TRAX – Resolution

by yukino on September 2, 2006 · 23 comments · AddThis

Resolution cover Artist: the TRAX
Title: Resolution
Release Date: 2006.08.23
Product Code: AVCD-30987
Label: avex trax
First Press: Poster

On August 23rd, Korean-based rock band the TRAX released their fourth Japanese single, Resolution. Featuring a new, cleaner pop sound which contrasts sharply with their original nu-metal grunge image, Resolution is the band’s first Japanese release since the departure of their drummer, Rose.

Let’s give a little background information on these boys, shall we?

The TRAX were originally made up of four members – Jay Kim, No Minwoo, Kang Jung Woo, and Kim Jung Mo. Formed by the (in)famous SM Entertainment, in 2004, the four musicians were each given stage names (Typhoon for Jay, Rose for Minwoo, Attack for Jung Woo, and – promise not to laugh – Xmas for Jung Mo) that, together made up the word TRAX. According to SM, the band’s proper, unabbreviated name is Typhoon of the Rose Attack on Xmas. Weird, but irrelevant, I suppose.

Anyways, the band released its first single, Paradox, on July 19, 2004. And in Korea’s pop-oriented society, it went practically unnoticed and utterly underappreciated. The same goes for their second single, Scorpio, which was released shortly afterwards and received even less promotion. It seemed that the TRAX were doomed to failure in Korea.

Then, on July 16, 2006, SM took action (finally), and released the band’s first album, Cho Woo (First Rain). This marked the beginning of what I like to think of as the fall of the TRAX (or the TAX, as it may be). It is very suspicious indeed that it was almost immediately after Rose’s departure that the TRAX began to sing what SM liked to call ‘rock ballads’, which in reality were just misnomered pop songs. These so-called ‘rock ballads’ had already spelled the end for another K-Rock band, Buzz, who had now completely lost their rock edge and were yet another face on the K-Pop bandwagon. One would think that, without Rose to stand up for them, the TRAX had been forced into submission.

Our last hope lay in Japan, where visual kei/nu-metal was already an established and relatively popular brand of music. There, the TRAX were doing quite well – considerably better than in Korea, at any rate. Their first release was the Japanese version of Scorpio. Thanks to YOSHIKI’s fame, the TRAX were very well received – he seems quite fond of them, even having Typhoon sing X-Japan’s tears at the premiere of the movie Windstruck. Their second and third singles, Rhapsody and Blaze Away, also did well, even as they began to lean towards the pop sound – every TRAX fan’s greatest fear. Luckily, with the release of Resolution, it has become apparent that this is as far as they are going to lean – the result being a sound that one fan has dubbed ‘hard pop’. Let’s see how our boys sound with this new style.

 

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1. Resolution

Fly away with the TRAX in this awesome song, which features plenty of hard-rockin’ guitar from Xmas’s skillful fingers, nice steady bass lines from Attacku-chan, and of course Typhoon’s rich, versatile voice. The melody is carefree and joyous, a very nice bit of composition, especially the high-flying chorus. However, I’m not too fond of the beginning verse – it somehow sounds too sudden, or as if there aren’t enough notes. Thankfully, the song quickly picks up with an engaging hook. The lyrics fit the tune well, expressing a desire never to give up and ‘a resolution to reach a higher place’. No doubt Typhoon’s accent has improved (I can’t tell, since I’m not Japanese). Whatever the case, he sings very well in this song.

The only other thing about the song that peeves me is the way the arrangement sounds so messy sometimes. It feels like they tried to stuff too many instruments in, and the result is not as good as it could be. It’s generally alright, but there are times when it irks me. Other than that, this is a great song and a wonderful pick-me-up, and great fun to sing along to.

