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16 June 2012 @ 01:27 pm

미쳐보려 해도 (Can't Be Crazy)

Artist: Alex
Album: Just Like Me
Genre: Ballad
Release date: 24th May, 2011

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Rating: ★★★★★
미쳐보려 해도 (Can't Be Crazy) is the title track of Alex's second full length album Just Like Me. Alex is better known for his electronica trio Clazziquai under the company Fluxus Music. This song has fused elements of electronica and string sounds together to create a beautiful, fantasy-like ballad number.

The song begins by introducing a steady accompaniment followed by the entering of percussion and vocals at about 0:07. The accompaniment is quite repetitive, maintaining an unchanging structure throughout the entire first verse, but partners well with Alex's mellow, gentle style of singing. The first verse gives a laid-back, easygoing atmosphere, and the song is set at a walking speed, andante, which enhances the relaxing mood. There is a lift in the atmosphere and emotions as the chorus enters at around 0:43. More instruments are added to strengthen the accompaniment; strings and guitars can be heard, and Alex's voice also picks up volume, accentuating and emphasizing the sentiments of the song. The chorus ends at around 1:34, and the second verse starts, mimicking the first verse in exactly the same way, but this time soft sounds of a guitar are added into the accompaniment. Chorus re-enters at 2:10, and the mood is raised again. A string instrumental bridge enters at 3:02, sustaining the atmosphere of the song, and a section from the chorus is repeated at 3:14, but the mood drops as the accompaniment suddenly quiets down until only a faint sound of a keyboard, and the rest of the accompaniment re-enters at around 3:20. The song comes to an end at around 3:50 as everything slows down, and concludes.

I gave this song a 5 out of 5. There had been lots of mixed opinions on not only this song, but Alex's entire album, as many people think that the tracks do not enhance Alex's vocal range and abilities, but rather make them appear restricted and bland. The accompaniment in this song is also quite repetitive and unvaried. However, I still gave this song a 5 out of 5 because personally I think it is successful in presenting the emotions and messages that were intended. This song isn't conveying thunderous and powerful, or even dramatic emotions of love and desire, but rather a more preserved and retained type of admiration, as Alex sings about the past and memories. The song itself is about how he cannot lose his mind and express his pain and longing of a past happiness, no matter how much he wants to, and therefore these lyrics and these intentions combines well with the simple yet beautiful music.

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13 June 2012 @ 01:13 pm
Recommending this Japanese song!

真昼の秘密 (Mid-afternoon secret)

Artist: fra-foa
Album: 宙の淵 (Abyss of the Space)
Genre: Rock
Release date: 21st February, 2001

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Rating: ★★★★★
This is a rather unique Japanese rock song that I had been dying to review. I discovered it through fra-foa's last.fm page (my last.fm is onemillionlove btw; add me! C:) and this song had left a great impression ever since. 真昼の秘密 (Mid-afternoon secret) dates back to 2001, and was written by the vocalist Chisako. fra-foa disbanded in 2005.

Starting off with steady, muted strumming, the aura of this song is already set within the first few seconds. The sounds seem to drag on instead of being clean-cut and straightforward, and there is a sense of heaviness in the atmosphere of the song. Building up, the weight is let out at around 0:06 as percussion and a stronger sound of electric guitar enters. This sense of heaviness is continued until about 0:32 when the vocals enter. Muffled and soothing, Chisako's voice seems to glide through the verse, creating a peaceful yet mysterious ambience. She is accompanied by a soft, clean picking of a guitar and a distinct and stable beat, giving off a feeling of simplicity and steadiness. There is an explosion of emotions as we enter the chorus at 1:24 as the volume picks up and as Chisako sings the line I spun round and round and round. The accompaniment is strengthened, but her voice appears to sound more distant now. At 1:51 the chorus ends, and the mood of the song dies down into the same tranquil atmosphere in the first verse. The chorus re-enters at around 2:43, but this time Chisako sounds more aggravated, and there is a sense that she is yelling, raising the intensity and spirit of the emotions she is conveying. Chisako's style of singing compliments the weight that the accompaniment is creating, and this is what creates this explosion of power and emotion within the song. It all comes to an end at about 4:27 as everything seems to be dragging and blending into one, and then finally dissolving slowly.

Overall I gave this song a 5 out of 5. It is a rather unique song in terms of sounds and lyrics, and also the emotions that are trying to be conveyed. From reading the English translated version of the lyrics (x) there is a sense of self-intoxication, being trapped in one's delusion and memories, and mystery all integrated into one. Chisako's voice adjusts fittingly to the scenarios that the lyrics are initiating; soothing and gentle in the verses as she sings about a rainy garden, and passionate as she sings about how she spins round and round, diving into an ocean of her own reminiscence and emotions. There is also almost a child-like sense portrayed in the entire song with how the lyrics describe the constant spinning around and laughing, and also the sense of fascination in the environment the lyrics had created.

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12 June 2012 @ 11:02 am
I have decided to revive this long neglected blog of mine. T T


Artist: Mad Soul Child
Album: 아저씨 (The Man From Nowhere OST)
Genre: Ballad/OST
Release date: 16th December, 2010

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Rating: ★★★★★
Dear by Mad Soul Child is the theme song from the 2010 movie 아저씨 (The Man From Nowhere). I actually came across this song on Facebook from a friend who had posted a fanmade video of this movie with it playing in the background. Mad Soul Child's vocalist Jinsil is known to be featured in Tablo's song 나쁘다 (Bad).

