that: new EP Real Love is polished, but it’s hardly impactful. The good part is that Navi’s vocals are extremely reliable throughout; whether it’s the jazzy color of 소설같은 사랑 (Love Like A Novel), the modern-rock ambience of 거리에 (On This Street), or the throaty belting of 가지마 (Don’t Go), the singer handles it all with ease and synergizes well with the (equally reliable) pop-ballad soundset.

The downside of this is that, given the rather indistinctive compositions, each track on Real Love sounds way more similar to each other than they should. It’s a credit to Navi and the arrangements that Real Love is even this decent, but it may be time to consider whether the artist isn’t holding herself back.

Tracklist (recommended tracks listed in bold)

1. 이 거리에 (On This Street)
2. 가지마 (Don’t Go)
3. 싸우지 말자 (Let’s Not Fight)
4. 다 알려져도 (Even If Everyone Finds Out)
5. 소설같은 사랑 (Love Like A Novel)
6. 가지마 (Don’t Go) – Instrumental

Glen Check – Cliché

Release: September 28, 2012
Distributor: Soundholic
Genre: Synthpop, electronic rock

The most remarkable thing about Cliché is the effortless way in which it jumps a couple of decades back from Glen Check‘s last album, Haute Couture. You hear traces of the 80s, but Cliché still has a modern coat of paint; this approach is most audible in funk-infused Blood, Sweat & the Beat and disco-referencing ’84, as both tracks reinterpret the melodies of years past with today’s beats and sound. Glen Check’s dense, extremely bass-and-drum-heavy style makes a triumphant return; the guitar and synth textures are a little heavier this time round and the tension is not quite as airtight, but that’s the draw of Cliché. It’s good to see a band loosen up.

Tracklist (recommended tracks listed in bold)

1. Blood, Sweat & the Beat
2. ’84
3. Leather
4. Want You Back
5. ’84 the Original

Ga-in – Talk About S.

Release: October 5, 2012
Distributor: Loen Entertainment
Genre: Pop, dance

Step 2/4 (2010) was one of those unexpected masterpieces that come around only once every often. Long story cut short, I don’t think Talk About S. comes close to matching the brilliance of Ga-in‘s debut EP, but there’s still plenty to like here. The tango and Latin undertones of the 2010 album are replaced with a more varied palette, but one thing is intact: the pervasive seductiveness. If anything, it’s stronger in this EP (starting with the title and cover, really). Ga-in sells the seductive theme admirably well, whispering and caressing her way across the frenetic rhythm of 팅커벨 (Tinkerbell) and the lethargic, tender bedroom moment of 시선 (Gaze). (Yoon Jong-shin should also be praised for his subdued but absolutely critical performance in the latter.) And with the irresistibly charming her-first-time story of lead single 피어나 (Bloom), this intrepid album ventures fully into a territory still considered taboo for idol artists. It’s not all eroticism, either; Bloom is genuinely engaging with its attitudinal arrangement and Ga-in’s efforts, and even Catch Me If You Can – probably the EP’s weakest song – features a hook attractive in a guilty-pleasure kind of way. The youngest Brown Eyed Girl continues to overachieve.

Tracklist (recommended tracks listed in bold)

1. 팅커벨 (Tinkerbell)
2. 그녀를 만나 (See Her Instead)
3. 피어나 (Bloom)
4. 시선 (Gaze) – Featuring Yoon Jong-shin
5. Catch Me If You Can

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely of the individual and not of hellokpop as a whole.

Source: Photos – Bugs Music (1) (2) (3)

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