The storm is brewing as C.N. Blue prepares to make their ‘official major label’ debut in Japan. They started their careers off as indie rookies on the streets of Japan in 2009, making their debut in August of that same year. What would immediately change the future of the band and put them on the fast track to success, was lead singer Jung Yong-hwa‘s participation in a little Kdrama called You’re Beautiful in October 2009. The popularity of the drama and its rabid fans helped to launch Yong-hwa and the group into Kpop super stardom with their Korean debut album Bluetory in January of 2010 and its lead single “I’m a Loner.” The band got picked up by Warner Music Japan and they’re now set to go mainstream and take the “Land of the Rising Sun” by storm, a big blue one.
C.N. Blue just released their last Japanese album, 392, under their indie label on September 1st. Just within the last month, their activities in Japan have included opening for a Linkin Park concert, performing at the Ongaku to Hitachi 2011 Festival, and killing it at a sold out concert for 15,000 at the Yokohama Arena on September 25th (all the hotels in Yokohama were also reportedly sold out).
Their debut under Warner Music Japan will culminate with the release of the In My Head mini album which will drop on October 19th. The mini album will reportedly have four songs: 1. In My Head, 2. Mr. KIA (Know-it-all), 3. Rain of Blessing, and 4. In My Head (Instrumental). It will also be released in two versions, a limited edition CD+DVD and a normal CD. To further hype up the album’s release, C.N. Blue just released the PV for the title track “In My Head.” The song is new and made for the Japanese market, not a previously released Korean song with changed lyrics. It’s a little more rock ‘n’ roll with a funky bass line, strong guitars, Min-hyuk‘s irresistible beats, and great vocals. The PV is beautifully shot in black and white with great camera work and the use of some slow motion effects.
Other than the little too repetitive tag line, I loved the song. You can totally tell the difference between a song that was written for Japanese lyrics compared to one that was reworked for Japanese lyrics (or any other language other than what it was originally written for). Most of the time the lyrics and music are a little off when trying to match new lyrics in another language to music written for another lyrical line. I don’t necessarily think that Kpop idols must redo all their songs for the Japanese market because their fans there must know that they are first and foremost Kpop artists. But, I do realize that to show some respect for entering the Japanese music industry and to appreciate their fans’ support there, any Kpop act entering the market should have some songs in Japanese. As I mentioned above though, I do think that songs that they do in Japanese should be new songs, not remade ones. Lastly, I’m no Japanese language expert, although I did take two semesters of Nihongo in college before caving to the pressures of kanji, but I think their Japanese was not bad in the song.
I loved the simplicity of the PV with just the boys in a dark room playing their instruments. The lyrics of the song speak of how in the one’s head he knows his love, and he knows and dreams of what their relationship could be, but as usual life throw things at you that you don’t always expect or understand. And even though you know what you want to do- you can’t always do it. In my estimation, the debris flying at the boys are like those random things that get thrown at you in life that you have to either dodge or overcome to achieve those things that you want or, wham! You get knocked off course. I loved the little slow motion bits too- was anyone else mesmerized by how awesome Jung-shin‘s hair looked billowing in the wind? No? Just forget I said anything. Don’t love Yong-hwa’s new hair, but he was charismatic as usual, Jong-hyun is almost too perfect looking for a guy, Jung-shin looked great, and poor Min-hyuk didn’t get much close ups. My gripe about the boys’ styling is that Yong-hwa and Jung-shin look fine, but what’s up with the sweater for Jong-hyun and the grandpa cardigan on Min-hyuk?
With all things said and done, the song and PV worked on me. I’m excited to see what C.N. Blue’s ‘official major label’ debut album has to offer. So far, it looks as if Warner Music Japan’s muscle and money has been positively used on C.N. Blue’s latest efforts. It’ll be interesting to see what happens next, it’s going to be a long three weeks.
(TheKoreanEconomicDaily, DailyNews, EconomyToday, inisayakaya)