Wednesday, August 19, 2015

AS ONE-Day By Day (1999)


One more dose of cultural exposure to complete my mid-week trek of exploring Asian music. Shortly after my first round of jamming to ONE WAY's "Flight 101" from their "Rainy Day" album, I had the idea of seeing what these guest ladies on the song who the ONE WAY trio proudly announced during the halfway break as AS ONE were all about. It's a good thing I went by my first mind; otherwise, there's no telling when (if ever) I would have had the pleasure of hearing my latest 'Music Surprise Of The Day': their breathtaking cover of the timeless Minnie Riperton classic, "Loving You". And loving this song is something I've done for years and years, whether it's the late Minnie Riperton delivering her 1975 original or the dazzling 1991 cover by r&b singer Shanice or the countless other renditions of it I've heard through the radio or some other medium. And now I l can add this AS ONE remake to the treasure trove, which closes out their debut 1999 album, "Day By Day". Me being the ultimate cover-song enthusiast, I absolutely had to start my tour with these ladies by treating myself to that familiar classic. And not just once; I've already listened to it about a half-dozen times, and it just gets sweeter and sweeter with each listen. The revitalized r&b kick is refreshing yet subtle and not too overpowering to where it subtracts from the song's romantic gracefulness. The same melody and those same unmistakable lyrics are still here, too—even that signature playful 'la la la la la'. And although the AS ONE duo don't quite capture that wondrously angelic 'ah-ah-ah-ah-ah' that Minnie Riperton performs so magically after the 'la la la la la', I still commend the girls for taking a stab at it anyways. That's all good, because the smooth jazz instrumentals accompanying the melody more than make up for it. Then after their magical Minnie Riperton moment, I went back to listen to the remaining album in sequence. Some very nice sweet voices these ladies have, which makes these songs so appealing on the ears, despite me not understanding a word of Korean, which is their nationality. Well, I didn't have to preoccupy myself with translations and such on the album's other English cut, "Destiny's Desire". This warming ballad gets the jazzing up treatment just like "Loving You" does, so you already know I loved listening to this one, too! And at least I could understand parts of the album's title track: mostly the charming poetic speech right at the beginning and a few lines towards the end of the song. Then on the sunny dance track (that would be the album's ninth spot), there's a male rapper who chimes during the short break with a fun, cheery 'put your hands up high!' and some other bits of quirky, chopped-up English. I actually found the all Korean-language dance cut (Track #4) to be more entertaining—a very lively and festive cut that just gets me moving and makes me happy! Perhaps nothing can quite top the magical I felt with AS ONE's Minnie Riperton moment, but listening to the album's uptempo eighth track is nearly as alluring to my ears, especially when their already sweet voices become lofty and angelic, plus the inclusion of the fluttery woodwind melody against the bass that breaths into the rather classy r&b rhythm:

1. Arrive (Intro)
2. 그녀의 게임
3. 너만은 모르길
4. 사랑+
5. Day By Day
6. 소녀의 꿈
7. 비련
8. 투명에 가까운 블루
9. 약속
10. 소망
11. Destiny's Desire
12. Loving You

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