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Archive for the ‘Tohoshinki’ Category

SINGLE REVIEW: Tohoshinki- Close to You

Here is the fourth, and second to last, single in the TRICK series. So far these singles have been decent, but really not a whole lot more, with the exception of a couple of songs. I’m hoping Yunho steps it up, but you never know. He might just suck. I’m hoping that trend died with Changmin, however.

———

What to say about Close to You… Well, the introduction was very unique for a Tohoshinki track. The use of acoustic guitar and a really unique melody made for a good start, but from then on it kind of sank into nothing more than decency. The music is still made up of acoustic guitar, but you can barely hear it over all the percussion and synth. I don’t know if it’s just me, but all of these singles are sounding unfortunately similar, or at least within the same area. Maybe I’m crazy, but I’ve noticed that there isn’t a whole lot of variation. Although this isn’t a Yunho solo single, they did focus quite a lot on him. I have never been all that impressed with Yunho’s vocals, and here isn’t an exception. He has like two different registers and then no middle ground. He’s either obnoxiously high or ridiculously low. I want him to find that nice place in between the two. He’s not a bad singer, but he’s certainly not Tohoshinki’s best. As far as composition, the song wasn’t all that bad. The melody remained consistently entertaining, if not a bit repetitive throughout the song. Once again there was no climax, but I guess it wasn’t super necessary because of the consistent intensity. Overall, not a bad track, but obviously not a great one. It’s not all that catchy, and it’s really mediocre compared to the rest of their discography.

Vocal Performance Grade: B+ — Musical Performance Grade: B+ — Composition Grade: B — Harmonization Grade: B+

Overall Grade: B

Thankfully the solo songs seem to manage to be consistently better than the actual A-Side tracks. Crazy Life is a great deviation from the other styles featured on TRICK. That is one thing that has managed to remain constant. Each solo track presents a different musical genre, which keeps them all fresh. This particular song is in the dance category, which I know isn’t very specific. It’s quite filled with synthetics and a nice percussion track. The introduction is a bit cheesy because of the English chosen for this particular track, but the music is absolutely catchy. Composition-wise this track is very well forged. Every twist in the melody seems logical and motivated. I do feel like the song is climactic, though the note that appears to be so isn’t particularly incredible. It simply stands out because it’s the only one. Unfortunately, the quality of the song is brought down by the rap, even though it’s not absolutely dreadful. Just a regular level of crappiness. He’s not even really in sync, and he just sounds like he’s trying way to hard to be ‘cool.’ However, Yunho gets extra points that make up for it because he has found that middle ground. His vocals are near impeccable, and fit the tone of the songs wondrously. His tone is fantastically edgy, and he goes through the entire song managing to make every note sweet and listenable. I absolutely hate the second rap which ends the song because it doesn’t do everything that came before it any justice. There should have been a lot more. However, I do enjoy this track because of the strong music and vocals.

Vocal Performance Grade: A- — Musical Performance Grade: A+ — Composition Grade: A

Overall Grade: A

SINGLE GRADE: B+

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SINGLE REVIEW: Tohoshinki- If…!?

Tohoshinki- If...!?

I was annoyed by the first single of this project, but then pleasantly surprised by the follow up. I’m not quite sure what to expect from this single, but I’m hoping that the B-Side is flooring. I saw the live version before I knew it would be released as a single and I have to say that I am really looking forward to the recorded version. Well here we are with Tohoshinki’s ‘If…!?’ (idiotic puncutation).

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The single opens with If…!?, a poppy watered down version of Runaway. As this is Junsu’s single, everything is really centered around him. The song opens with funky synth and quiet vocalizations that can’t really be understood, but add to the atmosphere. The verses were supported by similar synth and a constant percussion. The familiar chorus, inclued in the TRICK song, has nice composition, but isn’t really incredible. This one is kind of like a cross between the last two, but has the average-ness of Two Hearts. It’s a solid and maybe entertaining track, but not unique or at all engaging. Junsu’s runs with the high composition are pretty good, and the chorus pulls off a bit of edge, but overall it’s not amazing. The verses don’t switch anything up really, and the composition gives the song no obvious climax. That’s usually fine for dance songs, but when it comes to something mid-tempo and very middle-of-the-road like this, every second has to offer something special. And since it doesn’t, we were left with generic wannabe catchy. It’s not awful, just average.