Rating: ★★★★½

 

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2. Criminal Scream

If anyone here has listened to the Cho Woo album mentioned above, then think of this song as being like a fusion of the two songs ‘CRAZY’ and ‘TOTAL ECLIPSE’. It’s like a combo of 90’s rock and good old TRAX hard-rock. The result is interesting. The addition of piano riffs in the chorus makes for a darkish, almost gothic feel. It’s an alright song, I suppose. The darker feeling complements the cleaner atmosphere created by the first track nicely. A good listen when you feel like being emo.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

 

Resolution is a great single from one of my favorite bands. They still have a lot of improvement to make, and I’m curious to see how their career will turn out. If they keep producing quality singles like this and constantly getting better, then they have a very good chance at fame. Don’t forget about them, and keep your eye out for new releases, because these boys have a lot of potential.

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Purchase this item: YesAsia US | YesAsia Global

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

aimi April 22, 2010 at 9:02 pm

I only realise about this group in 2010, but my friends already know this group in 2007. and that time I already listen to they song but not know that it is the trax.. now I very fan of them..very..very like they song….>_<

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galuh papa October 7, 2009 at 9:47 pm

i love The Trax…especially Paradox….it`s brilliant…

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Miguk UNITED STATES January 30, 2008 at 10:00 pm

French website for the TRAX? Not that I know of…

Try using Babelfish on the official site (www.thetrax.com). The translations are not the best, but it’s better than nothing…

Good luck, Myabi! I hope you could read this, since I don’t know much French (nothing useful anyway) and I have no idea how much English you know. ~~

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Myabi January 30, 2008 at 11:01 am

Ya personne qui parle fran├žais dans le lot ?????
moi jadore TRAX mais je conais rien sur eux… vous avez pas des infos en fran├žais for me ?? please !!! Do you have a website in french about TRAX ?

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Ella November 16, 2007 at 8:49 am

I LOOOVEE the TRAX SOO much!!! It’s like an obssesion!! Their soo good. I don’t care if they sound a bit pop, it’s just their songs… not everythings going to be exaly the same, that’d be a bit boring…. it sucks that their not that big and i don’t want them to all apart and stop performing all together… but i don’t want them mainstreem (like i meen, i live in Australia) I know their not going to get big here, but i want them to be admired by people!! >w,<

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Follis July 3, 2007 at 10:28 am

haha nahh. I’m ‘ok’ with html. Just the fact I had to repost it a million times has got to be a drag O.o

I haven’t heard or continued to look up the Romantist last time I wrote this >.>
But anyone heard of their stuff yet?

Eitherway, I hope I won’t be disappointed *nod* u_u

~Follis

EDIT: But of course the edit feature is only going to work with the new comments… >.>

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Miguk UNITED STATES July 3, 2007 at 2:18 am

OOOO! I spoke too soon…new feature since I was last here…

“You may click on your name and/or comment to edit.”

Nice feature…

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Miguk UNITED STATES July 3, 2007 at 2:16 am

I hear ya, Follis. Really, only Minwoo knows what’s really going on in his head. Also, when in some of what I watched on TV in Korea, it seems like Minwoo got less attention than the others. I didn’t learn much Hanguel, so it’s likely that I missed something, but who knows? It’s different between their fans in Korea and there fans in other countries, I suppose.

It’s a bit like how big rock was in the US, but in Korea, it’s relatively rare. In fact, I think there was only one club (not counting juicy bars near US Army camps) in all of Korea that had any punk or ska at all… I’ve found more than a couple in the US. Rock music in Korea is a really small market compared to many other countries. Korea seems to prefer pop and hip-hop as a whole.

It’s easier to buy Korean rock music now that I’m back in the States. It’s crazy.

Of the TRAX fans I’ve come across, those who liked Minwoo best all seemed to be foreigners (in terms of foreigners to Korea). I could be wrong, but it really does seem that way. Of course, while I lived in Korea, many of the Koreans that had heard of the TRAX that I met had heard about them through me.

