Close to Fantasy

by oroitsme on January 9, 2008 · 4 comments · AddThis

JYONGRI
Promotional picture of JYONGRI
Artist: JYONGRI
Product Code: TOCT-26214,26215
Release Date: 2007.03.21
Highest Ranking: #25
Label: Toshiba EMI
Editions: CD or CD+DVD

JYONGRI is a singer of Korean Heritage who was born in Osaka. She went to international school and is fluent in English as well as Japanese, and incorporates English into her songs. She started writing her own lyrics and music from a young age, having even attended the summer music program in Berklee College of Music. Her trademark is her playing a forward-tilting electronic keyboard both in music videos and in live performances.

Before she even debuted a single, her song “Wherever” already began making the rounds. She officially debuted at the end of 2006 with “Possession/My All For You”, which became a great success. After only releasing one more single, “Hop, Step, Jump!”, she released her debut album. Close to Fantasy was a lyric from “Hop, Step, Jump!”

 

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1. Getting Funky!
Getting Funky kicks off the album with a nice electronic beat. Contrary to its name, it’s not particularly funky, but it has a nice beat and a decent tune. The chorus is nice and very danceable, but in between the song often becomes dull.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

 

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2. Possession
Possession starts off on a fast, high-tension beat, and the energy continues through the song. This is JYONGRI’s signature debut song, for good reason: it’s catchy but has a unique tune, has an extremely danceable beat, and showcases extremely powerful vocals.

Rating: ★★★★★

 

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3. Hop, Step, Jump!
Hot, Step, Jump! was JYONGRI’s second single, and it’s more of a mellowed mid-tempo pop number. It’s not bad – it still has a nice tune and beat. However, it doesn’t do that much on the part of showcasing vocals, and the expected building excitement of the song never really climaxes. It’s catchy, but boring.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

 

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4. ICHIZU
Extremely reminiscent of an 80s pop ballad, ICHIZU employs synthesized sounds. There’s not much to say about this song because there’s nothing too special about it: it has nice music, nice vocals, nice everything – but nothing stands out to make this song memorable.

Rating: ★★½☆☆

 

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5. Stay
Stay is a midtempo number. The song has nice piano parts, but not much else besides a beat. I didn’t like this song much – the backing track was extremely simple, but the melody and chorus weren’t strong enough to support the songs, making this song sound unfinished and dull.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

 

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6. Let Me In
At the beginning of Let Me In, there is a haunting orchestral run, but this suddenly bursts into a more cheerful melody. The background percussion clashes a little with the melody, but it really comes together during the chorus.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

 

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7. My All For You
My All For You was the double A-side on Posession. It’s a slow ballad and is excellent. The instrumentation, percussion, and vocals blend very well. JYONGRI’s vocals also shine exceptionally in this song. After a string of mediocre songs, My All For You is a relieving gem.

Rating: ★★★★★

 

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8. Romeo & Juliet
The album switches back to a more upbeat R&B song. It’s, unfortunately, dull. There is hardly a tune, and boring, almost substandard arrangement.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

 

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9. ~Yakusoku~
~Yakusoku~ is another slow ballad. It has good instrumentation and arrangement, and a memorable melody. It’s not as vocally spectacular as My All For You, but it’s overall a great song.

Rating: ★★★★½

 

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10. Lost Girl
Lost Girl is another upbeat R&B song. The song starts off badly, with a dull and monotone tune and a standard, overused beat. Later though, the song swells during the first chorus, and improves as it goes on.

Rating: ★★½☆☆

 

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11. Wherever
The album ends on a piano ballad. The song starts simply with only vocals and piano, and more sound builds up. The sound is simplistic, but JYONGRI’s vocals sound emotional and clear here, and overall the song swells beautifully and is a nice end to the album.

Rating: ★★★★½

 

Conclusion: JYONGRI does very well with her ballads, but aside from the phenomenal Possession, her upbeat R&B tracks are dull and uninspired. As a debut album, it has successfully showcased JYONGRI’s singing abilities. However, she probably needs to find better producers – the substandard uptempo songs make only a few tracks on the album memorable and the promising album merely a bit above average.

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

 

Close to Fantasy

CD Tracklist

  1. Getting Funky
  2. Possession
  3. Hop, Step, Jump!
  4. ICHIZU
  5. Stay
  6. Let Me In
  7. My All For You
  8. Romeo&Juliet
  9. ~Yakusoku~
  10. Lost Girl
  11. Wherever

DVD Tracklist

  1. Possession PV
  2. My All For You PV
  3. Hop, Step, Jump! PV
  4. Wherever PV
  5. Getting Funky! PV
  6. Making-of Collection

Purchase this item: YesAsia US | YesAsia Global

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About the author

oroitsme loves Japanese music and loves writing about them, both here and at her other blog, She likes a variety of j-pop, from Johnny's like NEWS and Arashi to female artists like Otsuka Ai and Perfume to rock bands like chatmonchy and a picking of everything in between, and hopes you can enjoy them with her.

{ 1 trackback }

International Wota » Blog Archive » [Blogs] Channel-Ai Looks At Jyongri Album UNITED STATES
January 10, 2008 at 5:01 pm

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Patrick UNITED STATES February 17, 2008 at 4:49 pm

So… I agree, utterly. It’s borderline boring. Very unimaginative and childish to boot.

I was wondering where you get those little devices that let you upload thirty seconds of a track? I would love to do that on my site…

Sincere thanks,
Patrick
vinyabarion.wordpress.com (Who’s Afraid of Music?)

Reply

miagetasora CANADA January 21, 2008 at 10:58 pm

JYONGRI may very well be the plainest looking singer in JPOP history. Her music is also tacky as hell!

Reply

Rokit UNITED STATES January 9, 2008 at 3:20 am

Interesting review. I’m still interested in JYONGRI however her latest single sounds sooooo similar to her previous songs. Anyway, on with the album… I actually thought it was not that bad for a first album. For example,

04. ICHIZU – I agree with you 100% that it sounds like those 80 pop ballads. No wonder, I was trying to figure it out too but you got it right on the spot. I liked this song too, maybe a 4/5 for me since it really does not either stand out but again it’s enjoyable to listen to. I <3 the chorus, it’s so lovely and sometimes plays in my head, like now. XD

03. Stay – This song became one of my top favorites from this album because the “Summer, spring” part kept ringing in my head and that was how i grown to love the song. The lyrics are simple but I like it. The “Stay here” portions of the song are cute I think too, and she adds on “Come to me” which is good too since it isn’t only japanese but a little bit of english.

On the rest of the album I pretty much agree with your review. Track 01 isn’t that great, and being not that great as an introduction song kind mislead me when i first heard this album. Track 03 I do not like at all and never liked it when it came out as a single.

~Rokit

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