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Album Review: Jung Yong Hwa Breaks Away From CNBLUE With Superior Solo Album 'One Fine Day' [AUDIO]

By Adrienne Stanley | January 23, 2015 03:26 PM EST

On January 20, FNC Entertainment released “One Fine Day,” the first solo album from Jung Yong Hwa. “One Fine Day” marks a turning point for Jung Yong Hwa, who established a large following as the frontman of CNBLUE. The album cohesively reflects his competency as a songwriter and vocalist, whose talent extends beyond the pop-rock sphere.

The album contains ten tracks, with guest appearances from JJ Lin, Yoon Do Hyun, Verbal Jint and YDG. The featured collaborations on “One Fine Day” are not gimmicky and are well-placed throughout the album.

Jung Yong Hwa capitalizes on his expertise as one of the most skilled songwriters in Korean rock by incorporating instrumentals which clearly distinguish the tracks from ordinary K-pop fare.
Some of the strongest songs on “One Fine Day” are those which contain elements of hard rock like “Cruel Memories” and “Checkmate.” While the album lacks the comprehensive band sound of CNBLUE, the songs cohesively flow together.

“One Fine Day” kicks off with the orchestral interlude “Intro.” “Intro” then segues into the title track, “One Fine Day.” Jung Yong Hwa employs intense vocals on the track, whose sound resembles the ballads that have become synonymous with 2AM.

“One Fine Day” is followed by a series of collaborations. “Cruel Memories” is a pop-rock ballad, whose guitar riffs help to distinguish the song from the hip-hop influenced tracks. The gentle timbre of Yoon Do Hyun perfectly blends with Jung Yong Hwa’s sweeping vocals to create a glorious melody.

Verbal Jint may have seemed like an unlikely artist to pair Jung Yong Hwa with but their song “Energy” works. “Energy” is an uplifting pop-rock track which highlights the youthfulness of Jung Yong Hwa’s vocal range. While appearances from rappers can often come off as dismissive, Verbal Jint is earnest in the delivery of his rhymes.

The same sense of effortless collaboration is present on “Mileage” which features rapper and actor YDG. “Mileage” is playful while maintaining its musical integrity. One of the drawbacks of “Mileage” is the clunky use of English but that is often omnipresent in mainstream Korean music.

The interesting aspect of the musical format of “One Fine Day” is that it is complementary to the December 2014 release “Brave New World” from his “Checkmate” collaborator JJ Lin. Fans of both artists will appreciate the way in which the albums can be seamlessly played back-to-back. “Checkmate” is one of the strongest songs on the album, in addition to the title track. The partnership of Jung Yong Hwa and JJ Lin works extremely well.

“Without You” provides a downtempo transition from the frenetic energy of “Checkmate.” Jung Yong Hwa excels when he delivers ballads and “Without You” is not an exception. “Without You” could easily be mistaken for a track from a K-pop male group, which makes the song another gem on “One Fine Day.”

The album begins to draw to a close with “Last Leaf,” a sound which could easily be performed by CNBLUE. “Last Leaf” is emotionally charged and stirring. The weight of “Last Leaf” is lifted with “Goodnight Lover.” “Goodnight Lover” is a delightfully playful song which harkens to feel good pop rock tracks of the early nineties.

The album concludes with “27 Years.” Jung Yong Hwa worked with Peter Malick to compose, write, and produce the song. Peter Malick is known for his production and collaborative work with American singer-songwriter Norah Jones. “27 Years” serves an optimistic and appropriate conclusion to “One Fine Day.”

“One Fine Day” captures the essence of Jung Yong Hwa’s artistry while introducing his fans to artists beyond the realm of K-pop.

Listen to the first solo album from Jung Yong Hwa ‘One Fine Day’ HERE.

Tagged :  Jung Yong Hwa, CNBLUE, one fine day, JJ Lin, Verbal Jint, Yoon Do Hyun, YDG

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