(BTW, don’t worry about not knowing HTML. To change what you wrote, you’d need access to the coding for the site. The only way to do that would be to hack the site. I’m sure I could figure it out if I tried, but I’m not into breaking laws… HTML isn’t too difficult though… I taught myself HTML in one night and CSS in two. I just haven’t bothered with more just yet… ^^ It’s something that ‘clicks’ for you, or that you never figure out. It’s nothing to get worked up over-everyone has their strong points and weak points. ^~ )

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J-fan CANADA July 2, 2007 at 8:29 pm

I only found out about this band a few weeks ago, and then I started listening to their music a few days ago, now I’m reaallllyyy into trax. Just when I started getting into them, I find out that rose left? and that they’re going into pop? whats happening to all the rock bands these days? at least japan has visual-kei.

I’m really sad about this, trax desn’t feel right anymore.

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Follis March 29, 2007 at 10:25 am

(Is there any way for me to delete or edit? Yes I’m a huge noob at this… damn html)

(The hair, the happy drumming states, the whole scene of him in blue in Paradox =3 )

I just do think it’s a shame he’s not on drums in the Romantist (for now perhaps).

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Follis March 29, 2007 at 10:23 am

Pardon. A part of what I wrote was… cut up.

EDIT:

(The hair, the happy drumming states, the whole scene of him in blue in Paradox the Romantist (for now perhaps).

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Follis March 29, 2007 at 10:19 am

Miguk: Contrary to the stereotype, it’s actually pretty obvious that Rose recieved the majority of attention during the TRAX days. I doubt he would have felt like he was behind the spotlight considering all the attention he recieved. (The hair, the happy drumming states, the whole scene of him in blue in Paradox the Romantist (for now perhaps).
I heard a while back that it was because he also wanted to do more singing, this is the first time I’ve heard about the guitar rumor. Eitherway it all relates to him wanting a bit more freedom in the instruments played I suppose.

I have to tie X-mas with Attack because then Typhoon or the other members will be by himself. No way I can rank everyone. I do love all the members

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Miguk UNITED STATES March 28, 2007 at 4:19 pm

I don’t think he was acting on the drums…I think he does enjoy playing them, but his time on the guitar was very limited with the TRAX. It was like drums are primary, guitar is secondary. I think he wanted more guitar time, not to give up drums altogether. Besides, the stereotype is that guitarists get more attention and more fans than drummers… Maybe Minwoo was tired of just being the guy in the back, behind the rest of the band. maybe, he wanted a little more of the spotlight.

Then again, maybe I don’t know why he wants to play guitar instead of drums as his main instrument. I’m not psychic; I’m just guessing… ^^ I think he just wanted a little more freedom to play as he wants to play.

It is possible though…JungMo (Xmas) is my favorite out of the whole band.

…and no, I don’t know who started the rumor about Minwoo joining the ROK Army, but they assumed that since Koreans are required to serve 2 years, that he went into the Army. They forgot that the 2 years can be military service OR public service AND that there are loopholes that many famous Koreans use to get out of doing service altogether, like gaining citizenship in another country. Regardless, Minwoo is not in the ROK Army. When the rumor started, I was still in the US Army in Korea and I’m sure that I would have heard about a famous Korean joining the ROK Army from the KATUSAs I worked with, especially since they knew that the TRAX was, and still is, my favorite band, even if they DO play more pop than rock now. Don’t worry…

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Follis March 28, 2007 at 2:04 pm

=O!!! Miguk: Because he wanted to play guitar? NO way!! That makes me depressed even =( I’ve only just heard about the Romantist as his new band… and yeh I found it odd he was the guitarist.
But well, Rose is my -all time- favorite drummer. I’ve never seen anyone appear to be so happy while playing. All this time he was acting? I absolutely LOVE drummers, and every time No Minwoo played it make me smile ;___;

Minwoo and acting? If it means he can make me smile on screen then please! Bring it :D

