[J-Rock] FT.Island's '20 (Twenty)' [Released: May 2012]
Title: 20 (Twenty)
Released: 16th May 2012
1. Let it go!
4. WANNA GO
9. PAPER PLANE
10. Endless Story
12. HIT THE SANDS
I've personally always been a big, big fan of FT.Island, and listening to the songs in this album reminded me exactly why. Powerful vocals, touching lyrics, catchy tunes and incredible guitar riffs. Not to mention the fact that the band itself grows better looking in each MV... Hehehe. Although of course, I'm not reviewing them on their looks, so let's get on with the music!
The album opens up with 'Let it go!' which is probably one of the catchier songs on the album, the vocals during which are perfect, as expected from FT.Island. Lyrics-wise, it can get a little bit repetitive during the chorus, however, this only adds to the culture side of things, since most J-Rock songs are known for their chorus' being quite catchy and easy to remember, so this wasn't a major problem. The second song, 'NEVERLAND' was much, much more powerful. It starts off with a very nice guitar riff, which is always a great way to open a song. And then, the vocals came in and it was exactly as expected, and I always maintain high expectations of FT.Island, because I know they're capable of living up to my expectations. . .
It was nice to hear some more Japanese songs from this Korean band, who are much more known for their catchy K tunes, rather than J-Rock, which in my opinion suits them much better. I listened to the album several times over before writing this review, since I had to make sure it was a fair evaluation. It's safe to say that 'NEVERLAND's "Whoa-oh-oh"s will be stuck in my head during the oncoming week, for sure!
I personally didn't like the following song 'STAY', which is supposedly one of the stronger songs in the album, the opening lines had me disliking the track right from the start, which rarely happens with me since I often give each song a chance no matter who it's by or whether or not I like the opening. But I'll admit that 'STAY' was skipped 40 seconds into the track. I couldn't convince myself to go back and listen to it again, and so during each replay of the album, that particular song was repeatedly skipped. Sorry guys!
'WANNA GO' However, was much better and up to standards. It makes up for me disliking 'STAY' and persuaded me to continue on with the album, aha. (I'm joking, I would've continued with it anyway!) Moving on to 'someday' which in all honesty, could've been better, admittedly. However, it wasn't 'bad' it was a good song, and it got quite catchy after listening to it twice. Ehe. It was just a bit slow building up into the kind of music you would expect from FT.Island. . . Which, I'm not gonna lie, was quite disappoing.
Next was 'Distance' a beautiful ballade, which was very enjoyable to listen to. The vocals were considerably softer in this track, and the whole song itself seemed more heartfelt, emotional and powerful than some of the other tracks on the album. This song it probably one of my favourites on the entire album, and the MV for this song is stunning. Lyric-wise, it's very pretty. There's no over-powering guitar riffs here, it sounds more classical in comparison to the likes of 'NEVERLAND'.
'Always' keeps the ballad-esque feel whilst re-introducing the guitar riffs, the combination sounds both peaceful and powerful. The chorus can get a bit much in places though, and not all of it was pleasant to listen to, much like 'someday'. . . I don't have too much to say about this song, of course I would recommend it because it isn't a bad song, but it's not one of the best on the album if I'm honest. The opening riff to 'COMPASS' Sounded quite cheesy, but the song itself wasn't too bad. Lyrically, it was nice. 'COMPASS' Was definately one of the more quiet songs on the album, and it seemed calming to me. Although, it's really nothing in comparison to some of FT.Island's earlier works, for example 'Hello Hello' Which will forever be my favourite song from this band.
'PAPER PLANE' was a pleasant surprise, Jaejin's composition was very peaceful and beautiful, and his English in this track sounded fantastic. This song seemed deeply influenced by Western music, in comparison to some of their other songs, which had that very distinctive difference to other music. I liked the meaning behind this song, seemingly comparing himself to a paper plane, meaning that he has no limits and can 'fly off' to wherever he feels like. 'Endless Story' was skipped after 1 minute, 56 seconds. I don't have much to comment about for that song. It was very basic, nothing too special about it at all, except for of course those distinctive vocals.
'LIFE' Really wasn't too great on a whole, but the beat was nice. The vocals were amazing as always but the song itself lacked that spark that usually had me dancing and singing along to FT.Island's songs. And finally, 'HIT THE SANDS' which was an interesting song. The name sounded very strange to me, then when I actually listened to it and discovered that it was an English version of 'NEVERLAND' I felt very impressed with the band. For a Korean band, their English was surprisingly clear, you could tell exactly what they were singing which was nice for an English speaker like myself. ^w^
All in all, I'd give 20 (Twenty). . .
Four stars out of Five!
Each track was individual. No two sounded the same (apart from HIT THE SANDS and NEVERLAND of course ;D) Aha. Lyrics to all songs were very good, meaningful and there was atleast one song in the album that someone out there can relate to. The guitar riffs were wonderful, and the drum beats were fabulous, however I couldn't rate it a full 5/5 due to the fact that there were 2 songs that I skipped due to lack of matter to comment on... And so for this reason, I've awarded the album with 4/5 which is still very high! Don't misunderstand me, I do like this album a lot, I just don't think it's one of their best. uwu