My first album review! I plan to do more in the future, but I decided to do Beast’s first for two main reasons. 1) It is the best album of 2011 so far. Well, I think so. This is obviously very debatable. But it’s my blog, so my opinion. All the songs are totally solid, and I love it. 2) I’ve been listening to it a LOT lately. This is because my sister just came home from China, and it came out while she was away, so she’s just discovering it now. And she is obsessed with it. So I’ve been hearing it VERY OFTEN.
Before I go any farther, if you want this CD you can buy it here. They ship internationally! Maggie and I are planning on placing our order as soon as possible. Can’t wait! Love Beast.
So, this album literally made Beast’s popularity skyrocket. They’ve won a bunch of awards and topped various charts and all that jazz. I’m really glad, because they deserve it. They never got enough recognition in the past. They’re super hard-working and talented, and they are finally getting really popular. Whoot!
The first song on the tracklist is their intro, “The Fact.” It came out prior to the MV for Fiction as a sort of Teaser (the setting and everything are the same).
I’m not usually a fan of intros, because they’re often short and pointless. But this one is practically a real, full-length song, at 2:19, and I actually like it a lot. It doesn’t focus on just one member, but gives each member equal amounts of lines. Yay! It’s a slow, kind of sad track, and it sets a good mood for the rest of the album. An excellent start to an excellent album. Onwards!
The next song is their title track, “Fiction.” Again, an extremely, extremely popular song. I talked about it in my Fiction post, so I won’t repeat myself.
Once again, a powerful, emotional, sad song. I like it even more now than I did when I wrote that post. Maggie is in looove with it. Everything about it is great, I must say. Another excellent song!
Third up on the tracklist is “Back To You.” Not my absolute favourite on the album, but awesome nonetheless.
This song isn’t NEARLY as sad as the previous two. In fact, it’s pretty fast-paced, has a good beat, and is pretty dang catchy. And yet there’s a sad undertone in all of it. It’s a little more electronicized than the others, but that’s not a bad thing. It’s actually a really good song, and too underrated, and I always forget how much I like it until I listen to it again.
Next up is “You”, which happens to be one of my favourites from this album. The vocals are just…awesome. Wow.
This song is so good, seriously. It’s more cheerful and cute, but not too full of synth or a fast beat. I’m really impressed by this song. It’s sweet and laid-back, and not especially catchy, but really, really great nonetheless, just because the vocals are so impressive. Love it. “I’m gonna make you love me…” Ah, I love Yoseob. Lovin’ Dongwoon’s vocals in this song, too. Very nice. He has improved so, so much. Anyways, love this song a LOT.
Beast follows up with “Freeze”, which is another of my all-time favourites.
It’s back to Beast’s old style, more or less, with a fast beat and upbeat song. It’s catchy and danceable, and I love it. And kudos to Junhyung, who actually composed it along with Shinsadong Tiger. Yeah! I love that about it. I really like when boybands participate in the songwriting, because they’re not entitled too. Sweet stuff. This song has more English in it than the past ones, but for the most part it’s actually pretty good. Yay for that! (As a sidenote, it sounds quite similar to Jang Woo Hyuk’s “Time is [L]Over” which I just reviewed…because Junhyung and S.Tiger actually co-wrote it with Woo Hyuk. Awesome? I think so.) Anyways, suuuuper catchy song, great beat, awesome vocals, and overall really solid. I LOVE it.
Sixth on the album is “Virus,” which happens to be one of my iPod’s favourite songs (as in, it plays unnaturally often when it’s on shuffle, for some reason).
This song is a lot slower than the previous track, and a lot stronger and powerful in terms of vocals. It’s not my favourite song on the album, and it’s not very catchy, but it’s what I think about first when I hear the word “virus.” I love the use of falsettos in this song, and I’m again impressed with Beast’s vocal skills, as well as their ability to pull off so many styles. Excellent. Love their voices, love the power of this song. I really like how Beast can portray emotion through their songs–even though I don’t understand a lot of what they’re saying, I can understand the mood and feeling. Very nice.
The next song is “Though I Call.” I like this song more every time I listen to it.
This song is another mid-tempo, ballad-sy track, but in a sort of reminiscent, powerful way, if that makes any sense at all. Not too sad and emotional. The vocals are once again outstanding, but this song has to grow on you. The English is simple but strangely catchy. I like it a lot. I also sing it a lot. Good stuff.
Next up is “On Rainy Days,” which was also released before the whole album, and was explosively popular. But to be honest…I never liked it that much. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great, but it was never my favourite.
I do really like the rain at the beginning. It’s a great touch. The beat is strong, but fairly slow. Yoseob rocks the chorus, and it’s a pretty emotional song. I also like Junhyung’s couching before his rap 😛 Their vocals are all really, really strong. I love this song, but to me it’s not extremely stand-out. I really like the adlibs and background lines by all of the members. Very heart-tugging, to tell the truth. Possibly tear-inducing, if you’re that kind of person. A perfect song for showing off Beast’s vocal talent, and they’re amazing at singing it live. Awesome.
This marks the end of the new songs. After “On Rainy Days” there’s two more tracks. The first is an Unplugged version of their older song, “Lightless.” This song literally blew my mind when I first heard it. Also, it is NOTHING like the old version, apart from lyrics.
I am not exactly sure what “Unplugged” actually means. I feel like it means acoustic, but…why wouldn’t they just say acoustic, then? Anyways, whatever it means, it is amazing. Yoseob’s vocals are so, so crazy good. I’ve always loved his vocals, but this song just makes them stand out that much more. They’re really super powerful, and his falsetto is so insane. Not pretty like Dalmatian’s Jisu’s, but so, so impressive. And Dongwoon’s too. And the whole song is just so good. I loved this song from the moment I heard it, and it continues to pull at my heartstrings every time I hear it. Wow. I cannot get over it, even now. This song is the epitome of Beast’s raw talent, in my opinion. *goosebumps*
And lastly is the Orchestra version of “Fiction.” Not much to say about it. They just replaced the music with orchestra instruments.
It’s an amazing song, and very impressive, as well as beautiful, but not that entirely different from the original. Actually, maybe even sadder, if you can believe that. I feel like Junhyung’s rap doesn’t fit as well, but they managed to pull it off wonderfully. Love the little pause before the chorus starts. Very nice touch. I think it’s a really pretty, emotional song, and it lets you hear their voices a little better. Ahh, so nice. Overall, a great song. Even if it makes me cry a little on the inside.
So that’s it. “Fiction and Fact” in a (very long) nutshell. Love love love it. As you can see, there was not a single song I disliked, even a little bit. This was a really solid album, and therefore I can’t wait to buy it (as you should). I’m really proud of Beast and everything they’ve been through to get here, and how much they’ve improved. So impressive. I will love them forever. That is all.
PS-Just noticed that I really only talked about Yoseob and Dongwoon, and a little bit Junhyung, in this post. This makes me sad. Yes, Yoseob is my favourite, and his vocals are mind-blowingly good. Yes, Dongwoon has improved a lot and has captured my attention with his newfound skills. But the others are amazing as well. Junhyung is a fantastic, fantastic rapper. Seriously, so good. One of my favourites. Hyunseung never gets enough attention, for some reason, even though his vocals are really awesome, especially in this album. I love his unique voice. Also, he’s a superb dancer. Kikwang wasn’t very stand-outish in this album, but I was nonetheless impressed with how powerful his vocals are. I like him a LOT, actually. And lastly Doojoon is getting REALLY good. He’s getting more lines, and he’s improved a lot since debut. Overall, I freaking love the whole band. So don’t think I’m too biased.