Vocal Performance Grade: A- — Musical Performance Grade: B — Composition Grade: B-

Overall Grade: B-

I am floored by Rainy Night every time I hear it. The song begins with soft strings and gently progressive synth, accompanied by R&B-esque percussion as the verses start. The other various sounds that make and appearance (guitar for example) only enhance the atmosphere of this heartfelt ballad. Junsu’s vocals are gorgeous, and every note is executed with intent and control. The composition is what makes this song so incredible; there are so many multi-note words and the overall direction is beautiful. The verses feature a tenderness and longing, where as the chorus is absolutely epic and exclamatory. Every piece of this song fits wonderfully with the others. My favorite aspect to the song is how well they do in building up to the climax, which is absolutely worth waiting through the entire song to hear. Junsu’s vocals mold flawlessly into this power ballad, and it is definitely one of the best songs I’ve heard in quite a while. My only issue is that they put the power note in the background, which was different from the live version. Either way, it’s wondrously satisfying and endlessly engaging. This song is better than any on the TRICK singles, and possibly than any on the T album.

Vocal Performance Grade: A+ — Musical Performance Grade: A+ — Composition Grade: A+

Overall Grade: A+

SINGLE GRADE: A-

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SINGLE REVIEW: Tohoshinki- Runaway

Tohoshinki- Runaway

This is the second of the five TRICK singles, of which I’m not quite sure what to expect. The first was, unfortunately, dreadful. Now that the weakest singer is out of the way, I’m hoping this single will be much stronger. If I was rating the groups vocals, Yoochun is definitely above Changmin. Not that I don’t think Changmin can sing, he’s just the weakest of the group. Well, I’m hoping for a lot from this single, but not expecting much.

———

I like the aggressive beats that start off Runaway. There’s a trance-esque element to some of the synth for a while, but it melts away into more of an edgy dance track. I was really impressed off the bat with how well everyone molded their vocals to the style of the song. Everyone managed to rough it up and hit their notes a bit harder to support the powerful nature of the song. This song shows a much more unique side of Tohoshinki within its electronic production. There’s a nice vocal distortion effect on Yoochun’s vocals towards the second third of the song, and I can say that I’m genuinely impressed with the quality of the song. I was very worried that these were all going to be pop singles, and we’d be left with rushed material and boring composition, but this song is actually quite catchy. Composition-wise, this song is very well off. The verses are engaging when the right tone is used, and the chorus is energetic with a great sequence of notes. Some of the English is oxy-moronic, ‘So I wanna know, I don’t wanna know‘, but other than that it’s a very well done song. I’m glad that they pulled off a more upbeat song, because if they put the effort into it, then this genre is their strongest.

Vocal Performance Grade: A — Musical Performance Grade: A — Composition Grade: A

Overall Grade: A

Next up is Yoochun’s solo song My Girlfriend. Althought the title for this song is just stupid, it’s actually surprisingly not that bad. Yoochun invokes a very R&B side of his vocals, which actually works for him. I liked the squeaky synth in the track because of how well it complimented Yoochun’s vocals. I didn’t really care for the rap part, though I was glad that he managed to speak understandably. I can’t imagine that Yoochun didn’t spend at least some time in America, because his accent is too clear to simply have been studied. The funky strings featured here are a huge plus because of the flavor that they add to the song. As far as composition, I’m again quite pleased. Yoochun was given wonderfully sweet notes that blended in with the style of the song very well. I want to look into who composes their songs, because they’re pretty good. If Tohoshinki themselves do it, then I’m very impressed. I don’t think this song is quite as engaging as Runaway. They’re hard to compare because they offer completely different feelings, but I think I was drawn-in more by the up-beat atmosphere of the previous song. Regardless, this song is very enjoyable. My one complaint is that he includes the Gingerbread Man in his rap, which is so… Wow…

Vocal Performance Grade: A+ — Musical Performance Grade: A — Composition Grade: A

Overall Grade: A

SINGLE GRADE: A

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SINGLE REVIEW: Tohoshinki- Two Hearts

Tohoshinki- Two Hearts

Less than a month since the release of Tohoshinki’s ‘T’, Avex has already concocted a scheme to promote Tohoshinki even further. Does everyone remember the mess that was Trick on the T album? Well I found out (I’m slow) that it’s actually a big medley of the five songs of the ‘TRICK‘ singles project. What a stupid idea. All the members of Tohoshinki are going to die before they can release another album. Especially since there is already allegedly another single for after the TRICK project on April 30th. Good god. [Album] September 17th 2008- Remembering Tohoshinki. Umm, that would suck. Here’s Tohoshinki’s ‘Two Hearts’ and a silent prayer that they don’t collapse from exhaustion.

