JANG JANE – 'INNER SPACE'
1. Venus *Title
2. Petal Fortune *Title
4. Water Fall
5. Saturn’s Voice
Jang Jane (Jang Jae In) has just dropped her newest album 'Inner Space.' It's got five tracks, two title tracks, and MVs to go with them. To avoid being repetitive, I'll say now that almost every one of these songs are R&B ballads.
Ms. Jang drags her rough voice over "Venus," the title track. It kind of resembles a breakup tune, as she talks about stars and planets and "vanishing" into outer space. It's obviously a metaphor for giving someone up. "Petal Fortune" is the other title track (yes, there's two, for a five-song album. Don't ask me why). Petal fortune is kind of a variation on the "he loves me, he loves me not" game. I love how her voice sounds high, angelic, and flawless on this one. Here, she's watching a boy and deliberating whether to ask him out. On "TEA" she invites someone out for tea. But there's a lot of subtext here, as she intimates that her "side is bitter," and her "mouth is lonely." It doesn't take a genius to read anything into that.
"Water Fall" is one of the more interesting songs on here. Jane relates this to falling into melancholy, and a careless lover who's "not wet." She adroitly confronts the issue, wanting to go back to a time when she was together with the guy. "Saturn's Voice" is an experimental track, and so unlike any other song on here. It serves as an outro, with a wispy ethereal Jane singing. It sounds like she's underwater, so the lyrics can be hard to make out at times. But she's singing about life is wonderful, how she doesn't have to fix "it" anymore (presumably, the relationship), and talks about how she likes the guy. It's shorter than the other tracks but is probably the coolest one on the EP.
So as far as the whole album being R&B, I was wrong. We have one song that's pretty experimental and is a pop tune as much as anything. But any artist that has the stones for that deserves my respect. Sure, she kills it in the jazzy R&B arena, but to include a song like "Saturn's Voice" seals the deal for me. Jang Jane is a serious artist, I think, and not simply because she's created some room for herself to spread her wings and grow. And that is a very good thing.
To be honest, neither one of these MVs did it for me. I understand that the bucks can rack up when you're filming, but they could have done better.
For one, both MVs are filmed against a black background, with floodlights illuminating Jane. In "Petal Fortune," we're supposed to believe she's naked. And she's a glittery goddess in a sequined dress for "Venus." But therein lies the problem. The two are strikingly similar, and we don't really see much in the way of panning or anything else. The two MVs are framed almost precisely the same.
Not even a minute in, and I find myself yawning... during both music videos. Not a good sign. And I get there's artistic license and all that, I get that there's symbolism they might slip in there (being naked might mean that you're making yourself vulnerable). It's just that there are some MVs that aren't that good. There are some MVs where the song is much better than the video. These are two prime examples.
MV SCORE: 7.0
ALBUM SCORE: 8.0