JUN.K -- MR. NO♡
1. Mr. No♡
2. Think About You
3. Better Man
4. Young Forever
6. My House
7. Don't Go (Feat. Baek Ah Yeon)
8. No Love Part 2 (Feat. San E)
Jun.K takes time off from 2PM to bring you his new solo effort 'Mr. No♡.' The mini-album is his first in South Korea, having cut several digital singles starting in 2012. 'Mr. No♡.' has 8 all-new tracks, and the 2PM member has a couple brand new videos for the album as well.
"Mr. No♡" is the first track on the album. It's a short tune, giving you a limited time to sample its charms and the song is gone. It's a smooth R&B number. His vocals are a definite plus here. There's a huskiness to his voice that gives the song more depth than a simple high tenor could.
At first listen, you might think "Think About You" is a bog-standard ballad, with a high tenor and some falsetto stylings. But it's also a ballad with rap sequences and dubstep breaks. There's some nice, soulful interjections and ad-libbing here. There's more going on in this track than just what's on the surface, and it takes more than one listen to take it all in. It's one song I'm happy to replay.
"Young Forever" hews closer to traditional K-pop than the other songs. It sounds more contemporary but no less funky. I like this for its more conventional melody, and the raps. It was a good choice for a single. It's straightforward and accessible, with enough going on that you don't grow bored with it.
"No Love Part 2" is where Jun.K is at his vocal best. The sequel to 2014's "No Love" brings San E into the mix. They've collaborated before, so it's not a stretch. The two songs have similarities, particularly where Jun.K gives his emotional all, but there's a playfulness that San E brings to it with his interjections and rapping. I can't be certain, but it seems like a remix. Still, it has some epic parts to it. I love San E's contribution -- it lends a freshness to the tune.
Other than that, many of the other songs seem lost and lacking in substance. Even the track with Baek Ah Yeon seemed less than it could be. I really wanted to like that one more, but it didn't do a thing for me. Quite a few tracks here are certainly original. Replete with rap parts and EDM breaks combined with contemporary urban beats, the songs I highlighted raise the bar as far as uniqueness goes. The album feels different than the myriad other R&B-inspired solo releases. And that's a very good thing. I won't be a 'Mr. No' about this album.
MV REVIEW - THINK ABOUT YOU
This MV is an odd duck. It starts out fairly high-concept, with various science gimmicks including a hazmat suit and scientific readouts, and then it devolves into a celebration of his chocolate abs. The other trappings are gone until the denouement, when you catch a glimpse here and there.
He does a good job with the dancing, but it didn't seem to follow the logic of the first part of the video. Obviously, the main part of the MV is aimed squarely at admirers of his physical charms, but that doesn't necessarily mean a good video.
I mean it was amusing to see his gold chain and hip-hop style, but at some points it seemed more silly than sick.
To me, the MV was mediocre, and I lost interest halfway through. It takes a bit more to capture my eye.
MV REVIEW -- YOUNG FOREVER
"Young Forever" is more my style. Not only am I a fan of the song but also the MV. A killer crib by the beach, gorgeous vistas of sea and land, palm trees, and fun in the sun. It has a pretty girl, as well as a cameo by bandmate Nichkhun!
There are oodles of wardrobe changes, camera bloom, and sun-drenched scenes. There's a lot to see here, and highly enjoyable if you're not lucky enough to live in a tropical area. There's even urban scenery appropriately placed with the breaks.
Jun.K really takes you to a fun place and is able to show off his unique charms. This is one video that gets my stamp of approval. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
* Scores are averaged across both MVs