———

I like the unique synth put to use in Two Hearts, but I have some major issues with the song as well. The verses present a very appealing R&B sound that promotes a nice feeling, but the chorus is a mess. I hate it for a couple of reasons. One, the composition is hideous, and not at all pleasing to the ears, and two, the melody is dreadful. The rushed into these singles way too much in my opinion. The vocals are mediocre, and they didn’t get soulful enough to pull off the rhythm and blues feeling of the song. Although the music is engaging and unique, the composition of their voices is pathetic. If there was just a slight tweak to the order of notes in the chorus, I think the song would have been a parallel track to You’re My Miracle from their T album. However, the boring and ugly way that it flows ruins that possibility. If all of the singles end up like this then I’ll be really depressed. Tohoshinki has proved their worth to me, and I don’t understand why they’d suddenly suck after putting out the best album in their discography a mere month ago. Unless of course they’re dying and can’t sing. Which sounds like it might actually be a possibility. However, I think I can safely pin most of the blame on whoever composed it. If it was them, then they’re stupid. It’s probably not quite that bad, but the fact that I was so impressed with their album puts me in a pissy mood when hearing this. I guess I’ll try to grade it technically.

Vocal Performance Grade: B — Musical Performance Grade: A — Composition Grade: C

Overall Grade: B-

Wow, bad, bad, bad choice. Up next is Changmin’s solo song WILD SOUL. The song begins with mechanical synth and some rock elements (drums, electric guitar). If there is anyone in Tohoshinki who can handle rock, it is surely not Changmin (Maybe Jaejoong or Yoochun). Throughout the entire song he works his ass of to add some edge to his delivery, but fails miserably. This song is really hard to listen to. When singing powerfully, Changmin’s upper register is absolutely out of control and generally awful. The sad part about that is that he’s supposed to be Tohoshinki’s master of high notes. Yeah… The song is definitely an attempt at rock. The tough guitar riffs and full arrangement scream nothing more than attempt. Sad attempt. I honestly think that he pulled off the rap better than he did the complete execution, which is saying something considering I hate rap without it being delivered pitifully by an amateur. Changmin should never do two things ever again: try and sing rock with upper-register power-notes and rap. Both were miserable, although the latter more bearable in the long run. I don’t know exactly what to say. I don’t think Changmin is a weak vocalist in general, though I do feel he is the weakest in Tohoshinki, but I think they chose completely wrong when giving him a solo song. They should have done something slow where he could show off his range. In general his high notes are pretty flimsy, but everything is just amplified and made so much worse in this song. I really feel bad, but Changmin just can’t pull it off. There are sweet notes mixed in which are really pleasing to listen to, but they’re surrounded by Changmin trying to scream out his composition and failing. Again, it’s probably made worse considering how much I liked their album… but it’s still bad.

Vocal Performance Grade: C+ — Musical Performance Grade: A — Composition Grade: B

Overall Grade: C+

SINGLE GRADE: B-

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ALBUM REVIEW: Tohoshinki- T

Tohoshinki- T

Tohoshinki really surprised me with the quality of their latest singles, and I’m genuinely impressed with the sound that they’ve come out with for this album. The overall presentation of dance and R&B songs will mix well, and I’m hoping for the best. I was first introduced to Tohoshinki in the form of DBSK by my Korean friend, and I didn’t really pay them any heed. However, when their collaboration with Koda Kumi appeared, I decided to look into them, and I liked what I heard. I have reviewed their latest three singles, Forever Love, Together, and Purple Line, which were all well done in their own respects. I was never a fan of their singles before that, and I was always, and to an extent still am, turned off by the fact that they could fly back to Korea at any point and leave me hanging. But as I see overall improvement in their Japanese and their true personalities shine through, I have given them a shot. Well, without further ado, Tohoshinki’s ‘T’, CD2+DVD2 edition.

