So here is the thing…life sucks. I got hit hard last year and that slowed me down incredibly. I used to try and crank out reviews for songs as soon as possible, but I decided to give myself some time to make sure that I could fully dive into the song. And then that turned into me choosing between work, school, sleep and this blog so I obviously chose the more important ones. Anyway while song reviews are picking back up…album reviews have kind of fallen to the wayside.
This is going to be a long ass text post so here is the summary: Albums are long form, reviewing them takes time, I was cranking out reviews, A lot of albums sound the same to me and therefore are not worth the effort of writing about them.
Good Good? Yes
Let’s get into it.
So it’s been a minute since I have done a proper album review.
Y’all: Why is that?
Me: Well…a lot of albums suck ass.
No but really, there was admitted burnout. Here is the thing about album reviews. It’s one thing to write I like it-I hate it…but you have to explain why. Reviews are inherently subjective while being able to apply fact. What does this mean? I am reviewing albums with my personal preferences in mind, which means I am going to base everything off of what I like. This seems so obvious until you try and turn what you like and how so and so’s album can fit into your standards and why it should. For 500 words or more.
Y’all: Now wait it can’t be that hard. I mean you were able to do it, with admittedly crap results.
Me: Shut up ho.
No but really, it’s hard to bring ideas out already. While my reviews for just the singles alone are not up to code (riddled with mistakes and some inaccuracies), they go through several stages before being released. And even then they are not a guarantee. Last year I ripped APink a new one for Remember, by December it was in my top favorite songs of that year (admittedly it wasn’t a great year). Still I had listened to that song, wrote my initial thoughts, filtered that to make it less angry and obnoxious, tried to fix several errors, added a part before saying fuck it and released it to the public. Now all I can say is that I love the damn song and have lost all will to pretend like I give a fuck about growth and change in certain groups.
Still the point of that entire paragraph is that trying to bring your ideas into form is hard as is for just ONE song…imagine doing that for eight. And not just eight, you have to be savvy in knowing which songs may need more than a sentence to explain their purpose. Some songs feel inherently more important musically than others. Some are just vaguely there. But all of this is an opinion on my part. All songs are important because they made the record.
Anyway, doing an album, even if just an ep, takes up a lot of time and focus. And just going through some of my reviews NOW, I am not happy about format (which admittedly is hard to find a format for albums, when thoughts are not uniform for all of them).
Y’all: Well Huzzy no one told you to be doing all these reviews in the first place
Me: Okay but leave my residence!
No…but really…you’re right. No one asked me to do any of this. Nobody cares. But I like doing them. I like looking into music and going to read the crap lyrics of these songs, and wondering why no one can write a decent track without using far too out there metaphors comparing love to a damn sneeze. I love it.
What becomes an issue is that…well I was doing it too much. And…idols were releasing albums at such a high rate…and I hated a lot of them. I will be honest after a couple of listens, I found myself forcing my way through just a single listen of certain albums. I can tell you right now the only album from 2015 I actually liked was Reboot by Wonder Girls and Glass Bead by GFriend. Almost everything else was very the same, and very tiring. There were a lot of albums that were close hits, but had some very off misses about them that I didn’t feel like having to explain for two or three paragraphs. My lack of interest makes it hard to want to write about them. And I am not saying every album needs to be stellar in order to get a review.
Good or bad, and album that is remarkable (I am not using this in a way that means good) will make it easy to organize my thoughts. Jonghyun’s album Base was terrible to me. It was full of excessive rhetoric with half-baked musical ideas from a singer who is tonally a mixed bag for me. BUT…that album was so interesting to listen to and come up with a review. Taemin’s debut ep, ACE was much more pleasant to listen to…but I just couldn’t be bothered for him.
I think that is the thing to really remember. Some albums, good or bad…are worth talking about. Some albums are just sooooo memorable that they practically write themselves. Once again of one’s opinions of course.
And with K pop, this is hard because…well everyone is releasing something. And it’s like musically they put exceptional focus into the single, some interest in one or two side promo songs, and then the rest is for the Lord to save. For someone who likes reviewing albums, it became very apparent for me to see how little these companies cared about the album as a whole. This year Sistar released Insane Love. The album itself was a mark improvement from last year’s Shake It (from single to album). But I found myself pointing out the obvious. The album, while a nice change of pace from their normal summer themed bright galore, still felt like it was an immediate retrieve to their usual. Nothing dynamic past the single. Come and Get Me (String) was so in line with what Sistar would do, it felt like the offering for not being their usual summer trend selves. The rest of the album loses interest quickly only finding it on the last song. It was okay. Better than what they have been doing…but okay overall.
See…that was quick and easy, but imagine doing that for several albums, more fleshed out and pointing out the SAME, EXACT FLAWS and having to try and make it sound like these albums are not doing the SAME EXACT FLAWS.
So basically album reviews are hard to do because they need the proper finessing and way of articulating. A lot of albums produce the same content over and over again creating this weird space where albums are the same but not really. In turn very few albums are actually sparking interest and conversation on my end. Mass producing reviews was a terrible idea and left me with a complete and utter disinterest in K pop. BURN OUT.
The last full album review I did was for…Got7 last year…Just Right. Did not enjoy that album, but it’s Got7 so that is to be expected at this point.
To remedy this I want to really get back into the swing of things. I’ve been trying to write more and more reviews. And releasing them!
I’m working on more fun post that are not just reviews.
But I really want to get into more album reviews. SO!
The months of November and December I will be dedicating largely to playing catch up. Right now I have been developing a list of albums I am going to review. Nothing too much. I don’t want to end up with like 50 albums a week. But if I could get up to like 10-20 done, that would be great (aiming for 10, 20 would be a cute goal).
Thank you for listening to me rant about this. Y’all have a great day.