JYONGRI – Love ForeverJuly 28, 2008 at 9:33 PM | Posted in JYONGRI | 6 Comments
The cover of the CD+DVD edition
Love Forever is JYONGRI’s 2nd album and it was released on July 2, 2008. The album reached #17 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 17,477 copies.
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Starting things off is a simple, yet effective song. I say it’s effective because it sets the overall romantic tone of the album. The title track, Love Forever, is in English but only around 50 seconds long. The music consists of just background vocals next to JYONGRI’s singing which provides the melody.
I loved how the ending of Love Forever smoothly transitioned into the gentle piano chords of the next track. Tender Touch is a first glimpse of what most of the album sounds like. This pop ballad has a calming piano and string arrangement with some light drums as well. I thought it was sung very well and JYONGRI gives a great vocal performance, especially during the gorgeous chorus. This song was supposed to be released as a single in January but was shelved in favor of the next track.
Kissing Me is actually one of the few upbeat tracks on the album and also the only one that features dance elements. Alongside the piano chords, there is a nice beat with some added synth. I like to think of this song as a slower version of Possession, but perfect for the theme of this album.
Up next is Unchanging Love ~Kimi ga Ireba~ but with one small change. The only thing that makes this “new” version different from the single version is JYONGRI whispering some English during the bridge. Everything else, from the music to the vocals, is the same but that’s okay because it’s still a really pleasant song.
Both of the B-sides from the Lullaby For You single are included, the first one being the totally forgettable Catch me. It’s upbeat and throws a little R&B here and there, but it’s very messy at the same time. Honestly, the music lacks structure and the lyrics are so corny. It’s a dud and my least favorite song on the album.
The transition into Lullaby For You is bad as well because of the song’s opening piano chords. I’ll let that slide since this is a great love ballad with a nice and consistent beat. The song showcases great vocals and a calming arrangement where those low key strings play in the background.
The next track is a little more upbeat and it features some interesting guitar plucking at the beginning. Watashi no Taiyou has calm verses but a surprising chorus that includes short bursts of electric guitar. I liked how strong, yet controlled JYONGRI’s vocals were in the chorus as well.
A more ethereal sounding song follows. Naitemo Ii yo combines ambient strings with quick electric guitar chords to create a relaxing atmosphere. JYONGRI provides another uplifting vocal performance during the chorus alongside some additional beats.
Her best B-side EVER is next and it was originally on the Kissing Me single. You’re the One is a really enchanting song with fantastic, upbeat vocals from JYONGRI. The music is pretty bouncy and it has a nice rhythm thanks to the catchy beats. I’m glad it’s on the album because I think it’s one of her best songs.
The 2nd B-side from the Lullaby For You single is also on the album. Lovers DRIVE is definitely better than Catch me but the lyrics are corny here too. At least the music is good and the chorus is quite fun, which was mostly due to the catchy vocals. We’re getting close to the end of the album and this is last upbeat song before a string of ballads.
I gotta say that The Chills is one of JYONGRI’s best efforts in capturing a full blown R&B inspired sound. Even though this is a laid back song, the clapping beat is quite assertive and the music seems to have more depth to it. Her voice sounds more sensual this time around and she actually pulls it off surprisingly well. The chorus also has this catchy opening hook where she sings You’re giving me, you’re giving me the chills.
I absolutely loved the next track. Still in Love is a ballad, but different from the album’s other ballads too. The music is bare and only consists of simple piano chords and flowing strings, but this where I believe the song really shines. There are no additional sounds at all and you’re just presented with a beautiful vocal performance. This is such a bittersweet song and I appreciated the amount of emotion she put into her voice.
Closing the album is STARS, an acoustic based song with some light beats. The first half of the song is rather plain but it does pick up near the end when the music becomes more aggressive. The bridge sequence is definitely the highlight and I liked how everything elevated during this part. I thought that this was a good way the album even though the song itself is kind of depressing.
Love Forever is actually quite a solid album and I was surprised by how good the new tracks were. Compared to JYONGRI’s debut album Close To Fantasy, this is much better and it’s an considerable improvement. Even though a majority of the songs range from medium to slow paced pop ballads, she produced them extremely well. I didn’t find any of them to be boring at all and it definitely proves that she can deliver some excellent ballads that are also interesting. There’s also the occasional upbeat song and their placement in the tracklisting was good since they separated the ballads. It made everything more convenient in the long run. The new tracks might be a turnoff for some people because they’re ALL ballads, but I think they are a lot better than most of the songs off her debut album. After all, the main theme of the album is love and she definitely stayed true to that.
1. Love Forever
2. Tender Touch
3. Kissing Me
4. Unchanging Love ~Kimi ga Ireba~ (with Whisper) (Unchanging Love ～君がいれば～)
5. Catch me
6. Lullaby For You
7. Watashi no Taiyou (私の太陽)
8. Naitemo Ii yo (泣いてもいいよ)
9. You’re the One
10. Lovers DRIVE
11. The Chills
12. Still in Love
Note: My favorite tracks are highlighted in blue!