Clazziquai Project – instant pig

August 5, 2010 at 10:38 pm | Posted in Clazziquai Project | 4 Comments
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  1. You Never Know
  2. Come To Me
  3. Futuristic
  4. After Love
  5. Novabossa
  6. Sweety
  7. Stepping Out
  8. Tattoo
  9. I Will Never Cry
  10. Gentle Rain
  11. After Love (Extra Remix)
  12. Flower
  13. Play Girl
  14. My Life (Boom Remix)
  15. Cat Bossa

Clazziquai Project is an experimental band with Alex Chu and Choi Horan as main vocalists, Christine Chu as guest vocalist and DJ Clazzi (Kim Sung-hoon) as producer/composer. Their name is a combination of the words classic, jazz and groove and their music is a mixture of electronic, acid jazz, and house. Before I discovered Clazziquai Project I hardly listened to Korean music but they were a breath of fresh air and I instantly fell in love with their unique style.

You Never Know is a mid-tempo track with Alex taking the lead. He has an incredible voice and to be honest he’s the only male vocalist I listen to. The song begins with a lovely acoustic guitar which leads into Alex’s soft vocals. As the song progresses the tempo increases and more background instruments are added along with some electronic elements. The guitar riff halfway through the song is gorgeous and the bridge features Horan’s vocals which is the only time she appears in the song. I love the chorus “all I wanna do (I know)/with you (everyday)/you will never know (did you know)/what I meant (futuristic)” because Alex’s vocals and his background vocals sound great. Come To Me is another mid-tempo track but this time Alex shares the spotlight with Horan. Alex sings the verses with his deep vocals while Horan dominates the pre-chorus with her high vocals. Their voices blend wonderfully together especially when they sing the chorus. Even though the chorus is mostly Alex and Horan repeating “naegero wa” it’s addicting and their vocals really shine. The brass instruments that are added later into the song give it a jazzy and funky feel. Alex and Horan’s conversation in the background is hilarious and pretty cute.

Christina, the guest vocalist, is featured in Futuristic which is an upbeat and groovy number. This song is extremely catchy and Christina’s vocals are bright and cheerful. The chorus is pure fun with Christina singing “now now let me out/ I want to take you in my arms and I want to feel.” The song is entirely in English and even though there are some slight grammatical errors Christina’s pronunciation is perfect. I love this song to death and its high energy. “We can fly away, fly away together/ like in the movies and shit” an anonymous female voice says in the beginning of After Love. This song is a relaxing ballad led by Alex with Horan singing along with him occasionally throughout the track. Alex’s vocals are so smooth and I love the start of the chorus when he sings “and now I’m searching one living chance.” The anonymous voice appears again during the bridge and I can’t make out what she says but these vocals would have been better left off the track. Other than that this song is a must-listen.

Alex’s sister returns for a bossa nova track, Novabossa. There’s something about Christina’s vocals here that grab my attention and she sounds different on this track compared to her previous solo. She sings with a relaxed and deep voice which compliments the track’s chill-out arrangement. The chorus is divine and has such a smooth sound to it that you can’t help but kickback and relax while listening to it. Alex and Horan return for one of the album’s best song, Sweety. The song opens with an anonymous male saying “I like that” followed by a beautiful guitar. Their vocals are bubbly and bounce along with the summery arrangement. Carefree and vibrant are the best words to describe this song. There’s such a strong sense of love being evoked and it makes this track simply irresistible. Everything about this song is uplifting and makes you feel so good. “You don’t know how I feel when you smile at me like that”. What a stunning song.

Stepping Out has Christina chanting “ba ba ba ba” for the opening of the track. The lyrics to the song are so creative, “I am the king of silence/I am known as creator/I am the king of cities/I am known as destroyer.” The chorus is simply the title repeated with Christina talking in the background. The music in the bridge changes completely as disc scratching is introduced along with some anonymous vocals. I love the effects on her vocals at the end of when she sings “stepping out” because the distortions go along with the beat. We finally get to Horan’s solo track on the album Tattoo, a mid-tempo with an elegant arrangement. I love Horan’s vocals and her voice is deeper here than the previous tracks. The bridge is sung entirely in English and it’s my favourite part of the song. The harmonies and layering of Horan’s vocals in the final chorus make the song a lot better. The next track, I Will Never Cry, is an Alex and Horan ballad and my favourite song on the album. The opening line, “I will never cry,” gets me every time I listen to it. Their vocals are so raw and vulnerable especially Horan’s. They evoke so much emotion through their voices that you can actually feel the sadness of this track. Halfway through the song changes tempo and becomes sort of trace-like and then it becomes melancholic once again as it finishes. Gentle Rain is a summery and vibrant mid-tempo, the complete opposite of I Will Never Cry. I like how Horan’s high vocals echo Alex’s deep vocals until they harmonize together. In one of the choruses Alex switches with Horan so that his vocals echo hers which was a nice little twist. DJ Clazzi gives After Love a makeover for After Love (Extra Remix). The tempo has been increased and the original acoustics are replaced with electronic jazz. It feels like a completely new song and it’s just as good as the original. DJ Clazzi did a fantastic job mixing this up and they got rid of the random anonymous vocals. The final duet, Flower, is a nice ballad but it doesn’t stand out that much. The pre-chorus changes things up a bit as instruments are added along with Horan’s whispering vocals. The song’s climax has Alex and Horan repeating “it’s the flower” against a lovely piano melody.

The last three tracks are all Christina solos and the first one is the addicting Play Girl. Every single one of her solos so far have been amazing and this is no exception. Infectious beats and Christina’s fun vocals make it hard not to sing along to the chorus, “she’s such a girl/she’s a play girl/she’s such a lovely girl.” This is a 100% feel good pure fun pop song that will have you moving along to its beat. In My Life (Boom Remix) Christina sings “today is Monday, today is Tuesday, etc” for the majority of the track. The background vocals consist of “lalalas” that go nicely with the chorus. Christina finishes by claiming that “tomorrow is Sunday” rather than “tomorrow is tomorrow” as she does earlier in the song. This is probably my least favourite Christina solo. Cat Bossa is basically Novabossa’s crazy counterpart. Christina’s “lalalas” are abundant and one of the song’s main focus because the actual lyrics are put in the background instead of the foreground. The lyrics are pretty much about the life of a cat, “gently brushing myself/get up and pet me. There’s even a barking dog in that background at one point and a cat meowing at the end which are just adorable additions to the song. What a quirky way to close off the album.

Conclusion: instant pig is a wonderful debut album and it’s extremely original. I haven’t heard many albums that tackle this kind of music and pull it off as well as they did. I’m not well-informed as to what Korean music was like when this album came out but compared to the music in Korea now this is much more innovative. Even though it was released in 2004 it could fit right in with today’s music because of DJ Clazzi’s combination of electronic elements with jazz and house. This album has something for everyone and I encourage you to check Clazziquai Project out because they’re one of the best Korean groups I’ve ever listened to.

Recommended Tracks: I Will Never Cry, Play Girl, Sweety, Futuristic, Stepping Out, Come To Me and After Love

Rating

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4 Comments »

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  1. Alex has a great voice and is a sexy beast! Two great things in one. So jealous ):

    • He really does have a great voice. It was a pleasant surprise the first time I listened to them XD.

  2. I love Clazziquai seriously one of the best debut albums. I love the mixture of different genres. amazinv review as always

    • Thanks! I can’t wait for their new material. I heard they were planning an acoustic album.


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