Sunday, December 27, 2009
Album Review: JLS - JLS (2.5 / 5)
I decided to purchase JLS' first album, meaning I didn't get the new Mary J. Blige album(!) considering it was such a disappointment, in fact it's the first album of hers I haven't bought, maybe later. Anyway, since coming second to Alexandra Burke on 2008's X Factor, JLS have been Britain's hottest boy-group for a good part of this year, with two #1s and the years biggest first-week sales (before the SuBo volcano erupted). Now the album is a fine album, ultimately its urban-pop with fresh electronic undertones and fairly generic both in lyric and sound which is expected.
I like this album, but probably not something I'd listen to again and again. "Beat Again" is a good opener (as well as nice lead single). It's okay, but nothing special, I like its pulsing bass line, electronic undertones and that collision of bleepy noises on the ("I go, I go, I go") bit. Better is follow-up and second single "Everybody in Love" a fresh, more polished urban-flavored number with nice piano keys worked into the composition tied up with a lovely breezy chorus; perfect measure of harmonies and memorable lyrics.
With two pretty solid opening tracks, the bulk of the album isn't at all that strong, suffering from there being little differentiation between the tracks unfortunately, however there are still a handful of highlights. There's "Crazy for You" which begins with pulses of orchestration before the piano keys and bass line kick in. I like this a lot. "Close to You" recalls Christ Brown's "With You" (who actually hasn't already done this) with its acoutic guitar, kinetic handclaps, soft sounding chorus and mellowing harmonies, but depsite its lack of originiality--it is one of the albums better tracks, so is "Only Tonight" and "One Shot," which begins with a nice piano and string composition before switching up for an down-beat synth and bass tone.
The last couple of tracks towards the end I don't like. "Private" attepts natural swagger which doesn't quite work, I don't like the chorus either. I like the melody "Only Making Love," the harmonies are awesome too but that's about it--I don't like the spacey theme it portrays or it just hasn't grown on me yet and last track "Tight Rope" is a generic acoustic tited ballad (like a retread of "Close to You").
Even with some many underwhelming moments, the album is worth a listen, however definately not a knockout. But for a first album it's pretty decent and the tracks that don't quite hit the mark are surely to grow on me soon (I know cause it happens all the time). Between this and Alexandra's album I think I like them both about the same considering I've given them the same rating.
Best: Everybody in Love, Crazy for You, One Shot, Close to You, Beat Again