The TRAX will still always be one of my favorite bands, rock ballads and all (damn SM).
Awww now I’m really sad T___T
Thanks a lot for the review though yukino. I really enjoyed reading it. Glad to see some great TRAX reviews out there ^_^

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Miguk UNITED STATES January 27, 2007 at 5:17 pm

This Trax is still produced by Yoshiki…

Minwoo (Rose) left because he wanted to play guitar instead of drums and he wanted to try a new direction in music. He is now part of a band called the Romantist (Take a look at the trivia section of this Wikipedia entry about The Trax). They have not produced a single or an album, yet, but they are working on it. Also, Minwoo wants to get into acting (I don’t know what acting he will do, yet).

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mel January 8, 2007 at 6:10 am

I was really quite suprised, coz they sounds really good in here RESOLUTION, I like both songs, both are different, one clear one dark, good energy in it, good potential too after, resolution, I got addicted to criminal scream ^^

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Tza January 6, 2007 at 9:01 pm

thanx for da review!!!
i really loved paradox it was just soo good!!!
but i dont know why rose left either…..but in youtube somewhere…i think someone wrote that rose left and joined da army o.O but if its true im not sure……

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yukino UNITED STATES December 29, 2006 at 3:48 pm

LMAO, I love their rock songs too, Shizuka. But… *looks around guiltily* I do like “Cho Woo” as well. I think the pop ballads are really nice, despite the fact that they are the spawn of SM’s desire to suppress all natural artistic urges in their unstoppable quest for profit. Er… yeah. Hey, at least the album had a couple of new (and awesome) rock songs on it (e.g. Lies, Paradise). Maybe I’ll do a review on it later.

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Shizuka CANADA December 23, 2006 at 10:50 pm

WoW… it’s the first time that I heard that Trax had some conflict. But seriously same for me, I was totally into Paradox and then Scorpio and mostly all of their songs except some in their first album “first rain” which sucked a bit. But I LOVE THEM!!! THEIR ROCK MUSIC IS SO MUCH BETTER!!! IS THERE ANYONE THAT AGREES WITH ME?

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LEMONed November 4, 2006 at 3:09 pm

I am happy that they now have nothing more to do with Yoshiki. But still feel sad about what they have done to “Tears”…. :(

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yukino UNITED STATES October 7, 2006 at 2:21 am

Well, first of all, Rhapsody was DEFINITELY not a solo for Tyhpoon. In fact, Rose participated in it, which brings us to my second point: I don’t know why he left for sure. It seems like there were a lot of conflicting opinions involved and I personally think that Rose didn’t like the direction SM was taking the TRAX in. But what do I know, eh? XD

Paradox rocks, Leanne! I was addicted to it too. It’s definitely one of their best pieces.

Thank you both for your wonderful comments! They really keep me going.

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Sweet Thang September 10, 2006 at 11:27 pm

I’m pretty new with TRAX the only song I really heard from them is Rhapsody and I heard that that was a solo for Typhoon, but anyways I had a question. Why did Rose leave TRAX? I read someone’s comment on their Beat Traitor MV saying that Rose left so I’ve been trying to look for why he left, but I can’t find it.

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Leanne September 2, 2006 at 7:16 pm

I remember their debut “Paradox” and was completely addicted to that single for awhile. But, I never really felt compelled to look for more or become a ‘fan’. Therefore, it’s been quite awhile since I’ve heard any of their songs.

“Resolution” is not bad. It sounds a bit old skool. I really liked how the song started, the background melody is not bad, but it really reminds me of something I’ve heard. I suppose it sounds a bit typical to me–like a typical poppish song, I suppose. But, it’s not bad, I can definitely listen to this on my iPod.

“Criminal Scream” at the beginning seemed to be more of my liking, but the chorus is a bit weird, IMHO. It’s an alright song. There is much to be desired. Something seems to be off, though. What is it? I don’t know…

Anways, thanks for the review, very cool! :)

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