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Jonghyun’s The Collection ‘Story Op.2’ album review

I want to be clear when I say that I expected nothing less from Jonghyun’s newest release than what I received. Because in all honesty, the SHINee member’s captivating music composition and ethos are consistent in their individual brilliance, from the soul and funk of She Is to the effortless groove of Base.

And although The Collection: “Story Op.2” serves as a follow up to Jonghyun’s The Collection: “Story Op.1,” this newest release doesn’t prove strictly synonymous. Instead, it serves as a reminder that love, in all its glory does present pain and that such misery can either present itself as inescapable devastation or beautiful chaos that’s worth fighting for.

The Collection: “Story Op.2” presents itself as somewhat of a departure from albums past. Here, Jonghyun poses himself as more than just a vocalist; he’s the maestro, the composer, the lyricist, and the producer. The album presents itself with a bit of everything from sorrowful ballads and steady R&B beats to hopeful odes of what’s to come, similar to Jonghyun’s first installment, The Collection: “Story Op.1.”

The album begins with its title track, “Lonely,” which features a bit of star power and combines vocals from both Jonghyun and Girls’ Generation’s Taeyeon. It’s also the only song on the album that has a music video The single showcases an honest and strikingly desolate depiction of what it means to be alone. It also delivers dark undertones of the detrimental pain and suffocation that arises while in isolation, especially the experience of feeling sequestered and detached from someone even within a seemingly “happy” relationship.

The album’s second track “1000” introduces light guitar strums and highlights how even after an extended time, intimate love in its truest form can still remain intact.


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What comes next is “Just Chill,” which discusses taking a moment to disconnect from the world and love entirely by taking solace in silence, while its companion, “Love Is So Nice,” drops into a two step of sorts and revels in the carousel of casual and comfortable romance, such as lying in bed together or taking a devil-may-care attitude when making plans.

Track number five, “Blinking Game,” is instead a more playful jazz track. Here, the tone is more lighthearted as the artist frolics in the beauty that love provides, posing a tongue-in-cheek staring contest with his lover to see who breaks first. And when she begins to feel shy he politely requests she not look away, for her bare beauty is what he truly desires. And “Elevator” takes a departure in tone entirely, serving as an aching ballad that seemingly presents Jonghyun as his own bystander struggling to reconcile his demons.

The track that packs the most powerful punch arrives toward the end of the album titled, “Let Me Out.” This is a track that gives a potent delivery of what it means to be paralyzed by the past, specifically concerning matters of nostalgia and being unable to forgive oneself from past transgressions. The beat is methodical, beginning with piano tricklings that instantly capture the ear and induce a focused series of vocals centered on introspection as the song intensifies then decrescendos to a solemn conclusion. And it’s that resistance and the pleas of wanting to let a loved one go that keeps the listener locked from start to finish.

“Fireplace” then provides a powerful follow up, except this time the lyrics provide a more hardened approach to forgotten memories of what was. Here, the love that was present is no longer and in place of the plea of “Let Me Out” is a blatant understanding and indifference to wanting things as they were. The forlorn vocals are smooth and mesmerize the senses, leaving the ear tantalized with whispers of lost expectations.


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Jonghyun’s album concludes with “Our Season,” a brighter ballad that relaxes the previous instances of melancholy and ventures into hopeful declarations of reuniting with love only after constructive dissection of how to positively move forward and learn from one’s mistakes.

Really, this an album centered on introspection, pain, reciprocity and unapologetic honesty when it comes to matters of the heart, which makes this record a must listen for any and all.

What did you think of Jonghyun’s latest album? Leave a comment below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

IMLAY Remix of Jonghyun’s ‘Deja-Boo’: Exclusive Premiere

IMLAY "Deja-Boo" (SHINee Jonghyun) Remix

We are very excited to reveal our first premiere, the official remix of Jonghyun’s “Deja-Boo” by EDM artist IMLAY. Over a year after the original release of the song, the 21-year-old IMLAY built on Jonghyun and featured artist Zion.T’s award winning song. The new abstract bass-styled remix turns things up a notch for a funkier version of the track that’s a summery take on the jazz original.

“I had a great time making my first K-pop remix,” IMLAY told KultScene. “Initially, I thought Korean lyrics would not match well with EDM sounds. But it turned out better than I thought. I hope everyone enjoys!”

If you don’t know IMLAY, now’s a good time to get to know the rising producer: he worked on BoA and Beenzino’s recently released “No Matter What” and performed an opening set at Jonghyun’s release party for “She Is” earlier this year. He will appear at SM Entertainment’s Spectrum EDM festival in October so if you’re in Korea check the festival out. SHINee, Marshmello, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, and other popular EDM artists are also featured in the lineup.

Listen to IMLAY’s EDM twist on “Deja-Boo” for the first time right here:

What do you think of the remix? Which version is better? Share your pick in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us onFacebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

Live Action ‘Mulan’ Dream Cast, K-Pop Style

Disney’s Mulan is going to be remade as a live action film, which means that actors of Asian descent will get their chance to shine.
Who better to partake in the film than K-pop stars? While that’s highly unlikely, there are a few Korean stars that we think would be realistically good choices and should definitely be considered for the starring roles in Mulan.

Hua Mulan

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NU’EST ‘I’m Bad’ Music Video & Song Review

NU’EST are bad guys and they know it. They’re back with their first solo digital single I’m Bad in celebratory of their third anniversary. Unfortunately, one of the members, Baekho, wasn’t able to partake in this production due to recovering from having his vocal cord nodules removed. Nonetheless, this is NU’EST’s tribute to the fans, and they’re here to showcase their glistening masculinity and mature side.

