Junho - CANVAS

 
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Release Date: September 11th, 2017
Label: JYP Entertainment
Genre: R&B
Length: 5 Songs (+2)/20:46 (+6:50)


 

01. CANVAS {7.5/10} 
If you haven't checked out my full thoughts on "CANVAS" already, you can see my review here. If you want the TL;DR of it, I thought it was decent, but wasn't anything particularly spectacular. 

02. Fine {9/10} ▲
If you haven't checked out my full thoughts on "Fine" already, you can see my review here. If you want the TL;DR of it, I thought that this song was great and incredibly heartfelt.

03. Instant Love {7.5/10} ▼
For those that don't know, this is another remake of one of Junho's previously released Japanese tracks from the album DSMN. This song features an echoing, ominous-sounding synth coupled behind a deeper, heavier bass line and simple drumbeat. Junho's vocals are the main ingredient, though they're under an effect that has them sound a little more grainy, adding a texture that sort of blends it in with the more electronic sounds of the instruments. The high notes during the chorus are delectable, and make for a captivating hook that will have you singing along, even if you can't hit the notes. My only gripe with this song is the forty seconds of pure instrumentals. The constantly fluctuating wubs of electronic noises is just noisy to me, and doesn't really add much to the song other than an unnecessary extra amount of time.

04. Nobody Else {8/10} 
The song starts off with several interesting sounds, in particular there's some kind of voice sampling mixed to to the point where it's used as another instrumental in the song. There's also a constant droning of a high-toned synth present from the start of this song all the way until it's end, though the low volume acts as a balance for it to keep from becoming obnoxious. For those that are unfamiliar, this song is technically a song featured on 2PM's album No. 5, which is just over two years old now. Still, the song manages to sound fairly modern in terms of quality, and does not feel like it's become outdated in the slightest. Sadly for me, the song stays fairly stagnant for the most part, so I can't rate it too highly as at some point it feels like it's dragging a bit.

05. WOW {9/10} 
"WOW" is another remade song, this time actually sourced twice over. Junho's solo version of the song was on his Japanese album, 2017 S/S. There's an even older version, coming from 2PM's Promise (I'll be) single. The song features a heavy emphasis on horns and upbeat drums, accompanying a very fun and fast-paced vocal melody. There's a small drop right after the first chorus, but it doesn't sound terribly disjointed. The psuedo-speed rap sections just before the chorus hits are great at building up anticipation for the refrain that, simply put, doesn't disappoint. High energy vocals are practically yelled and leave you wanting to shout and sing along, which is a big reason this song is so great to me. (As a random note, I do prefer the normal 2PM version over Junho's.)

06. Run to you {8/10} 
"Run to you" is another Japanese song from the DSMN album that's been translated to Korean. A whistle starts off the song before deep-toned drums and a hard bass kick in and push the song forward beneath Junho's smooth voice. This song, originally being from 2016, is a very early attempt at the tropical house genre, though it doesn't show with how well-produced everything is. Sadly, I just can't say that I love this song as much now as when it first came out (mostly due to the slew of new songs in the style). It's very well-made, but the genre at this point in time is stagnant and oversaturated.

07. BYE BYE (Feat. CHEEZE) {8.5/10} 
This song is particularly unique on this album due to it technically being the only new track Junho put on it. An airy keyboard handles most of the verse, with it shifting to a filling piano during the pre-chorus and chorus sections. The bass notes are put in selectively, sparsely used throughout the entire song and giving those notes a peculiarly important role due to its almost underutilized aspect. Junho and CHEEZE both provide vocals that are so soft and smooth that they remind you of a warm blanket you'd want to wrap yourself in. It's a very soft, relaxing, lovely song that gives you that butterflies in the stomach feel. If you're a fan of this sort of sappy, cute music, then you definitely should check out the music video for "BYE BYE."

 
 

▲ = Favorite song on the album
▼ = Least fav. song on the album
 ♫ = Physical album only
 

 

Summary
This album is essentially a mish-mash of several of Junho's previous tracks, either updated to modern standards or translated to Korean. That being said, all of these songs are solid still, and while it might not serve as new content for the most diehard of his fans, it does still potentially introduce the songs to a new audience. Though the songs were on a few different albums in total, they still sound cohesive for the most part. There are some slight tells that make it so a listener can tell that the album wasn't entirely crafted as a whole and instead are pieces put together, but it doesn't hinder the album much in my opinion. There are tons of great songs here that fans and non-fans of Junho can enjoy, and it's a solid album even if it's not constructed of almost any new material.

Overall Score: 8/10