SHINEE’s third Japanese studio album I’m Your Boy has recently topped the Oricon weekly chart and is the group’s first output to reach the coveted spot. It is easy to see why it is such a hit; the 12-track album is a fun and addictive fusion of classic J-pop sounds and the Japanese adaptations of their well-received Korean singles.
Adding a hint of home to the mix: Half of the album is made up of previously released singles, including ‘Boys Meet U’, ‘Lucky Star’ and ‘Sunny Day Hero’ as well as Japanese reinterpretations of their Korean title tracks ‘Everybody’ and ‘Dream Girl’. The new versions of ‘Everybody’ and ‘Dream Girl’ are identical to the originals and the Japanese lyrics did little to hinder the flow of the songs. Both ‘Boys Meet U’ and ‘Sunny Day Hero’ are feel-good numbers with a light pop-rock melody that brings One Direction to mind.
Creating chart-toppers with familiar elements: The title track ‘Downtown Baby’, just like its poppy music video, is dangerously infectious. Produced by a band that has already chalked up 10 singles in the country, it has all the right J-pop elements to win over listeners. ‘Perfect 10’ feels much like ‘Lucky Star’, an instantly-likeable bubblegum pop tune that strikes a resemblance to the numbers you can find on an Arashi album. Besides the electro-dance ‘Picasso’ and the rainy day ballad ‘365’, ‘Colors of the Season’ makes its way up our list as the most memorable piece – the emotive piano introduction draws listeners in before the melody gets more intense during the chorus to highlight how increasingly assured the boys are (Jonghyun and Onew in particular) with their vocals.
Recommended tracks: ‘Downtown Baby’, ‘Everybody’, ‘Dream Girl’, ‘Colors of the Season’ and ‘Sunny Day Hero’