———JaeJoong

The first song on the album is the strangely inconsistent TRICK, which I had a very hard time getting into the flow of. The song begins with a weird sequence of footsteps, car door slamming, a gasp, gunshot, and then bursts right into the chorus. Unfortunately, the chorus is riddled with odd English lyrics, and the whole song just doesn’t really work out. I don’t mind the first verses, and I liked the “I’m okay” sequence, but the rest was pretty much a mess. I don’t know what “Break a Trick” means, if that’s what they’re saying, but it just doesn’t make sense kind of like the entire flow of the song. The rapping wasn’t good, the music was too busy, and the overall atmosphere of the song was just too much. Some people may eat this up, but it’s just a big bombardment of way too much of everything for me. There’s brass, synth, percussion, breaking glass, sparse electric guitar, and other random technological sounds. Not my thing, and just too inconsistent. I like songs to have direction and progression, but this one was just running full speed way past the finish line.

Vocal Performance Grade: A- — Musical Performance Grade: A — Composition Grade: C — Harmonization Grade: B

Overall Grade: B-

Up next is a light R&B song called NO?, which was yet again somewhat mediocre. It wouldn’t be nearly as bad if the chorus wasn’t so repetitive, but it is. The verses aren’t so bad, in fact I enjoy them, but the song is too much of the same thing over and over again and not enough uniqueness to be listened to over and over. Contributing to the repetition is the constant and completely unchanging percussion, which is fine for the first half of the song, but just puts you to sleep after so long of the same thing. Not only that, but their vocals didn’t really impress me in this track. Tohoshinki is known in Japan as a super vocal group, but they don’t showcase that well in the song. I didn’t like the whole ‘kiss me darling’ thing, for the obvious reasons of how tragically cheesy it is.

Vocal Performance Grade: B+ — Musical Performance Grade: A — Composition Grade: B — Harmonization Grade: A-

Overall Grade: B+

Although I think that it could have a bit more bass, I really like Purple Line. What I love about this song is how well they shifted their vocals from soft to edgy– if they had just left their voices normal then the song would have been destroyed. But they way that they really punch their notes works out perfectly and shows why Tohoshinki is so renowned for vocal performance. The music is composed of a hard percussive bass and other synth layered on top. Though this is also a pretty consistently identical beat, the variations in the vocals and the addition of a bridge that’s actually worth listening to completes the song perfectly. I’m glad for how well all of the boys performed vocally in this song, and I really think the whole thing is a gem. Normally I can pick out a best part, but this song was consistently good all around. Great way to promote the T album.

Vocal Performance Grade: A+ — Musical Performance Grade: A+ — Composition Grade: A+ — Harmonization Grade: A+

Overall Grade: A+

We all know how in love I am with Forever Love, and that hasn’t changed at all over the months. This is the first time I took notice of Tohoshinki’s overall vocal prowess, which impressed me because it wasn’t limited to one member. Everyone gives astounding performances in this song, and it really keeps you engaged through it’s entirety. I can’t see how people think this song is boring. If you listen to how Tohoshinki hits their power notes, you can feel the emotion. This song is immeasurably better than their other Japanese ballads, and I would assume their Korean ballads, though I can’t say that for sure. The music is simple and calm percussion along with some synthetic sounds, and the vocals just flow right along with it. Brilliant composition as well, everyone’s harmonization is absolutely wondrous and works out fantastically. One of my favorite songs of 2007/2008.

Vocal Performance Grade: A+ — Musical Performance Grade: A — Composition Grade: A+ — Harmonization Grade: A+

Overall Grade: A+

The introduction music for Summer Dream was really interesting, but the song quickly just melted into a pop song with a twist. I like the verses of this track because of the unique tune, but I really dislike the chorus. The verses present a really unique look at the pop side of Tohoshinki’s music, but the chorus just screams disdainfully average. The best part of this song is definitely the verses, although I do like the music. The bass percussion you hear is pretty edgy for pop, and during the verses, I like the dark spin it takes. I can’t say that this song is particularly good, as the chorus pretty much ruins it, but it does have it’s good points swimming around in a sea of disappointment. I like when the verses and chorus strongly contrast, but here they sound like two different songs. I also didn’t get the addition of the guitar solo as guitar didn’t really appear until… well, until the solo.

