Tuesday, August 18, 2015

ONE WAY-Rainy Days (2011)


"Rainy days indeed—it's so fitting that I should continue further on my joyride with ONE WAY with their second album just as a thunderstorm swept into my neck of the woods and it started raining cats and dogs.....and it still is as I begin this post here and now! A good time to sit bat and relax indoors with some more tunes by this fine Korean trio, of course, and a good time I had indeed! I've really found a liking for this hip-hop/contemporary r&b style of these guys in a very short amount of time, and it's suddenly occurred to me that I've barely scratched the surface of this genre among artists based over in the Far East. Call it me branching out to new horizons, if you will. And there's rain on the horizon when this album kicks off with the opening cut, "The Forecast". Thunderously epic, this one is, with the hard beats and the unified voices of the backing ONE SOUND CHOIR. Could be seen as another signature anthem of sorts for this trio, given the raw, raucous manner in which they deliver all of the shout-outs and pump up the song for the listener; it's music designed to get you going and the juices flowing. The thunderstorm rolls away after those introductory three minutes, but the clouds are still bring showers in the beginning movement to the follow-up title track. Seems every song with the word 'rain' in it begins and/or ends with some calming the rain ambiance, it's always a nice way to set the mood for a warming (or not-so-warming) song from the heart. Combine it with a delicate piano piece playing in the background, the lofty vocals (they belong to ONE WAY's lead man, I assume), then a marvelous beat, and you get another beauty to add to the catalog of existing beautiful 'rain' songs. I like the part when he repeats '-ella, -ella, -ella', as in 'umbrella', reminding me of the way Rihanna sings it on her hit song by the same title). Don't miss out on the 'Unplugged' version of "Rainy Days"; the acoustics are terrific, making it even more pleasurable on the ears. Speaking of terrific acoustics, the album's fifth track, "Forever", has got some terrific ones from the accompanying guitar itself, making me fall in love with this sweet, mellow piece. Taking in the chords and arrangement in the very first verse made me think about THE BEE GEES classic, "How Deep Is Your Love?". The 'Harmonica Version' is a real treat, me being an instrumental music lover, though I wish they could've recorded a 'Harmonica Version' with the lyrics, as harmonica melodies often add an extra unique dimension of soul into the music that few other woodwind instruments can create for me. Felt like a throwback from the 90's tuning in to "Can't Stop". The laid-back groove really does have an old-school feel, appropriate for a song where the songwriter constantly has the woman in his life on his mind. Plenty of bright sunshine within these "Rainy Days" on the slow gem that is the touching piece, "A Thousand Words", and you get a lovely instrumental 'Harmonica Version' for that one as well.. And an absolute treat that I loved immensely: "Flight 101". Well, I can say that this ONE WAY trio jumped ship and hopped on the high-energy bandwagon for three-and-a-half minutes to bring you this mega dance thriller, featuring a Korean pop duo called AS ONE who chimes in for a snippet or two. There's just so many ways this album entertains you, whether it's the beats, the rap breaks, the smooth grooves—you name it! There'll be no raining on this parade; that's for sure:

1. The Forecast (feat. One Sound Choir)
2. Rainy Days (feat. 준수 of 2PM)
3. New Drag
4. 빠져
5. Forever
6. Flight 101 (feat. As One)
7. Can't Stop
8. Coffee (feat. J.ae)
9. Rainy Days (Unplugged English Version)
10. A Thousand Words
11. Coffee (Trumpet Version)
12. Forever (Harmonica Version)
13. A Thousand Words (Harmonica Version)
14. Rainy Days (Radio Edited Version)

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