F.T.ISLAND – 'ZAPPING (MP3)'
2. Hope Again
3. Day By Day
4. No Regret
5. Don`t Lose Yourself
F.T.Island has just dropped their latest EP 'Zapping.' It's their last release before they go on hiatus because Hongki will be entering the military soon. The album got its name from the idea of "zapping" through TV channels, trying to find something to catch your interest. And the boys tried to make their songs mirror that concept, drawing from the disparate eras of their career to offer up different sounds.
On "Quit," the boys are telling a lover it's time to stop. It's not so much a sad song because they seem resigned to it. She doesn't seem to want to let go. It's interesting because they do more with a piano here than I've heard on previous releases. With "Hope Again" they return to the sound I'm familiar with. The harder-edged strains of 'I Will', or 'Where's The Truth?' It's about a break-up again, but this time they're agonizing over it. Hongki takes his voice to the next level here. His ability to convey pain is obvious. "Day By Day" is another breakup tune, this time saying they can't fix whatever went wrong. Unlike the next song, they definitely express their regrets. This has some of the sounds we heard from them around their debut.
There's a more mellow sound to this song. "No Regret" has an intro that sounds a bit like "Back" by Infinite. The notes are little higher on this one, though. On this one, they're bidding goodbye to a lover, saying they don't regret the decision. But the wax poetic here, indicating that they do regret it. "Don't Lose Yourself" is the power ballad on the album. It starts out soft despite the guitar-heavy intro. But they don't lose the emotional momentum from the start. It does get more intense once they hit the chorus though. It's got some uplifting moments, but lines like "I leave, it's time for me" and "Eternal Paradise" makes me think about someone on their deathbed, counseling someone not to mourn too hard.
So, knowing what they set out to do, did they succeed? I think so. There was a definite different feel to this album from the get-go. When I first listened to it, that was my impression. And I think they did. There are definite echoes of the past on this one, and as usual, they killed it. I could have asked for a little more variation on the subject matter, but this should tide fans over until their next comeback.
We don't see too much of the boys in "Quit."
Instead, it centers around the love interest, the girl they're trying to say goodbye to in the song. She's a cutie, too. Most of the action revolves around her holding a mechanical desk calendar. And she turns back the months, as September melts into July, and each time she does this she flashes back to a time in her life when she was together with the protagonist.
As a plot device, it's pretty effective, showing us snippets of her daily life in a relationship. There were cute moments, but also ones of sort of comfortable familiarity. Sometimes, they didn't seem all that close -- sort of roommates, rather than lovers -- and that might be a clue as to why he simply fell out of love.
And of course, there were no flashy displays of choreo, no CGI effects, just a straight re-telling of the story of the two in the MV. And that tends to make it even more poignant. Nothing to distract you from the story.
Ultimately, this is why it works, beyond all the camera angles (some of which seemed downright claustrophobic). Plus, I'm a sucker for a love story, even one that doesn't end well. And this one doesn't. But I did enjoy watching them fall apart.
MV SCORE: 8.6
ALBUM SCORE: 8.3