Album Review – Jun.K’s Mr. NO♡

Release Date : August 8, 2016

 

Tracklist :

  1. Mr. NO♡
  2. THINK ABOUT YOU
  3. BETTER MAN
  4. YOUNG FOREVER
  5. 파도타기
  6. 우리집
  7. 가지마 (Feat. Baek A Yeon)
  8. NO LOVE Part 2 (Feat. San E)

 

Total Runtime: 00 : 29 : 54

 

Recommended for: Listeners who cannot resist silky smooth R’n’B numbers.

 

NOT recommended for: Those who prefer energetic and up-tempo songs.

2PM’s resident composer, Jun.K, has poured his heart and soul into Mr.NO♡, his very first Korean album.

Jun.K’s album consists of eight stunning tracks, including fresh music and impressive remakes of his previous works.

The 28-year-old stays true to his personal music style and as a result, the album is something different to what is usually heard in the K-pop scene.

Review

Track 1 – Mr. NO♡

Jun.K gets his true swag on from the get go in “Mr. NO♡”, a fitting choice for the intro track. In the lyrics, he actually introduces himself to all the ladies out there. The vocals are full of adlibs in falsetto and trills. He even adds a few references to his previous songs like “No Love” and delivers them in a too-cool-for-school way of speech. The song ends with him singing, “Play the music”.

Track 2/Title Track – Think About You

This is one of the most complete songs Jun.K has ever produced in his career. It is a modern masterpiece as he combines ballad and dubstep elements together and to great effect. In the first verse, he adopts a sentimental tone to express how he misses his girl. The chorus is where he brings it home. With the simple yet powerful line, “I think about you, do you think about me?” and EDM in the background; the chorus gets the feels pumping. He drops the beat leading into the second verse, which has more sustained notes and runs. The highlight bridge has it all from smooth background vocals and series of ‘aye’s’ to desperate, impactful vocals. He changes up the final chorus with a bit of head voice and more runs. “Think About You” ends with a confession that he is “still thinking about you”.

Track 3 – Better Man

“Better Man” was first released in Japanese and this is the Korean version. Rain is heard at first before a laid back acoustic guitar starts to play. Jun.K’s sweet and sincere sounding vocals suit the soft feel of the song. He focuses more on his delicate delivery of the lyrics rather than over-singing in the chorus, where he only adds in a few tiny belts. In the bridge, he gradually darkens his tone and throws a bit more punch in his runs, highlighted by a solid low-mid range belt. He wraps up this lovely track with some comfortable, supported notes and snippets of falsetto.

Track 4 – Young Forever

Jun.K shows his fun-loving side in this hip-hop inspired track. “Young Forever” starts with a catchy, up-beat instrumental and Jun.K’s advertising pitch. He reminisces about an encounter with some girl he met in the first verse. His cute vocals turn into commentary with attitude just before the chorus. The chorus is pretty sounding and filled with “Young Forever” being repeated in different ways. There is a little percussion and electric break before the second verse. By the end of the song, he succeeds in drawing party feels.

Track 5 –파도타기

This is a simple R’n’B track with a basic, slow-tempo beat. Jun.K’s casual vocals add to the chilled feel of “파도타기”. The chorus gradually becomes more emotional, as he adds a bit more punch to his phrased notes and runs. In the second verse, the beat becomes faster and there are some nice background vocals. He delivers in the highlight bridge with little transitions into his airy falsetto. He brings the candy home in the final chorus; sustaining numerous belts to finish the song strongly.

Track 6 –우리집

As the composer of 2PM’s latest title track, Jun.K uses his supreme musicality to transform “우리집” into a jazzy bop. The beginning sounds slightly sensual because of the dramatic instrumental. He adopts a higher and brighter pitch to his vocals in the verse. In the chorus, there is a slow burn feel to it as both the instrumentals and vocals are smooth as butter. The highlight bridge has plenty of nice dynamics, including a strong, supported belt. For the final chorus, Jun.K incorporates plenty of runs and change ups.

Track 7 – 가지마 (Feat. Baek A Yeon)

This track is another remake of Jun.K’s earlier compositions. “Don’t Go” was first released in 2011 as a OST for hit drama, Dream High. Replacing original duet partner, Lim Jeong Hee, is JYPE’s stalwart Baek A Yeon. A sweet acoustic guitar plays throughout the first verse. Jun.K and A Yeon’s delicate vocals shine in the verse. The chorus is filled with raw emotion, highlighted by Jun.K’s little transitions into falsetto. In the bridge, their tones become more sentimental before the final chorus. The duo both hit their high notes before the beat drops and they tamely finish off their pretty duet.

Track 7 – NO LOVE Part 2 (Feat. San E)

“NO LOVE Part 2” is a more relaxing and acoustic version than the first. San E’s entry into the track is in English and serves as an introduction to Jun.K’s climatic vocal run. San E raps about the definition of love before Jun.K serenades his way throughout the verse. The chorus is very busy as it has auto tune, belts, runs and pauses. Following San E’s chilled rap, Jun.K sings a big high note. Jun.K wraps up his album with new lyrics and a deep cry of “it’s okay”.

Summary

Jun.K always had a talent for composing but improvements can be heard in this album, especially with the remakes. Looking at the tracklist, one would be disappointed to see half of it composed of old songs but that is certainly not the case. Jun.K does a great job to evolve fan favourites into new versions that still carry the main elements of the originals. However, personally the strongest track would be “Think About You”. The title track is simply the cherry on top. One weakness would be some parts of the tracks being too busy or show-y. Overall, there is not much to fault and Jun.K should be very proud of his work.

greenReplayability -GREEN

Will replay this at any given time

greenCohesiveness– GREEN

Album flowed well, starting with the faster tracks and gradually ending with the mellower numbers

 

greenOriginality– GREEN

Jun.K stayed away from textbook compositions and backed his own musical direction

 

krusty95

OH!Press’ resident journo

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