• http://thankgyuu.tumblr.com/ Mrs_KimSungGyu

    I couldn’t agree more. I was skeptical when I read that Epik High had signed over to YG, or rather that Tablo had. I just assumed they all would eventually since they are a team. Initially I was worried they wouldn’t be the same as before, but as soon as Tablo dropped “Fever’s End” my mind was put to rest on the subject. That album remains one of my favorite albums of all time actually, on a deep and personal level.

    There’s a ‘but’ however. When Epik High decided to come back this year and they released ’99′ and I was left feeling confused. Disappointed? Yes. A bit. Whether this is just a concept album or not, I was expecting better. That’s the solid truth. People can try to justify it to me however much they want, but that isn’t going to change my dissatisfaction. Listening to the album over and over again will not change anything. DJ Tukutz only wrote one song? That kind of stings.

    • http://infinite-stress.tumblr.com/ ian

      When I found out that Tablo was gonna marry Kang Hyejung, I thought it was only inevitable that he’ll sign with YG. And when he did, I thought the whole of EH will follow suit. And they did. 

      Personally, I wasn’t worried that their sound would change because YG generally lets his artists do their own thing. He just provides direction when needed. Well, it goes for the artists in his company who also produces their own music so I was thinking EH wouldn’t have a problem in that aspect.

      Like you said Fever’s End is amazing. And I do know he wrote it before he signed with YG. But now, the songs they has produced while already “in” YG are just… disappointing.

      I’m not against the change in musical direction or the experimentation they have going on but I just wish they retained that EH “feel” while doing it.

      Look at Nell’s comeback album earlier this year. It had a different sound from their older releases but the album overall felt “Nell”. That was what I was hoping to find in 99 but didn’t. 

  • ggoma

    Stand outs for me are KILL THIS LOVE and  사랑한다면 해선 안될 말. Personally, I feel like all other songs scream YG leftovers. Miss the old Epik High.

  • kyl3er

    When I heard Epik High was returning I was excited, the only concern I had was they weren’t going to have full control over their projects. I totally agree with you about featuring Park Bom. Don’t get me wrong the girl has great vocals but I didn’t find her vocals necessary in the song. I enjoy “UP” but it took a few listens to get use to because her voice wasn’t really appealing to me. I also didn’t find it surprising it was the track YG wanted to promote. Also I love DJ Tukutz but knowing he only composed one track has me disappointed. I like the album but it isn’t my favourite.
    I don’t know how they feel about the situation but they seem happy and I’m glad they are together again. Besides Tablo even said it’s a concept album and it shouldn’t be taken seriously so yeah.

  • kpopfan6

    This is my first Epik High comeback and I thought it was just ok. I actually think Tablo’s solo work last year was better. 

  • http://twitter.com/#!/swheekun swheekun

    Upon hearing of them signing to YG I braced myself for an image and sound change, but not of this magnitude. These songs sound like the type you could find on a Big Bang or 2NE1 album, an incredible disappointment for a band like Epik High– they’re the ones that became mainstream by making music that went against the grain! I can’t help but feel this change is incredibly hypocritical after all Tablo has said about being yourself and making music with substance, free of short-term trends. 

  • sarajgh

    Still cannot believe how little Tukutz did in this album. I know most people mainly know Tablo, and to a lesser extent Mithra, from Epik High, but Tukutz is the backbone of Epik High. There’d be no EH without him, and it shows in this album.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nate-Broadus/100003245734823 Nate Broadus

      Tell me about it.

      Take this lesson to heart: nothing ever stays the same when a corporation absorbs a smaller business. Swallowing that bitter pill now will save you some heartache in the future.

    • ggoma

      To be fair though, he didn’t have much time since he got back from the army to prepare.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nate-Broadus/100003245734823 Nate Broadus

    It wasn’t bad — it just wasn’t “epik,” or up to the usual “high” standards I have for the group. (See what I did there… That’s called a terrible pun.)

    The best way I can describe it is, it didn’t feel right. I know the feeling I get when I hear something from Epik High that speaks to me on some level; that was not a feeling I got while listening to their new stuff. I wanted it to (speak to me), even hoped that it would, but alas, no dice.

  • http://www.m-rated.tumblr.com/ Michelle Chin

    I’m so used to their previous styles that it’s hard for me to adapt. Maybe it’ll grow on me? Hopefully it’ll be epic for me and give me that music high I need. If it doesn’t work, I’ll wait for another round, maybe.

  • keiisah

    I felt exactly the same with the title tracks not appealing, and disliking the album on the first listen; but I must agree it really grew on me fast. The tracks all have different styles and it’s clear they were trying to branch and try new ideas. Fans expecting them to be the same as 3 years ago really need to consider if they haven’t changed themselves in the last 3 years. Everyone changes, and that includes musicians. Especially if they haven’t been active/together.