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Flash K-Pop Music Video Reviews: Jonghyun, Jung Yonghwa, Mad Clown, From The Airport, Eddy Kim, GFriend

There’s a lot of really great music coming out of Korea nowadays and listening to every chart-topping song, let alone watching every music video, is near impossible. Here at KultScene, we’re going to try something new: Reviews written in the span of the entire music video, inspired by the idea of flash fiction. Once the video stops, the review comes to an end.  These reviews aren’t in depth, and are essentially just first reactions, but it’s a good introduction to many of the songs that you’ll want to check out this week.

Mad Clown Fire

First things first, Hani from EXID is blatant media play since it’s actually Jinsil singing and Hani is just lip-synching. I like the lighting and Hani’s eyes really are mesmerizing so I guess it’s okay, but still kind of sad for Jinsil. The big-band beat and Mad Clown’s rap nicely go together to create a dramatic song that describes the craziness of the lyrics. As usual, Mad Clown doesn’t disappoint with his rap, but instead delivers every line in an aggressive, statement-like way.The lyrics of the song don’t really match the music video, other than showing their craziness, but it’s really beautifully filmed. Jinsil’s voice isn’t too cloying in comparison to Mad Clown’s intense raps, but instead her raspy voice sounds exactly like how a confused, lover should sound. The bleeping and blurring out curses is really amazing for mainstream Korean music, as if Mad Clown is protesting the clean-cut rapping that is prominent in Korea. Overall, I’m impressed.

Eddy Kim My Love

We’re behind scene, and Eddy Kim takes a pause to look at a piano, sits down, and tells the person he’s talking to wait a minute. This piano medley is nice, like something you’d hear in a hotel lobby, and then Eddy Kim’s voice starts up to sing a sweet, powerful melody. The song is really interesting because it uses an orchestra rather than any electronic beats, which are popular nowadays. The singing into the phone while his girlfriend rides a bus is a really cute touch, showing how Eddy feels his love even though they’re apart. It doesn’t really sound like it, but Eddy Kim’s songs always makes me think of Michael Buble. Between the song looking good and Eddy Kim appearing as handsome as ever, My Love is a winner.

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Jonghyun Crazy (Guilty Pleasure)

A steady beat mixed with classic piano introduces a song that’s like a pop ballad trying to grow up into a hip-hop track. Jonghyun’s acting and the music video are impressive, but these up-close facial shots are a jarring thanks to these jerky camera movements. He’s singing about being crazy, emphasized by the gas mask and being chained up, but it looks like it’s just an excuse to show off his ripped body. Iron’s speedy rap is a completely different sound from Jonghyun’s breathy falsettos and high notes, which is really a different sound than what I’m used to hear from SHINee, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like it. The song completely shows off Jonghyun’s best skills, dominating high notes, while the video shows off his body’s best aspects to entice any fan of SHINee to watch. A little bit over the top in general, though, with all of the special effects that aren’t limited to explosions and mechanical giant spiders. But Jonghyun’s a singer first and foremost, and this new style really matches his personality.

GFriend Glass Bead

So here’s the Into The New World similarities, especially the girl that looks like ex-Girls’ Generation member Jessica. The athletic styled outfits, the retro-style sweet pop song is really like something that I’d expect to hear from late 2000’s K-pop girl groups, so I see why everyone’s comparing GFriend to Girls’ Generation. But while the images are similar, the dancing is really impressive. None of the vocalists stand-out particularly, but it’s likely that as GFriend releases more music several of their vocalists will stand out. An all around good song, even though it’s nothing that we’ve never seen before. The concept is cute, sweet, and totally needed in K-pop, which is becoming so overly sexualized that it’s losing the innocence that made songs like Gee and Tell Me viral hits in 2009.

From The Airport Sight

I don’t know if this is supposed to be the response, but when I pressed “play” and heard Sight I wanted to close my eyes. The music video almost demands this, by hiding the two members of From The Airport amid shadows, star-like lights, and occasional bursts of light that essentially blind the camera. The song has a bit of a heavier bass beat than many of From The Airport’s songs, with an occasionally heavy handed rock sound as the backtrack to their heavily synthesized vocals. The profiles of the two members don’t distract from the sound of their song, but aren’t really supposed to be the point of this video. The song climaxes with From The Airport being completely dissolved by light, and then continues with mere music, highlighting not the singers but the sounds themselves.

Jung Yonghwa One Fine Day

Clubbing, two people see each other across the room, and then we wake up in a depressing, green and gray environment. A slightly misleading title? This video is really visually beautiful, I actually feel like it would do well as a magazine spread. Yonghwa’s side profile is really prevalent, and changes his overall style and feel as an actor.The cinematography is really the thing that makes or breaks this video, but it’s a little disappointing as a song overall. This is CNBLUE’s lead singer, who is a popular actor, Yonghwa simply… singing and acting? So what is new to this? Nothing. This could just as easily be a music video for a song from the soundtrack of a drama that Yonghwa is starring in. The song isn’t particularly memorable, although Yonghwa’s voice perfectly depicts the emotion described in the lyrics. It’s a heartfelt song, but if you’re a lead singer with such a distinct voice, just going the ballad route is a little bit boring.

Do you like this idea of quick music video reviews? If there are any music videos you would like to see reviewed, please leave suggestions in the comments section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.