Vocal Performance Grade: B+ — Musical Performance Grade: A- — Composition Grade: B- — Harmonization Grade: A

Overall Grade: B

YoochunI was never a fan of Ride On, because I hated how Tohoshinki’s vocals weren’t as edgy as the unique music of the song. Tohoshinki is using their pop voices, which just turned me off to the song. It’s not bad– certainly better than the first two tracks, but it just doesn’t compare to the power of the two previous songs. After a few listens it gets better, but for an A-Side it should have been better to start with. It just sounds like a decent B-Side. My other problem is that their vocals didn’t work well together on occasion, though I enjoyed their harmonization and group performance as a whole. The music is a clap beat along with hard percussion that gives it a unique atmosphere, but I still wish they hadn’t made their vocals so fluid. I wanted a rougher vocal performance and a less boy-ish atmosphere.

Vocal Performance Grade: B+ — Musical Performance Grade: A+ — Composition Grade: A — Harmonization Grade: A-

Overall Grade: A-

I absolutely love the next track, DARKNESS EYES, because of it’s unique attitude and dark atmosphere. It begins with dark piano chords played through an electric filter which burst into a quick and soft percussion that lasts for the rest of the song. The synthetic sounds is what makes the song so interesting, along with a very unique and difficult vocal performance. The boys practically loudly whisper their lines, which is a very interesting effect and risk that works out well in the end. They’re not really whispering, but if you listen to the track you’ll hear what I’m talking about. It’s like they’re tense, and in suspense, which fits the mood of the song very well. The English parts of the song once more make little sense, but the overall idea of the song is interesting. I didn’t care for the rap, but because of the piano in the background while it was happening, the atmosphere was enough to keep me from hating it. My other comment is that whoever composed this is a genius because the melody is very catchy and pleasing to listen to.

Vocal Performance Grade: A — Musical Performance Grade: A+ — Composition Grade: A+ — Harmonization Grade: A

Overall Grade: A

Following up a very unique song is a very generic song. Lovin’ You is such a cop-out. It’s a pop song in ballad’s clothing, and I just never really enjoyed it. The composition is pretty boring, and the music presents nothing new or interesting. The music is pretty quick percussion with some piano and various other instruments, but it’s really just not enough. Everything is really bland, and it takes a die-hard fan of Tohoshinki to enjoy this song. Vocally, the song is also pretty mediocre, which is something I hate. They sing in a small range for almost all the song, and they sound a bit strained. I don’t really have a lot to say other than it’s just missing that unique factor that puts it up there with their really interesting songs. The aren’t any real powerful notes, and the instrumentation is just a sad pile of generic.

Vocal Performance Grade: B+ — Musical Performance Grade: B- — Composition Grade: B — Harmonization Grade: B+

Overall Grade: B

I liked the happy R&B feel of Rainbow, and the unique piano-percussion combination worked out in Tohoshinki’s favor. The boys show off another side of their vocals, and I was genuinely impressed by the versatility they showed in this song. This is a pretty pop-ish song, but the appearance of piano in the beginning and a unique composition save it from generic-ism. The overall uplifting feeling of the song just worked out well, and I enjoyed it. It reminds me of ‘Lean on Me’ in a weird disconnected way. They don’t really sound much alike, but the atmosphere is similar to me. I liked the high pitched background vocals because of the older feel it gave to the song. This song stands out to me because it sounds both mature and poppy, which is usually pretty difficult to do. The truth is, it’s not really that mature of a song lyrically, it just sounds more mature than some of their other pop songs. Anyway, it’s a nice song.

Vocal Performance Grade: A — Musical Performance Grade: A — Composition Grade: A- — Harmonization Grade: A

Overall Grade: A

Any more mediocre songs on this album and I’m going to fall asleep. SHINE was also an A-Side, but is the only of the selection that I really can’t stand. It’s very repetitive and presents the most generic and absolutely uninteresting composition, vocals, and music. It’s classic pop with a clappy beat and sparkly synth that makes it so awfully cheery, and bored, half-assed vocals from Tohoshinki. Why work hard for a song that can’t be very interesting? Obviously there was no reason because Tohoshinki brought no life into this song. It could have been performed by anyone, which makes it pathetically average. You know a song is good when you can’t think of anyone who could sing it better. SHINE unfortunately could be sang by most anyone better and with more effort than Tohoshinki put into it. Basically, this song is an awful snooze fest and not really worth listening to.