    To be honest though I’m a bit insulted that you would go so far as to call Park Bom’s singing ‘screeching’. Personally I love her parts in UP; her voice really gets to me. I’ve listened to her parts in it over and over. But even if I didn’t; even if I disliked her voice, I don’t think I would ever go so low as to insult a singer by describing it as not even singing, but something more degradable like screeching. I’m really upset that you would insult so strongly just because her unique voice isn’t of your personal taste.
    Also, YG doesn’t only ‘throw’ Park Bom around but most of their artists, like Tablo being in GD’s album. Thats why it’s called YG Family. She was in GD&TOP’s album because GD liked her voice and requested it; not because YG asked her to.

    • http://twitter.com/jms177 Justy

      Ever heard of personal opinions? You claim the writer of this article shouldn’t insult something just because it doesn’t go along with what she personally likes. So why are you trying to disregard her own views? If she feels Bom’s voice sounds screechy in UP (which it does), then that’s her honest opinion. YOU might find nothing wrong with Epik High’s new sound, but other people do cuz everyone has different taste. Don’t get mad just because people are disappointed, they have every right to be.

      • keiisah

        I’m sorry if my comment caused offence to you; I think you have misunderstood me so I will explain.

        Personal opinions I’m totally fine with. If the writer dislikes Park Bom’s singing, I have no problem with that. I also don’t mind if she says in the article she dislikes Park Bom’s singing; I understand her tastes are different from my own and that’s fine. My point was expressing a different distaste in the comment than the opinion itself. If it read wrongly; than I apologise.

        People having different taste I’m also fine with and understand; my comment regarding Epik High’s change in sound wasn’t that all fans should like or support it as fans. What I was saying was only that many fans seem to be expressing displeasure in the album /because/ they expected more of what they got three years ago; rather than because they didn’t like the sound at all. Which is upsetting. People have every right to be disappointed when they dislike it and that wasn’t what I was saying at all. I never told them to like it if they don’t, and neither was I mad.

        • http://infinite-stress.tumblr.com/ ian

          As someone who like the album but was disappointed in it, it’s not because I, personally, was expecting songs that they released 3 years ago. That’s totally not what I want.

          As artists, their music have to evolve and grow up with them but here, it seemed like while they grew up, their music totally veered off into a different path. It’s not necessarily bad but I couldn’t identify “them” in it. It felt disjointed not because I wanted them to stick with the old but because I couldn’t “feel” them in it.

          It’s not an objective criticism, production wise, it’s superb. I have nothing to say on that front. It’s more of a subjective one, something that I can only “feel”. I couldn’t connect them to the album and I couldn’t connect to it either.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/R5BKARJWK7NNOXYOIUSP76YJW4 Aj

    It’s Cold is my favorite in the whole album.Park Bom in Up sounds terrible,I always skipped her part when I listen to it. I get what people are saying that 99 sounds too mainstream but the trio looked happy performing Dont hate me and Up that I decided to just enjoy their new songs.And yes what’s up with DJ Tukutz writing only a single song for the entire album? Like they had YG people helping with the music and the arrangements so what exactly DJ Tukutz gonna do now?Anyways no I dont hate this album, but Fever’s End was better.

  • regina_filange

    Agree with everything but what you said about Oh Yeah- that song gives me life! Bom’s screeching and all!

    • wahooyahoo

      I agree, Bom sounds great in that song (YG didn’t force Bom to do that feature for that album, I’m pretty sure GD asked her himself…) As a fan, I know her voice is really a hit or miss per song, but that basically comes down to her range: she’s sounds better lower, and Up’s chorus is very very high. She sounds horrible in Up though, I blame YG for that one…I don’t know why there is so much Bom hate in the comments section lol…

      • Issydv

         I actually like 2NE1, but the vocal on this particular song by Bom is terrible.  Another singer with a different range, might have been able to pull it off, but Bom’s voice is not suited for this song at all.

