Album Review: Jessi – Un2verse


Release Date: July 13, 2017

Tracklist:

  1. Gucci
  2. Boing (ft. Changmo)
  3. 걸음걸이 (My Walk) (ft. Year of the OX)
  4. Spirit Animal
  5. Arrived

Total Runtime: 00:16:34

Recommended for: Jessi fans; people who like rap and trap influenced music; anyone ready to have a good time no matter what.

NOT Recommended for: Those who are not too fond of a sound that was popular 3-4 years ago; people who do not like rap; people who like ballads.

Jessi has been doing a lot of work in the variety scene. However, she has decided to bless us with even more music with her first mini album. Will her charming on-stage persona ensure a well crafted album? Or will she fall behind other rising stars in the K-Hip Hop scene.

Track Review:

1.Gucci

The title track is the rap heavy, “Gucci”. Unfortunately, the first person I thought of was American rapper Nicki Minaj. The style of rap Jessi employs for this song is a bit reminiscent of Minaj, even though Jessi has her own voice that distinguishes Nicki’s higher tone. The song itself, though catchy, is nothing special. It uses the cliche rap/trap structure of a hard-hitting bit, punctuated with a sung bridge and a repeated phrase for the chorus. The trumpet is actually interesting, but it does little to make this track any more interesting. The message sent, as well, fells a bit 2010. It is the kind of song I would expect from a Western female rapper six years ago and thus does nothing to progress Jessi musically. Granted, I would not call myself a Jessi fan but her previous work felt more modern than this track.

Despite being outdated in its sound, “Gucci” has a very well shot music video. The producer perfectly blends in dark tones with very bright neon-like colors. Jessi’s personality also comes through, which makes the song a bit more enjoyable. Plus, she does a good amount of dancing!

2.Boing

Changmo’s verse is the most interesting thing in this track. Unfortunately, that’s not saying much. There is a bit more English than I was anticipating but it is not as bad as in most K-Pop tracks. The chorus is a severe let down and nowhere near as catchy as ‘Gucci’. The repeated ‘make it boing’ is cringe-inducing and gets boring really fast. This is most unfortunate for the backing track is quite well produced.

3. 걸음걸이 (My Walk) (ft. Year of the OX)

‘My Walk’ is that b-side that is far superior to the title track but for (understandable) reasons is not promoted by the artist. The mellow beat coupled with Jessi’s husky voice is a very nice combination. There is also a hint of an acoustic guitar, highlighted by a very audible piano. The song obviously has very heavy jazz and blues influences and uses them well. Jessi’s vocals are actually quite nice here. They’re not too pretentious and thus uses her unique husky voice to her advantage. Another plus is Year of the OX whose rap adds even more flavor to the track. This feels like the type of ‘coffee shop’ music that would do well in Korean charts.

4. Spirit Animal

Yet another track off this album that just creams ‘Nicki!”. The difference: Nicki would release this in 2010 and has since then evolved. The track obviously promotes Jessi’s confidence in herself – which is important. However, the track itself in uninspiring and almost boring. It is entirely in English, which is something that I did not mind too much. However, I was irked by its very outdated structure and just how similar it is to some of Nicki Minaj’s older tracks, especially those from her album ‘Pink Friday’. The backing track is also nothing to write home about and is about as basic as they come.

5.Arrived

I died laughing at the “I’m in love with the Coco” reference, which is not very innocent for those who are familiar with the term (and O.T Genasis’ track). ‘Arrived’ is the same as all her other tracks in this album, meaning it is just as uninspired and uninterested. It seems that Jessi defaulted to a rap sound that was popular years ago and refused to let it go from the title track to the b-sides. This song is another wasted opportunity as the backing track is very interested (although basic). It is very difficult to focus on Jessi’s vocals and rap as the entire thing gets very boring a quarter way through. I will give her A for effort, though.


 

Review overview
Summary For such a talented artist, this whole album is a massive step back. There is nothing interesting about it and any previous attempts Jessi made to progress musically suddenly vanished. Each track, bar one, is dated and boring. But hey, at least she looks good and she owns it!
2.5
ladyandsansa

✿ OH!Press’ resident Red Velvet stan ✿

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