DBSK [Rising Sun] (Second Korean Album)

February 6, 2009

Tonight
Beautiful Life
Rising Sun (순수)
바보 (Unforgettable)
네가 허락할테니 (Love Is Never Gone)
Love After Love
Dangerous Mind
One
Love Is…
Free Your Mind (feat. TRAX)
작은 고백 (Love Is All I Need)
약속했던 그때에 (Always There…)

The album starts off with the kick ass Tonight. I’m sorry, but I am really about to fangirl. This is in my opinion and I really mean this, this song right here is the best and I mean best vocal performance from DBSK ever, I really don’t care who agrees with me and who does not, that is what I think. I mean no other song by them (all right, I’ll admit ‘kiss shita mama, sayonara awed me as well) has captured me so completely in terms of sheer vocal prowess. I didn’t really care for DBSK at first, in truth I didn’t really aknowledge them as singers; I don’t too much care for male K-pop group singers, but this song changed my mind. It really did. I love how they decided to do this song in a live setting, it was just so appropriate and really made me connect with it more. The vocal performances… were just so good, they were so good. I mean Junsu and JaeJoong really brought it, but I must say ChangMin was definitely keeping up with them and he has the highest register, higher than even Junsu’s. I don’t recall hearing YunHo, but that’s to be expected since this song was a bit out of his league and YooChun’s as well, though his English was very questionable: ‘i love you more than i do’ yeah, YooChun. I loved this song so much I listened to it everyday and one time I was listening to it at my god sisters house and she walked into the room and said: ‘who are them Asian guys blowing like that?’ This is one of their best songs, hands down and a great start to the album.

The next track on the album is the casual Beautiful Life. This song is one in which I never quite paid attention to, so I never really noticed how nice it was. I love the light rnb of the arrangement, it just makes you want to give way to a smile. I don’t know–just be content with life as is; it fills you with a nice and easy-going feeling. Their vocal performances were also pretty good in this, though I noticed they were over doing it quite a bit and I found it unnecessary for a song like this.

The next track on the album is the up-tempo Rising Sun (순수). This wasn’t the first song by them I heard, but it was the one that piqued my interest. I liked the Japanese video better, because the Korean version honestly made no sense to me. I however love the Korean version of the song, because it just did not translate well to Japanese. The arrangement is quick, yet consistent and it really pumps you up and makes you excited. The vocal performances were strong  my favorite parts being ChangMin’s I also really liked his parts in the video. Hot. I thought the rap segments were hilarious: ‘i burn my eyes?’ er… okay. I really disliked the break part in the song, it was really cheesy to me, but other than that this is one of my favorite up-tempo songs from them, its always a fun listen.

The next track on the album is the down-tempo 바보 (Unforgettable). I don’t know what I was expecting from this song, but it certainly wasn’t what I got. The arrangement is nice, but a bit bland and seems to become background noise as the song progresses. The vocal performances were pretty good, I really didn’t have a problem with them, its just that this song is really boring.

The next track on the album continues the down-tempo’s with 네가 허락할테니 (Love Is Never Gone). This song sounds really familiar. I had at first thought I wasn’t going to like this, despite my interest being piqued by JaeJoong’s, ‘love is never gone’ it just started out a bit slow, then came the chorus and I was sold. The vocal performances were good and very sincere, but it all seemed very awkward and a little unbalanced, as if there was no structure. It made the arrangement sound very airy and nearly turned me off the track. This is a nice song though, the chorus is quite good.

The next track bumps the pace up to about mid-tempo with Love After Love. This is a neat little song, but I don’t really like it. I was surprised by how this song turned out, since I actually expected it to be a bit more on the down-tempo ballad side. They threw in a bit of edge, rnb and synth and made a somewhat addicting little track. The verses I can’t recall, but the chorus is definitely engaging and the vocal performances from all involved were good. However, I don’t like the flow of this song or the fact that it seems to just end. Its like the minute I get into it, its over. It seems to just fly straight over your head an that in turn makes it unmemorable.

The next track brings on the edge with Dangerous Mind. This song started on quite a frightening note and I feel as lame as this song because of that. The arrangement sounds like sound check at the garage, its so elementary and basic. The vocal performances were ‘meh’ seriously, I really didn’t like anyone’s vocal performances and I absolutely loathed YunHo’s and YooChun’s rather corny rap-tongue twister segments. This is such a weak song, seriously.

The next track thankfully brings the pace back down with One. This song really sounds like something that a group over here in the States would do, I nearly died laughing when the defunct group O’Town popped into my head. The arrangement is simple and appropriate. The vocal performances were good, harmonies spot on during the chorus, though I would have liked to hear more, since they’re certainly capable of it. JaeJoong seemed to be the only one giving it his all, if that high note he hit is any indication. This is a good song, though they have better ballads.

The next track on the album is the light Love Is…. I got into DBSK during their Banjun dramas when they first started out. I use to always hear this song and be like: ‘what song is this from them?’ this song is really quite the pop track and despite the arrangement not doing much of anything, there seems to be a lot going on in the background while the guys are singing. Junsu’s vocal performance stood out the most, I didn’t really catch on to any of the others. This is a cute track and a nice listen, though it played better during their Banjun dramas, it just sounds a bit weak now and not all that interesting.

The next track on the album is the somewhat up-tempo Free Your Mind (feat. TRAX). This song is pretty lame to me, I don’t know I just didn’t really care for it. The arrangement was rather limp, played like air and was all around uninteresting. I can’t recall the vocal performances or even hearing the TRAX. This song is forgettable at best.

The second to last track on the album is the warm 작은 고백 (Love Is All I Need). This song really makes you feel a very contented type of love, as if love is really all you need. I got such a BSB’s vibe from this song, I mean when they sing the first part of the chorus the line: ‘but my love is all i have to give’ just swam through my mind and it just wouldn’t leave. It actually makes me want to go listen to some BSB’s right now. This song doesn’t really stand-out, but its a nice listen with some pretty good vocal performances all around.

The last track on the album is the acapella sung 약속했던 그때에 (Always There…). I’m not a fan of DBSK’s acapella tracks… well, Tohoshinki’s anyways. They always come across as so wasteful. This on the other hand was pretty good, though after a while it can get a bit tedious.

-GRADE: A-
Rating: **1/2 stars

DBSK’s second album Rising Sun was still good this umpteenth listen, but a bit underwhelming at the same time. I’m more of a fan of their Korean music, that’s honestly no secret. This is one of my favorite albums from them, but I’m kind a wishing they would have brought it a bit harder than this, it seems a bit safe. The only songs that really seem to push the limit and stand-out are: Tonight and Rising Sun the rest are pretty mellow compared to those two. I did enjoy Beautiful Life despite the over-singing and their down-tempo tracks were pretty good, definitely loved the romantic, caring and warm vibes they all exuded. Rising Sun is a pretty good listen, though don’t expect too much from it, it offers only so much.

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