Vocal Performance Grade: B- — Musical Performance Grade: B- — Composition Grade: C — Harmonization Grade: C

Overall Grade: C+Changmin

Following a hated song is yet another. LAST ANGEL -Tohoshinki Version- was an absolutely dreadful idea. Tohoshinki can’t pull off composition designed for Koda Kumi. The only parts that really sound good are the parts intended for them to sing. I hated the introduction because of the over editing that made it so seem like they knew how hard they had to try to replace Kumi. Tons of Tohoshinki fans are like ‘Omg DBSK’s version is so much better than slutty Koda Kumi!!!’. Umm, you’re crazy. I’m sorry. I just don’t get it. There are simply things that women do better than men, and the lead vocals for LAST ANGEL is one of those things. I really don’t like the way this song played out in the end. Listenable, but not pleasurable. It’s not even necessarily that they could never do it, it’s that the vocals could be so much better. Oh well. I hope the rest of the album is fantastic to make up for this.

Vocal Performance Grade: C+ — Musical Performance Grade: A — Composition Grade: A — Harmonization Grade: B+

Overall Grade: C

Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant! Finally an upbeat and poppy song that manages to be extremely catchy. CLAP! has really basic lyrics, but it’s a great listen. The verses are good, but the chorus is pure genius. The music is a great consistent percussion coupled with the occasional… I guess it’s some sort of woodwind instrument. Whatever it is, fantastic way to pull the song out of average and bring it to fabulous. Tohoshinki packed so much energy into this song that you can’t help but love it. I had been waiting through the whole album for a really fun song, and I’ve got it. In the chorus the boys pull off an amazing yelling note that just rings incredibly clear. It’s really impressive for all of them, but I think that Changmin is the one who’s pulling the hardest. He hits that note like there’s no tomorrow, and I really like the way that it turned out. If you’re going to listen to one song from this album in order to cheer up, CLAP! is your song.

Vocal Performance Grade: A+ — Musical Performance Grade: A+ — Composition Grade: A+ — Harmonization Grade: A

Overall Grade: A+

I love the introduction to Love in the Ice, and I actually managed to really get into this song when I first listened to it. Tohoshinki packs emotion into their vocals, and that is helped by the somber piano playing throughout the track. I didn’t like Yoochun’s (I think that’s who it is) performance very much in this song, but everyone else did wonderfully. I didn’t like when the music basically paused really quickly and restarted, it was awkward and unnecessary. I love the vocalizations that JaeJoong pulls off occasionally because of how engaging they are. Out of their pre-Forever Love ballads, I think Love in the Ice is definitely the strongest. My only complaint is that it could be a bit more diverse. I didn’t feel like the song had much direction, which was a problem towards the end. However, I like the vocal and musical performances, and the composition was very smart. Their harmonization was spot-on once more, and this is a very technically-sound track, though I think it could be a bit more interesting in some areas. I really liked all the power notes towards the end, because they showcased Tohoshinki’s vocals really well.

Vocal Performance Grade: A — Musical Performance Grade: A — Composition Grade: A — Harmonization Grade: A

Overall Grade: A

———

Up next is the song that gave me quite a scare, bonus song and final song on the first disk: Together. If I could sum this song up in one word, it would be childish. However, I absolutely love it. The music is a really interesting percussion that sounds almost like an upside-down garbage can, and the vocals a top-notch. Everything about the song is totally kids song, but it all flows to perfectly that you can’t help but love it. I wondered if I was losing my senses when I first claimed my enjoyment of this song, but I think that others may enjoy it. My one complaint would be that I feel Tohoshinki could have brought a bit more energy to it. Maybe it’s just bad placement, but Tohoshinki sounds bored compared to CLAP!. My one overall album complaint would be that song placement is not thought through, and the album has little flow to it. Either way, Together is a surprisingly enjoyable song and very fun to listen to when you’re in the right mood.

