Best Kpop Album Ever?

Guys… I really wanted to review GOT7’s “A” today, and I’m sure that’s what many of you want to read as well. But so far I’ve completely failed at finding that video with the translated lyrics, so I guess we’re not doing that… I’ll most probably write a review for that song and video or the whole album next week though! Unless something incredible comes out before that.

So instead I googled “best kpop album ever”, clicked on the first link, and was shocked, and delighted of what was at the top. It was Lee Hyori’s album “Monochrome” which was released in May of last year. I’ve never listened through any Lee Hyori album, but since she is one of my absolute favorite solo artists, it’s about time that I did! So, please, join me and listen through what is apparently the best kpop album ever!

Track 1 – Holly Jolly Bus (feat. Soonshim the Dog)

(Written by Lee Hyori)

 

Wow. If this is an indication of what’s to come this might very well be the best kpop album ever. This is a fun and catchy track about just wanting to escape and getting on a bus, leaving it all. Which is something I can definitely relate to, especially right now. (My job is killing me, guys. I don’t want to complain, but my boss is an ass.) I love the little references to her “juniors” and her boss, and that she mentions the fact that she’s not on the soju bottles anymore. (If you don’t know, she was the promotional model for a big liquor company in Korea for five years. Her contract ended in November 2012, so fairly recently before she released this album) All in all, this is a great start to what I hope will be a great album! I really don’t know why her dog is featured though…

Track 2 – Miss Korea

(Written and composed by Lee Hyori)

 

Wow, she made this song completely by herself? I’m very impressed. This was the first Lee Hyori song I ever heard, and it immediately made me want to hear more. I love the way it sounds, the instrumentals are really great. I love the way she sings it, and even though the Engrish in the chorus is a little annoying, it’s understandable. It’s hard for Koreans to end a word with “s”, without a vowel starting the next word afterwards, since in Korean that “s” would instead be pronounced more as a “t”. So I can understand it, even though I would prefer it if she had pronounced it a little bit better.

These lyrics are great. When you just look at the chorus it seems like it’s very shallow, and braggy even. But it’s not. This song is all about insecurities, and thinking that if you were prettier, everything would be better. It’s an important theme, and not one I see in kpop. Like ever.

Track 3 – Love Radar (feat. Beenzino)

 

This is a cute little love song, yet it has a sexy twist. The way she sings it is really quite sensual, especially in the verses and I love it! I do think the “get get get my love love love” gets a little too repetitive, but except for that this is just a lovely little song. Perfect for when you’re relaxing, or reading a book. I really like the inclusion of Beenzino as well. He’s a good rapper, and him being there stops the song from getting boring towards the end. His deep voice is also an excellent contrast to Lee Hyori’s.

Track 4 – Bad Girls

(Written by Lee Hyori)

 

Great song! I love that when she’s talking about “bad girls” she’s really just talking about strong girls. Girls who take no shit, and go for what they want. She says that those innocent heroines on tv have got nothing on the bad girls next to them. And I couldn’t agree more. I’m getting more and more into watching kdramas (would you guys like me to write anything about that by the way? Kdramas from a kpopper’s perspective? Let me know!) and the more strength and independence that my heroines have the better! I could never relate to a girl whose entire character consists of her being hard-working and poor, and who blushes and coyly shies away if a boy even breathes near her. Give me some bad girls!

Track 5 – I Hate Myself

(Co-written by Lee Hyori)

 

This is beautiful. It’s kind of a ballad, and kind of not. It’s that perfect pace when you can’t completely decide, because it sort of feels like both. I’m not a huge fan of ballads, and the slower they are, the more bored I get. So I definitely prefer them this way! The lyrics are very relatable, about hating yourself as your love is leaving you. It’s something I’m sure you can relate to even if you’ve never actually experienced it. I’m not sure why that is, but it just makes sense to me. After just half this song I was already singing along, and that’s with the lyrics just in hangul, not romanized! That means two things; my hangul reading has improved, and this is a song that’s easy to sing along to. Both of which I like.

Track 6 – Bounced Checks of Love

 

I’m loving the whimsicalness of this song! While I don’t know what this style of music is ordinarily called, it’s cute and cheeky and I’m loving it! The lyrics have that same kind of cheeky bounciness, liking someone screwing her over to giving her “checks of love” that bounce. It’s very creative and well, I’m loving it! A very cute and short little song.

Track 7 – Full Moon

 

I was legitimately dancing in my chair for the entirety of this song. A great get-pumped song, and while some of the lines in the chorus sound a little awkward, I guess they could make sense if we look at them from a more poetic angle..? I’m giving her a break because I love the song, okay?