  • http://twitter.com/kimchi007 Tiffany Tsang

    THANK YOU. everytime i critic their album a little, everyone goes crazy and says im not a true fan. Everything you said I agree, i totally disliked their title tracks and album when i first heard it but it is growing on me…

    And I miss the emotional rapping :( 

    • Himei

      In truth, they are not real fans. Real fans tell the truth no matter wha it is, its to tell their artist that “hey, this album wasn’t great.” so their artist can look back on it and improve on the next.  Blindly praising an artist will give you the Super Junior effect.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rich-Pacheco/768263418 Rich Pacheco

    I Totally agree!
    And I’m happy to read that I’m not the only one who hated their title tracks…
    When I heard “Cold” I got my hopes up about the album, but when I watched “Up” MV I was pretty disappointed about the minimal amount of rap that was used on it. And then I watched “Don’t Hate Me” and I definitely hated it.
    Then I listened to the rest of the album and I found many nice tracks, but nothing as mesmerizing as their previous work. You Don’t Deserve Her, definitely my favorite by far and strangely is the only track where DJ Tukutz was credited for.
    Now I wonder what’s really DJ Tukutz gonna do if YG’s people is mainly working on their music and its arrangement?

    • http://infinite-stress.tumblr.com/ ian

      This! It’s Cold actually reassured me that hey, everything will be fine as always but alas.

  • Issydv

    I can’t even listen to Up because of Bom’s screeching in the song (her vocals seem so out of place to me with the rest of the song).  I enjoyed the rest of the album though.  The songs I’m still listening to are Don’t Hate Me, 사랑한다면 해선 안될 말 (Wrong), It’s Cold, and New Beautiful (something about it reminds me of the 80′s) and the rest the songs on the album to a lesser degree are still on rotation on my playlist.

  • gowhalego

    “I’m more interested in Epik High doing alternative electronic hip-hop or trip hop than pop-punk or dance-pop or dub-step.”

    There’s absolutely NOTHING wrong with genres like pop-punk or dance-pop or dub-step. It depends on how the musicians choose to produce their songs. It’s funny how you categorize these genres as if “alternative electronic hip-hop or trip hop” are far more ‘superior’ genres than “pop-punk or dance-pop or dub-step”. For example, dubstep is a respectable genre (no, dubstep does not stop at dubstep breaks in Kpop songs and/or Skrillex) and they can emote as well as genres like trip hop.

    “I definitely have nothing against dubstep, and they integrate it much better than it usually is in K-pop, but a dubstep break is just too cliché right now. The beginning is actually great, but then halfway “Kill This Love” starts to sound like a remix version of itself and totally kills the mood.”
    The whole song is in dubstep. The part you are talking about (the ‘remix version’) is not a dubstep break. Dubstep breaks/drops do not sound like that. It just becomes more synth-y and is in line with the dubstep ‘format’ of build-ups and breakdowns. ‘Kill This Love’ is beautifully produced because it meshes dubstep with a more accessible sound (for example, leaving out the dubstep drop and replacing it with another type of breakdown). It is a fusion of genres instead of just straight-out dubstep which makes it more creative. There’s also the ‘choral voices’ going on in the song intro and coda, which adds a nice subtle touch. 
    Being openly butt-hurt here, not about Epik High (a la my-oppars-are-better-than-you, because I am just a casual listener) but about how people often like to write off certain songs because the genre they are in are too ‘mainstream’. It’s funny, because in your act of erasure of dubstep, you have actually admitted that you did enjoy the dubstep bits (‘beginning of the song’). The music has spoken for itself. :-) 

    • http://infinite-stress.tumblr.com/ ian

      I think for me, it’s not because I personally don’t like pop-punk or dance-pop or dub-step because I do (my iTunes playlist count can attest to that). It’s just that with these material, it didn’t “feel” like EH at all. It still sounded like them, but the “soul” isn’t in it. I think if the genre was done right, while still maintaining that feeling of it being them, I wouldn’t have a problem with it.

      Say, I hear the songs and they are done by a different group or band, I would have immediately liked the songs. But because I know these were EH songs, I was looking for that feeling of it being “them”, y’know?

      All in all, I like most of the tracks in the album because as songs, they are well produced and I like their beats/sound/etc – but as music that EH has put out, I was disappointed.

  • Harliyana Mohd Hanif

    Park Bom’s screeching has done it for me. She sounds like a cat being skinned alive. 

  • http://twitter.com/angel_in87 angel_in87

    well, i think i’m sick of people who blame YG bcoz they dont get what they want in EH album. then ask your oppa dont sign w YG. thats all… 

  • BasilWinchesterTheThird

    I hate “Up” with a passion, the rest of the album I either like or love. Their new sound is an interesting experiment and I think they did a good job. Don’t really care about the image change as long as they keep making good music. Tablo’s visual image for his comeback with “Fever’s end” was not to my liking and it’s still one of my favorite albums of all time. So I kind of decided a long time ago not to over analyze things or worry too much about the future of a band when they come out with something different and just enjoy the music.

