U-KISS – Mini-Album 4: Break Time
U-KISS, who has gained fans from all over the world with hit songs such as “Round and Round” and “Am I That Easy” makes a comeback with their fourth mini-album, “Break Time.” It’s been almost a year since their first album release, and the boys have returned more mature than ever with seven new tracks of various styles.
Right from the start, I was entranced by “Before Yesterday,” a brief introduction to what the group has in store for listeners. The vocals, piano arrangements, and mixing were just hauntingly beautiful. If only they made a full-length song out of this – I could listen to it on repeat!
The album continues on with the title track, “Shut Up,” composed by one of Korea’s top composers, Kim Tae Hyun, who has also written Ivy’s “Sonata of Temptation,” After School’s “Bang,” and “T-ara’s Crazy Because of You.” “Shut Up” is an upbeat electronica dance number that brings out the boys’ fierceness and toughness as they sing about telling a past lover to shut up and back off. Although the song asks the singers to sound angry, they still managed to showcase their beautiful vocals, especially in the chorus line. Although I think “Shut Up” follows the typical dance song formula, the use of unusual lyrics definitely helped this song stand out from the rest for me.
Track three is “Light It Up,” a dance production co-composed by C-Luv and Stay Tuned. The strong house rhythms and steady bass are catchy on first listen. The boys’ vocals are smooth and pleasant to hear especially in the verses as they sing about a once “dead” love burning deep inside again.
The next song is “Rock Ya Body,” an upbeat hip-hop number accompanied by groovy bass and synth sounds. The bouncy beats and repetitive lyrics seem perfect for clubbing – very Americanized (ie. Pitbull) in style. Sadly, I did not find anything too special with the song.
Another dance number, “Avatar,” ties up the album. The song incorporates both electronic and rock elements, making it catchy in sound. Too bad the lyrics and melody killed it for me. When I heard the hook, I immediately thought of Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz’ “Get Low” (refer to the “To the windows, to the wall” part) and was disappointed. No need to sound like an extremely popular song – it only brings up controversy.
I have never been much of a U-KISS fan, but this album made me realize what great vocals some of the members have (as shown through “Before Yesterday”). Compared to their first and second mini-albums, I have seen drastic improvement in this album, and I am happy for them. Although the songs in terms of catchiness seem to decline as the tracks went on, the majority of the songs were appealing. Lastly, unlike how the album description suggests, there wasn’t much variety in musical style as I had hoped for, so maybe adding a slower R&B track in the mix might be better for the boys in the near future.
5/5 – Even if you’re not a fan of this artist/group this album is a must buy.
4/5 – If you’re a fan of this artist/group, you must buy this album.
3/5 – If you’re a fan of this artist/group, you might want to add this one to your collection.
2/5 – I don’t think a fan would even buy this.
1/5 – You might as well just flush your money down the toilet