Track 8 – Trust Me

 

A quite simple track about opening your eyes and your heart, and moving for your dream. Seeing as how I’ll be graduating from high school in about a year’s time, this is something I need to hear. I want to trust in Lee Hyori, and get a move on towards my dream. Even if I’m not entirely sure what that is yet.

Track 9 – Special 

 

Such an encouraging song! While I haven’t been referred to or teased for being ugly like Lee Hyori here sings that she has (though I find that hard to believe) I was a very weird child. For some periods in my life I didn’t have much friends, and I’ve never been anything close to popular. So this song speaks to me! Hell yeah! I’m not a weirdo, I’m just special!

Track 10 – Amor Mio (duet with Park Ji Yong)

(Written by Lee Hyori)

 

This is a beautiful song, and a beautiful ballad. I don’t know who Park Ji Yong is, but his voice is gorgeous, and the way he and Lee Hyori harmonizes is stunning. Their voices blend really really well. This is a slower ballad, and it is a little too slow for me. But I do really love the chorus, and for that this song will go up on my download list. It’s the kind of ballad I would love when I get into that ballad state of mind, I just know it.

Track 11 – Somebody

 

Catchy, fun, great and beautifully sung. Guys, Lee Hyori is really impressing me right now. I’m loving the whole feel and sound of this album, and it’s so far incredibly cohesive.

Track 12 – Wouldn’t Ask You

 

Firstly, if anyone knows what that weird instrument in the beginning and middle is, please tell me. This is really a very simple song, with very repetitive lyrics. But it’s simple in the best of ways, and it really hits home. She’s asking him to just come back, and she won’t even ask him why he left. Simple, yet somehow it feels true.

Track 13 – Going Crazy

(Written by Lee Hyori)

 

I just realized something. This one, “Amor Mio” and “I Hate Myself” are all written by Lee Hyori, and they’re all about a guy leaving her. Is that a complete coincidence, or was something not right between her and her rockstar boyfriend? Well I’m assuming they worked it out, since they’re married now.

I really like this song. It’s very catchy, lots of fun and easy to relate to. Easily replacing each guy with another, and then suddenly realizing you never should have let that last one go sounds like something that could happen to me. Though if it makes me go crazy I’d rather it not…

Track 14 – Show Show Show

(Written by Lee Hyori)

 

This is a beautifully sad song about being a kpop star, and to me it rings so true. The fact that she wrote theses lyrics makes it even worse.

“I’ll show you, don’t look for any meaning.”

“I’ll smile for you, don’t ask if it’s real or not.”

“I’ll hide it, my sad face behind the makeup.”

“I’ll cry for you, don’t ask if it’s real or not.”

I think those lyrics speak quite clearly, so I don’t have to say anymore, do I?

Track 15 – Better Together

(Written by Lee Hyori)

 

This is the first song on here that hasn’t spoken to me. I do think the lyrics are nice, and the beat is good, but neither of those are good enough to really grab me. It’s not a bad song, not at all, it just isn’t for me.

Track 16 – Oars

 

An album should end strong, yet not too loud, and this song does that beautifully. It’s hauntingly stunning, and I love the inclusion of “Ieodosana” (or however you want to romanize it) which is the song the female divers of Jeju sing when going out to work. It’s a fairly small detail, and you don’t need to know it to appreciate the beauty of this song for the sea, but when you do know it it somehow makes this song even more beautiful. Jeju was in many ways a matriarchal society, where these female divers were the heads of the families, for they controlled the income. So this is just Lee Hyori once again paying tribute to strong women, and I love that.

Final Thoughts

This might very well be the best kpop album ever. I’d never dare to announce it as that though, since there’s so many kpop albums I’ve never heard, so I’ll just say this: this is one bloody great album! Almost every single song is amazing, in very different ways, yet the album is still very cohesive. There’s very diverse songs, yet it all belongs together, and that’s what an album should be like! It’s all just lovely, and this has definitely made me an ever bigger fan of Lee Hyori than I ever was before. Oh, and mad props to her for writing lyrics to half the songs! That’s not common in kpop, not at all.

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Wow, this was one long review! I definitely didn’t mind though, since the songs were so great, and I hope you didn’t either! Please let me know what your take on this album is, and what your favorite song is, in the comments below!

If you have any comments, suggestions or requests for Friday’s list of the week, Sunday’s random post, or next Tuesday’s review then leave a comment, send me an ask on tumblr or email me at topofthekpops@gmail.com!

– Admin A

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