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Friday, September 18, 2015

Smash - The Night Is Young (ft. Ridley)

There is so much EDM and club music out there right now. I've gotten to the point where I just tune most of it out, since so much of it sounds pretty much identical. It takes a special little something for me to sit up and take notice. The Night Is Young has two of those somethings. First, there's that big instrumental saxophone hook. I'd argue that the use of saxophones is also overused at the moment, but when done correctly, it still packs a punch. Second, we've got an addictive, slinky melody in the vocal hook. Most of the track is delivered in a spoken/sung style, but when the melody does finally emerge, it's simple and effective and makes the track feel more like a song than just an exercise in production. Simply put, it all just works.


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Super Junior - Magic

Super Junior released one of the best songs of the year in June with Devil. The album wasn't too bad, either. Now, they're back with the repackaged version. My hopes were high -- probably too high -- after Devil worked its way into my heart. The new single Magic just isn't as good, but that doesn't mean it's not a fine release on its own. I like how upbeat, happy and groovy it is. And while I long for a stickier hook, the song pairs well with Devil and completes a very strong year for the group. I only wish its best members weren't enlisting in their military conscription next month. It's going to be a long two years without them.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Red Velvet - Dumb Dumb

With this song, Red Velvet have officially arrived for me. I know many people are heralding March's Ice Cream Cake as one of the year's best singles, but its somewhat juvenile chorus never quite clicked with me. The first time I heard Dumb Dumb, I dismissed it as being noisy, busy and a bit frantic (though I did love the video). It took three listens to settle in, and now I'm addicted. What first sounded like repetitive clatter now works together to create a rhythmic beast of a single. These girls do quirky well, and I hope that they'll keep in this lane from now on. The accompanying album is refreshingly upbeat with some killer b-sides that support this title track perfectly. For me, it's a very pleasant surprise after being a bit reluctant with the group prior to this.

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Monday, September 14, 2015

CNBLUE - Cinderella

CNBLUE is a k-pop group I've always wanted to like. I know that they're huge and have a bunch of hits, but I think I always had it in my mind that their brand of rock music was more aligned with the soft, whiny American style that I actively try to avoid. That might be true in regards to their older stuff (I honestly don't know), but for this new album the band have gone in a self-professed "disco rock" direction. That shift in style instantly caught my attention, and I decided to give the new single Cinderella a spin. I'm glad I did, because it's a wickedly catchy piece of radio rock. That hook is indelible, but I also love the fractured rhythm guitar and touches of synth throughout. From what I've heard of the full album, it seems to follow suit. It's all very cool, and borrows more from dance-infused euro-rock than anything else. This may just be my entry point to finally gaining interest in this band!

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