#1 Sa lang alhi (Love sick)
This is their first hit. Topped the charts for two weeks. Typical SG Wannabe’s tragic type of song. Even the lead vocal sings like SG Wannabe =) Well, this is the sort of tune that is worth a million dollars. It stays in your head and just won’t go away ^^” (Notice how many times the chorus repeats in the song too~)
Simple instrumentation but employed to good effect. The solo violin during the intro, supported by the dramatic crescendos (increasing in loudness) in strings, highlights the overwhelming emotions which are to come. You can also hear a gradual build up of texture – with only piano accompaniment in the 1st verse, then the addition of bass guitar, electric guitars and strings in the 2nd verse. You gotta hold your breath for the dramatic moment of silence just before the chorus explodes into a full-blown mass of sounds. I actually like the series of high notes (arpeggios) of the piano which hide behind all the other sounds =)
Just feel the pain when the piano enters alone during the interlude… such feeling of loneliness… Also notice the dropping out of other instruments, with the piano remaining, during the chorus just before the rap. The arranger is such a master of contrasts and dramatic effects ^^ The rap is also interesting in that it is muted. It feels like someone’s screaming is being drowned, or when you feel frustrated and can’t be heard by others… This is again, in sharp contrast with the powerful chorus. Love the dying down of the last note of the guitars… cool.
#2 Haeng bog hab ni da (I am happy)
“Salang alhi” sounds tragic to me, “Haeng bog hab ni da” is the extreme opposite – blissful and energetic. Athough this song’s about breaking up, it’s the positive thinking of moving on and being grateful what what you had that makes a difference.
Arrangement sounds like SG Wannabe’s “Stay” in their new album. It seems to be the norm to use real strings instead of synthesizer in Kpop these days. This upbeat, soft rock number sounds good with the strings, surprisingly. The harmonica also adds spice to the song. Especially like the last two choruses where all members sing together – this makes me miss “Beyond” (a local Hong Kong band years ago) =)
#3 Cheon dung (Thunder)
Here’s the Mnet music video for both Track 3 and 4. Storyline involved a student-teacher love affair and a love triangle ^^”” Full of fighting scenes… Heroic portrayal of the two vocalists as ‘bad students’ as in comics. I guess it appeals to girls about their age =)
For Hong Kongers, I guess the first song that came to the mind after hearing FT Island’s “Cheon Dung” is 楊千嬅 – “烈女”. If you’ve watched the Korean drama “魔女柔熙; Witch Yoo Hee” recently, you may find it to be quite similar to one of its songs – “Destiny”.
Some music reviews online have categorized this song style as “80’s J-pop”. Since I’m not sure about Japanese pop back then, I’ve been browsing through youtube videos here and there these two days =P Well, there were so many different musical styles in 80’s J-pop, in actual fact, it’s really difficult to find any song which sounds exactly like the songs aforementioned… but here’s one you may want to check out =)
“セーラー服と機関銃” by 薬師丸ひろ子 (1981)
Personally, I quite like this musical style… the same rhythm in the bass keeps repeating throughout the song (), in a minor key, and a simple song structure (alternation between verse and chorus).
#4 Han sa lam man (Only one person)
This is the slow ballad I like best in this album. Two bamboo flutes were used in the intro. I wonder if the flutes are just like those used in Chinese orchestras =) The acoustic guitar and strings are just beautiful in this song, not to say the singing. A really touching song.
- 사랑앓이 (Love Sick)
- 행복합니다 (I Am Happy)
- 천둥 (Thunder)
- 한사람만 (Only One Person)
- 집착 (Cling)
- 남자의 첫사랑은 무덤까지 간다 (A Man’s First Love Follows Him To The Grave)
- 하지말래요 (They Said To Stop)
- FT Island
- Reo Reo
- 마중 (Meeting)
- 사랑하는 법을 몰라서 (Because I Don’t Know How To Love)
- 첫키스 (First Kiss)
Track list with English translation of song titles taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F.T._Island