The song starts off with a series of broken chords and a low sound of strings accompanying Jinsil's melancholy tone as she hums softly, and as the music proceeds it also seems as if the sound of the piano and the strings in the background too are starting to sound heavy-hearted and sombre. The accompaniment pauses at 0:24 and holds on one note, dragging it slightly and creating a sudden loss of movement, adding on the heavy atmosphere of the song, and the first line of lyrics appears at 0:27 as Jinsil sings in a hushed voice, emphasizing the melancholy ambience that was created. The accompaniment continues for a large of the song as broken chords played on a piano and a dense sound of strings, but it is built up when lead to the chorus at 1:20, when percussion and a faint sound of an acoustic guitar is bought in. The emotion builds up here, but sinks down slightly as the chorus ends, though not as much as before. A sorrowful tone is still maintained, but the second verse holds a slightly different - perhaps a more uplifting flavor that before. The atmosphere dies down and starts to conclude at around 3:30, and the regular sound of the strings can be heard. The piano plays single chords instead of broken chords now, which diminishes the mood even more and signifies the end of the song, but the overall aura resembles the beginning. The accompaniment drags itself out even more, and finishes off with the strings.

Overall I give this song a 5 out of 5. I think Jinsil's voice portrayed the emotions of this song extremely appropriately, as she sings about an abrupt wave of loneliness that crashes into her due to the loss of a lover. The lyrics of this song are simple and straightforward, and it matches with the honest, sincere tone of the vocals, highlighting the sentiments that were intended. Jinsil sings with a muted voice during the verses, almost as if she was whispering her sorrows and feebly calling for help, and instead of portraying this in a desperate way, it is almost giving a sense of ceasing to continue. This song is both soothing and powerful with emotions, creating a perfect corresponding between voice, accompaniment and lyrics.

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11 June 2012 @ 11:13 am
Hello friends!
It's been exactly a year (364 days lol) since I've posted here :( I have been spending less and less time on Livejournal, but I would still really like to continue on this k-indie community and blogging about my favorite songs and music, so I've decided to create a Tumblr for anotherballad, and work alongside Livejournal. I will try to post more often on the new blog, so please visit and follow me if you have an account!

I would still like to keep this community on Livejournal, so I will be posting here as well and I won't neglect LJ! It's just that Tumblr makes a lot of things easier for me to blog. And yes it is so that more people can discover anotherballad and more amazing Asian music as well (yes I like comments and reblogs and likes and whatnot)

anotherballad; tumblr
12 June 2011 @ 07:00 pm

꼭 이만큼만 (Just This Much)

Artist: Casker
Album: Tender
Genre: Soft electronica/Indie
Release date: 21st October, 2010

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Rating: ★★★★★
꼭 이만큼만 or Just This Much is the newest title from Korean electronica duo Casker's album Tender. This song is quite slow and has a consistent beat, simply made up of a keyboard and a drum kit. This song has a very coffee shop-esque feel to it, which is why it sounds laid-back and soothing.

The first second of this song starts off with captured live sounds of a busy street, and then the music starts straight after at 00:02. A plain, unaffected keyboard sound starts us off, with a somewhat faint sound effect of a telephone accompanying it. A sudden pause at 00:08, leaving only the busy street sounds mentioned before, and then re-enters at 00:10 with a beat accompanying it. Vocals enter at 00:18, and they sound somewhat manipulated, or as if the vocalist was singing through a telephone. This time, hi-hats were added to the drum beat, increasing the tension and catchiness of the song. A bass sound enters at 0:34, adding depth to the music, and the vocalist's voice pulls away from the "telephone" effect. It is quite difficult to spot where the chorus starts, so I assume it starts at 0:49, as the vocals are slightly raised as well as the atmosphere. Up till now the same keyboard pattern is repeated over and over again in the background. Faint 'oooh's can be heard in the background starting at 1:06. Chorus ends at 1:18, and the atmosphere drops as the bass and drum kit stops, leaving only the keyboard sound. Again a sudden pause at 1:20, and everything re-enters at 1:22. The affected "telephone" voice can be heard again, and ends at 1:30 where the bass is added once again. Chorus re-enters at 1:45, raising the atmosphere again. Instrumental solo begins at 2:14, and this sounds somewhat a jazz style, with the same keyboard pattern in the background, drum kit, and an instrument that sounds like a trumpet/sax. Vocals re-enter suddenly at 2:33, and all instruments stop at 2:34, leaving a faint electrical hum accompanying the vocalist. A faint violin sound can be heard at 2:41, and at 2:48 the drum kit and bass and everything else re-enters, and the chorus is repeated. Everything stops at 3:02, leaving only the keyboard pattern and the faint sound effect in the background. This only lasts for a few seconds because everything re-enters at 3:05, and at 3:10 the vocals stop, leaving only the keyboard pattern, the faint sound effect and the drum kit playing. The affected sound of the vocalist enters at 3:14, and the song ends, abruptly.
I gave this song a 5 out of 5. From typing the process of the entire song out I discovered that, this song does not only have laid-back style, but it is also very interesting to listen to at the same time. There is a lot going on; lots of effects, affected sound etc., even though the music itself is very plain and simple. Sounds keep coming back, popping up randomly and suddenly stopping, which makes this song such fun to listen to. The vocalist has an amazingly smooth voice; her voice sounds simple and yet is able to bring out the emotion within this song.

Overall, if I had a coffee shop in Korea, I would play this song for sure.

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