When I stumbled across the first Japanese album of ICONIQ, I did not know that she was previously a member of the Korean girl group called Sugar. What caught my attention the most was the cover of the album, which, as you can see, is pretty eye-catching. It’s simple, stripped down, and beautiful. The album pretty much follows this theme; it’s a stripped down version of Japanese pop, with simple elements of R&B. Keep reading to see what I thought of the album.
1. Prologue [N/A]
2. I’m lovin’ you (ft. Atsushi from EXILE) [3.5/5]
While this isn’t an especially exceptional song, it’s a nice way to start off the album. It has a nice beat and sounds smooth. Atsushi was a nice addition to the song, although his somewhat generic male Japanese vocals got kind of trite after awhile.
3. Change Myself [5/5]
ICONIQ is not an especially strong vocalist, so she has to depend on other elements of her voice and songs to create something worth remembering. This song has some mild autotune use, but it’s used in all the right places, and it really makes the raw vocal parts stand out.
4. LoveShineMagic [4/5]
Okay, the title is a bit lame, but the song is actually pretty decent. You’ll probably start to see at this point that most of her songs sound very similar, but there are little nuances in the beats and vocals that make each one unique. This song showed off ICONIQ’s vocals a little more than the others did.
5. BYE NOW! [4/5]
This is an upbeat song, although not in the traditional sense. The instrumentals and beats themselves are pretty standard tempo, but it’s the fast moving lyrics that keep the song going. This song worked for me, because it kept me interested throughout the length of the track.
6. I.D. (ft. VERBAL) [4.5/5]
I don’t know what it is about VERBAL’s presence, but it seems like every song that he’s in just sounds great. This one is no exception. VERBAL’s rap is always a refreshing thing to hear amidst a heavily female song.
7. No Distance [5/5]
This song is right up my alley: a nice, smooth R&B song. I enjoyed this song very much.
8. Crystal Girl [5/5]
Another excellent song off of the album. This song sets itself apart from the rest of the album by having a more rock-infusion feel to it. The chorus is really the deal-maker here.
9. Like A Virgin (Madonna cover) [2.5/5]
Eh… Wasn’t a fan of the original, and I’m still not a fan. The sub-par English kind of killed any hope of me liking it. Sorry.
10. Epilogue [N/A]
While this wasn’t a vocally powerful album, I found it a very enjoyable listen because it was unique and had a very fluid execution. Definitely recommended for any R&B fans out there.
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