Lena Park [Forever] (Special Album)

March 28, 2009

Intro
3:30 AM
Last Time
It’s A Misunderstanding
One Summer Night 97′
First Snow
What Should I Do?
The Longing In Me
Ambitous You
Baby’s Groove
We Are Friends
Outro

The album start off with the intro Intro. Its a message machine (I thought it was an alarm clock at first), some lady speaks in Korean and Lena sighs.

The first full-length track on the album is 3:30 AM. I did not expect a song with time for a title to be so good, this is actually one of my favorite Lena songs. It has such a sweet, comforting and loving vibe to it that makes you give way to a smile, because you are just so in love. I really got that vibe from the arrangement. Lena’s vocals are gorgeous and I definitely loved the chorus, its mild, but it just seems to pop out at you. It also makes me think of the early 90’s, the video would have been lovely. This was a good start to the album.

The next track on the album is the down-tempo Last Time. This is one of those songs I never really listen to, but its obvious that that is going to change. Its hard to dislike a Lena Park song she’s one of the best singers I’ve ever heard Asian or otherwise and that in the end is what makes me love songs by her I wouldn’t normally like. This song is a bit slow, but the nice and rather sorrowful drum arrangement and Lena’s great vocal performance (especially the note she hits towards the end) makes it not even matter in the end.

The next track on the album ups the pace with It’s A Misunderstanding. I really love this title and this track. This is definitely one of those guilty pleasure like songs, because the arrangement is so pepped up, so light, so carefree and it makes you just want to abandon your common sense and get up and dance. Lena’s vocal performance however is in stark contrast with the arrangement, I mean it just gives me such a sad vibe when I hear her singing over it. I mean I don’t think this was the songs intention, but despite its happy-go-lucky nature it comes across as very depressing to me. I love the chorus, its such fun, especially the: ‘ah’ notes Lena hits at the end of both of them. Ah, this is one of my favorites, I never get tired of listening to it.

The next track on the album is the mellow One Summer Night 97′. This is one if not the first song by Lena I heard, and its such a good track. Its so laid-back and makes me think of the 90’s, candy penny stores and frozen kool-aid cups. I love the steady guitar thrumming of the arrangement and Lena’s vocal performance sung all in English good English just brought it all home: ‘each time i think of you, my heart would beat for you, you are the one for me’

The next track on the album is the disjointed First Snow. WTH? I honestly don’t get this, especially since it sounds exactly like one of her other songs which I can’t place at the moment, but be ensured this is the worst version of it. The arrangement is stagnant, but appropriately slow paced, though you get the impression that this song is going to be up-tempo when it starts. Lena’s vocals are good, but I hate how she sounds so awkward against the music, its just so strange and then the backing vocals were like all kinds of pointless, they clashed so much. I don’t understand what the point of this was, but way to ruin a potentially good track.

The next track on the album is the down-tempo What Should I Do?. This song isn’t very interesting, the arrangement is minimal, but in a odd way it does go with the whole flow of the song. Lena’s vocals are nice, but she sounds very awkward against the arrangement and I don’t too much like the backing vocals. This song is also pretty slow. I don’t know its not bad, it’ll probably grow on me.

The next track on the album is the piano-driven The Longing In Me. This song is pretty acoustic and I’m wondering if its live, because there was clapping at the beginning and it just gives off that whole live feeling. Lena’s vocals are gorgeous, especially at the end when she hits that note.

The next track on the album is the mid-tempo Ambitous You. I kept thinking of Mariah Carey while listening to this, I can’t really think of which song by her this reminds me of, but probably none. The arrangement is rnb, but pretty tame, I still liked it in a sense. Lena’s vocal performance was nice, though when isn’t it? This plays like a song you should be able to dance too, but it never really gets to that point. Its solely Lena’s vocals.

The next track on the album is the rather sensual Baby’s Groove. This song is heavy in the rnb as well and though it does just as much as the previous track, it does manage to be more interesting. I really love when Lena says: ‘oh, baby baby’

The last track on the album is the odd We Are Friends. This is one of those songs I should like, because its not bad, but I just can’t like, because I just don’t like it. It started off interesting with the guy talk/rapping and the arrangement is pretty laid-back and nice, plus Lena’s gives a pretty decent though mild vocal performance. This song just doesn’t do much for me and I really hate how uninspired the, ‘we are friends’ part of the chorus sounds.

The last track on the album is quite possibly thee most pointless outro I have ever heard. Its called Outro and consists of Lena saying: ‘ok i’m out of here’ just… what? Purposeless.

-GRADE: B
Rating: ** stars

Lena Park’s special album Forever has some good songs on it, but its not as good as I originally thought it was. This use to be one of my favorite Lena albums, I thought it was just so good, I still do in a sense, but as it stands the first half is good, like ‘3:30 am’ to ‘one summer night ’97’ and then the album becomes pretty dull an uninteresting. I still think its a pretty good album either way and I wouldn’t mind her doing a second special album.

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