Vocal Performance Grade: A — Musical Performance Grade: A+ — Composition Grade: A — Harmonization Grade: A

Overall Grade: A

———

JunsuI was yet again bored with disk two’s starter track, Song for You. It’s just generic pop again, but even worse. This song sounds the same from start to finish, and the music is even more boring than SHINE. This song’s only redeeming quality is that JaeJoong’s performance is wonderful, and he really commanded attention here. I liked the addition of strings towards the end, but other than that the music was booorrrrringgggg. I don’t like Tohoshinki when they try cute pop because it ends up like generic boy band crap. Tohoshinki is far from vocally generic, and I know they are capable of a lot more than what they display in this song. There’s not much to say about this song, since it really doesn’t have enough going for it either way. It’s not quite as bad as their others because of the vocals, but it’s still drab and vapid.

Vocal Performance Grade: A — Musical Performance Grade: B+ — Composition Grade: B- — Harmonization Grade: B+

Overall Grade: B

Starting off disk two is another well-done song, Day Moon ~Harudaru~. I thought that the storm effects at the beginning of the song were kind of a waste of time, but the overall song was very pleasing. Yet another mature-sounding pop track, Day Moon ~Harudaru~ turned out a lot better than I was expecting. Being that it is a B-Side, averageness was implied, but luckily didn’t happen. The music is a somewhat pop-esque percussion, but the addition of strings occasionally through the song kept it interesting. Tohoshinki’s vocal performance was very well wrought, and I really enjoyed the power notes towards the end. This song is very interesting to listen to, even though it’s not particularly unique. I like the way they switched between vocalists in this song. Usually I don’t even pay attention to that, but I noticed that they switch so well that I barely even notice. This is a surprisingly strong track considering it’s intention, and I’m really glad it was on my first Tohoshinki single.

Vocal Performance Grade: A — Musical Performance Grade: A — Composition Grade: A — Harmonization Grade: A

Next up is Beautiful Life, whose percussion and music I found interesting but not all that engaging. It has a sort of unique melody, and I like the way everything played out. I’m really undecided on this song. I know how it stands technically, but I can’t quite tell if I like it yet or not. I don’t think the vocal performance is particularly strong, but it is interesting. I guess I like the combination of synth, percussion, and maybe strings, as it’s not something you hear very frequently. I like the meaning of the song, and I really like the jazzy feel of the whole thing. You know, I do like it. It presents a unique style and really stands out as a singular track on the album as there isn’t anything that I can compare it to. The vocal performance may not be powerful in a note hitting sense, but it’s really unique when compared to all of their other songs. I don’t know exactly how to classify this, but I’d say it’s definitely worth listening to.

Vocal Performance Grade: A- — Musical Performance Grade: A — Composition Grade: A — Harmonization Grade: A+

Overall Grade: A

Tohoshinki has finally succeeded with happy pop in the form of You’re my Miracle. The vocal performance is engaging, despite the fact that it is musically pretty boring. The melody is catchy, which makes the song interesting to listen to. I’m glad that they managed to get at least one good song of this genre in here, because it proves that they can do it if they try. There are quite a few really good notes in this song, and if you pay attention you’ll understand why people call Tohoshinki a super vocal group. This is another track worth listening to because of it’s vocal power. The composer and vocalists saved this song from genericness because the music was pretty bland. I would hate to hear an instrumental and confirm what I already know to be true. Good song.

Vocal Performance Grade: A+ — Musical Performance Grade: C+ — Composition Grade: A- — Harmonization Grade: A

Overall Grade: A

Oh wow, Tohoshinki assuredly saved the best for last. Kiss Shita Mama, Sayounara is packed with melancholy and an air of extreme sadness for most of its entirety. The song begins with a tragic sequence were one of the members, supported by very sparse piano simply speaks ‘Open… Open your eyes’ and ‘Just look at me now’. There is a slight, maybe slightly overly long, gap between the end of that sequence and the start of the actual song, and then the incredibly sad piano chords begin. The boys dish out an ambrosial vocal performance, and everything flows amazingly. The chorus consists of JaeJoong singing ‘Lonely People’ a few times (although it took me forever to figure it out because of his pronunciation), and some beautiful harmonization. This is a fairly easy song to song depending on your vocal range, but the way they sing it is what brings it to life. My favorite thing about this song is the fantastic progression. Halfway through, the boys start supporting the one singing, and it sounds incredible. The song wraps up with JaeJoong’s godly ‘Sayounara’. He hits that note so perfectly, I can’t describe it. This is by far the best song on the album, hands down. They show why they’re so renowned for vocals, and really shine in this song. Fantastic.