  • Iam Nuggets

    Park Bom absolutely destroyed “Up.” Killed it. Eradicated it. Kicked it while it was still down. No disrespect meant to her but her vocals on that track were horrendous. How in the hell did that pass quality check? I’ve never been a fan of hers but I thought she could sing better than that at least? I haven’t heard the rest of the album but of the three title tracks, “It’s Cold” is the only one that catches and holds my attention. Lee Hi’s voice is amazing; the lyrics hit you right there in that special spot only Epik High can touch. Honestly, I’m a little reluctant to check out the rest of the album since I dislike “Up” and “Don’t Hate me.”

  • SS501jjang

    I dont like the fact that DJ Tukutz only wrote one song in this album. YG changed their genre. The songs sound like any song that you can hear in every Bigbang album and I find that really disappointing.

    • http://infinite-stress.tumblr.com/ ian

      This.

      This is what I said when I first heard the album. It sounded like it could have been sung by any other group in YG, namely BB and 2NE1. And I didn’t like that fact. 

      I’m not against them experimenting with their sound because as artists, their music will evolve and grow up with them but what’s disappointing for me in this is that they seemed to have “lost” the “feeling” of EH in that ‘growing up’ process.

      I sure do hope they don’t lose it the next time. Because this album just doesn’t “feel” like EH. It sounds like EH but it doesn’t “feel” like them.

  • minty_chip

    Actually I love Park Bom’s voice in Oh Yeah; it wouldn’t be the same without her. I agree that the album isn’t one of Epik High’s best but come on, can they not try to experiment every once in a while? Not everything they are going to do is alternative hip hop or similar to Fever’s End album. They create music that they want to create, not to cater for fans. 

  • Black_Plague

    Like some people here mentoned, the fact DJ Tukutz did so little is awfully disappointing.

    I did expect changes would occur upon when the group entered into YG but gave a slight rest of it since Tablo went through a lot of hell in the past few years but honestly, I did NOT wait three long years for the changes to be this excessive.

    May as well say they’re now a senior version of Big Bang.

    Author makes a strong point about whether Epik High actually maintains musical independence, something YG is supposedly well known of. DJ Tukutz’s rather small contribution (or lack of credits but I highly doubt he did anything with the rest of the album) gives me second thoughts about it. I heard Yang himself and Tablo even argued over which song should be the title track, the former actually wanting Up to be the main. That is just whacked.

    Don’t even get me started on Park Bom. I would have preferred chipmunks singing instead.

  • Wo0t137

    People need to stop giving so much hate to Epik High, I’ve bee following them since their 1st album “Map of the Human Soul” and yeah this album might departure from their old sound (lesson one, let it rain, alone, Paris, fan, etc.) it doesn’t mean hat they aren’t allowed to experiment. While I think that the album wasn’t as good as their past releases it was somewhat refreshing to see that they chose upbeat songs as their title tracks given that they normal to the depressing route. Sometimes a change of pace is just what you need, they’ve been so down and depressed for so long now I think that they just wanted to perform songs that were uplifting to get past that. Plus it’s just a concept album, give it time, they’ll comeback as the epik high we all know and love them for.

  • madtownJOE2

    I honestly love the entire album. Can’t really complain.

  • Lina90

    I think it’s quite pointless that I put my comment just now. But I still just wanna write :p For the tittle track. Well, I think when I heard “It’s Cold”, I thought yeah.. it’s EH i know. I love it! Tho lee hi singing not sound actually that good in live, but I like the record version. Surprisedly I like “Up” too, and Bom’s voices is okay, It brings dramatic effect for the song. While yeah I agree that she should not reach that high notes, it just too much. But the rest part I think it’s fine. I like Up for being different from their previous releases and it’s really uplifting song too. But I dislikes “don’t hate me” from very first time. It’s just not.. suit them. I agree with the writer said, that it just too teenager-y. It’s not like the song is that bad. When I like “Up” coz it’s different I don’t expect it being so far like don’t hate me. The other track, either I like it or love it tho. And Kill this Love sounded dubstep from the start. Still love it. Yeah I’ll agree with New Beautiful being a bit similar with Tonight-Bigbang, especially with the clapping sound. But mainstream? How would you define mainstream sound tho? Anyway I’m pretty happy that Tablo itself said he’s confident with this release. And they seemed happy to perform again. I don’t think it was the best from them, it just like for their previous release my degree of enjoyment for hearing their overall track proximately 80%or higher, but now it’s a bit decreased. I kinda miss the emotional rapping. But hey they always experiment, right? I just sick that many ppl blamed YG for this. Tablo himself said they wanted sometwhat like different approach for this comeback. And Mithra said Tablo should just being less depressed as many of ppl started labeled Tablo as epitome of gloomy youngster. It’s not like they never tried it before. What about Wannabe or High Technology? Well, I hope they do better in the future. *waiting for next release!!*