Vocal Performance Grade: A+ — Musical Performance Grade: A+ — Composition Grade: A+ — Harmonization Grade: A+

Overall Grade: A+

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T had its ups and downs, but overall I’m really impressed with this Junior album by Tohoshinki. Stand out new album tracks are definitely CLAP! and Kiss Shita Mama, Sayounara. Tohoshinki’s weak area seems to be making happy pop interesting, but with You’re My Miracle they at least showed that they were capable. I’m looking forward to Tohoshinki’s activity in the future, and I really hope they don’t end up going back to Korea any time soon. They’re getting really popular in Japan, so I hope that is enough to keep them working there.

ALBUM GRADE: A-

Yunho

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SINGLE REVIEW: Tohoshinki- Purple Line

Tohoshinki- Purple Line

Tohoshinki has been doing pretty well in the Japanese industry lately, so I’m hoping that they don’t fly back to Korean music any time soon. They have their third Japanese album coming out soon, which I will be reviewing, and from the previews it sounds quite good. I hope this single is as good as the others. If so, then I’m going to be really looking forward to the album. Here we go, Tohoshinki’s ‘Purple Line’.

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Ahh, brilliant. Purple Line is a full on dance song featuring fantastically edgy vocals and a great club atmosphere. The music is mostly synthetic with a hard percussion background. Their vocals are executed flawlessly; I didn’t here a single odd note. I laughed when someone near the beginning said ‘I really want to touch myself‘. Immature, I know, but it entertained me. My only problem is that Yunho has a rap part in the song that’s just a bit off sounding. I can tolerate it within the atmosphere of the song, but it just doesn’t sound as professional as it should. Overall, the song is really impressive, and a totally different feel than their previous two singles. Though you get the Tohoshinki vibe, their three latest singles, including this one, have all been from completely different spectrums.

Vocal Performance Grade: A+ — Musical Performance Grade: A+ — Composition Grade: A+ — Harmonization Grade: A+

Overall Grade: A+

SINGLE GRADE: A+

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SINGLE REVIEW: Tohoshinki- Together

Tohoshinki- Together

Tohoshinki’s last single Forever Love was absolutely amazing, and I have no doubt that it contributed to their rising popularity in the Japanese industry (Along with the Koda Kumi collab). The cover of the single has an interesting concept, though I don’t really get it. I’m wondering if they can possibly top their previous single. Chances are no, and I can’t say I expect them to. They set the bar pretty high for themselves, and Together would have to be a pretty amazing track to overshadow it. This is only a one-song single (Other than a couple extra versions), and I’m really interested to see what they pull out of their hats this time. Without further ado, Tohoshinki’s ‘Together’.

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Have I lost all of my ability to determine good music from bad? Are all the kanji floating around in my mind slowling reaking havoc on my poor brain cells? Have I reached the point of no return? Together is definitely very childish and geared towards a younger audience… and I like it. Even though it’s quite possibly the shallowest song I’ve heard in a few months (since I first listened to Wentz’s Lucky de Happy), I keep listening to it. Musically the song is very unique and reminds me of a circus. I could just picture them dressed up as assorted Circus people (clowns? God forbid) dancing around at a child’s birthday party and singing this. They all sing it so well though, and make it so entertaining! I hate the world. The lyrics are really dumb (Kimi wa boku no Friend, I love you, you’re my friend), but adorable in their own way. Like, I would play this song for my six year old cousin and he’d like it. But sadly, I like it to. Am I crazy? Someone comment and tell me that I’m not. The Japanese is really basic, so I’m wondering if they happened to write it themselves… If not, I guess it’s REALLY geared towards children. The percussion in the background sounds like someone banging on an upside down plastic garbage can, but it’s actually pretty interesting. The overall intent of the song sounds like it was done justice, and I have to say that though this song is assuredly not as good as Forever Love it is a good way to follow up in order to completely distract everyone so that they don’t have to dish out a flawless performance. Good scheme, and good job.

Vocal Grade: A — Musical Grade: A+ — Consistency Grade: A — Harmonization Grade: A+

Overall Grade: A

SINGLE GRADE: A

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