Sweetbox – Addicted

December 19, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Posted in Sweetbox | 4 Comments
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  1. Graceland
  2. Addicted
  3. Here Comes The Sun
  4. Pride
  5. Bold & Delicious
  6. Every Step
  7. Break Down
  8. Dreams
  9. Ladies Night
  10. Vaya Con Dios
  11. Beautiful Girl
  12. Over & Over
  13. Happy Tears
  14. Million Miles

Addicted is Jade’s fifth and final album under the name Sweetbox. The album returns to classical sampling for two of the tracks while the rest of the tracks are original compositions. This album is much lighter, upbeat and fun compared their last two albums which were very dark and intense. It’s a mixture of all the great things from their past albums put into one. Five tracks on this album were re-written and re-arranged for Ayumi Hamasaki’s album, (miss)understood.

The album opens up with one of the best Sweetbox songs ever, Graceland. It begins with dark and atmospheric strings that instantly capture your attention. They’re very dramatic and haunting and when Jade’s vocals come in they match the feel of the music perfectly. Jade keeps the dramatic feel in her vocals and the lyrics are fantastic, “feels like a runaway train in my heart/feels like my thoughts are wounding me/feels like the spark is seeping out of my soul/did I fade to grey?” During the second half of the verse some synths are added to the melody and the second verse is more upbeat and uses more synths than the first one. The chorus is a blast of synths with Jade singing “graceland/it’s your open arms I’m running to.” While the verses are intense the chorus is upbeat, has a dance feel to it and is infectious. The bridge is just instrumentation which is gorgeous and then it goes back to the chorus where Jade finishes the song off with ad-libs. Addicted is the first song that uses a classical piece and it samples Winter from The Four Seasons by Vivaldi. It begins with fast strings but then quickly transitions into an urban/R&B sound and they haven’t done a song like this since their Jade album. I really like the feel of this track and Jade’s vocals are excellent. The “ooh oohs” before the chorus work well with the urban feel of the track and I like how they act as a part of the instrumental. The strings come back during the catchy chorus where Jade sings “another dose of you could be the end of me/but I’m addicted bad to you.” For the bridge Jade is backed up by operatic vocals that add a desperate feel to the music. Overall, this is a great title track and it has a lot of energy.

The other track that uses a classical piece is Here Comes The Sun and it samples Prelude No.1 by J.S Bach. I really like the melody of this song and how Jade sings the verses with a slight choppiness to her vocals, “feeling lost, feeling tossed, like I don’t know/feeling choppy, disconnected, like a bad strobe/like a song that’s never finished/I need a last note but it never comes.” The song comes to life in the chorus when the strings become more vibrant and cheerful, “here comes the sun/what can we do/let it shine on down and just breathe easy.” The cheerful and optimistic chorus contrasts nicely with the pessimistic tone and content of the verses. The bridge isn’t much different from the verses; in fact, it’s pretty much just another verse. Pride is the darkest song on the album and it is driven by a haunting piano. Jade performs with very strong vocals and she puts a lot of emotion behind them. Drums are added to the chorus which is fairly catchy, “your pride, foolish pride/the battles won, was it worth it?/you’re nobody’s fool now/you’re lonely but right.” The song picks up during the second chorus when strings are added to the arrangement and Jade begins to sing more powerfully especially before the second chorus, “when I’d do anything for you, for you, for you.” The chorus sounds better the second time around because of the added strings. I adore the bridge because of the angry tone of her voice and her belting before the chorus, “it must be nice to never crawl/to be too good for it all.” The choir-like vocals in the final chorus make the song more dramatic and are a great way to end the track.

Bold & Delicious has one of the most bizarre intros ever, “yeah yeah yeah yeah, ga ga ga ga/da da da da, woa woa woa woa. I’m not sure whether it’s extremely annoying or incredibly amusing. Other than the weird opening the song is a whole lot of fun. The lyrics are playful and hilarious, “under the duvet you and me play cowboys and Indians/let me be your chippewa baby,” and they’re also quite sexual, “when we play doctor gonna shock you with the feeling/of my flexibility.” The chorus is repetitive, “gotcha gotcha where I want you,” but it’s very catchy. My favourite parts of the song are the pre-chorus and bridge. For the pre-chorus Jade sings “then gimme some loving/but make me feel/bold and delicious” along with a choir and it sounds so infectious and playful. The “yeah yeah yeah yeah, ga ga ga ga/da da da da, woa woa woa woa” is used again for the bridge but it sounds much better and Jade belts out “bold and delicious” in such an irresistible and sexy voice. I love Every Step and it’s one of my favourite songs on the album. A gorgeous music box melody is incorporated into the song with strings which makes for a divine combination. Jade’s vocals are soft and sweet, she sounds so beautiful on this track. The music box melody in the verses is a deeper tone than the one in the chorus which is higher. The lyrics in the chorus are quite touching, “every step I take/every move I make/every strange new face/you are there,” and her vocals are delicate. Drums are added to the second half of the song and I love the line before the chorus, “how do you paint it black?/how do you turn your back?/on every single dream that you believed.” This ballad is really short, it’s less than three minutes and it’s such a good song that I don’t want it to end.

Break Down also uses a music box melody but it is quickly replaced by a piano. This song has a very western R&B style which makes it sound very familiar. That’s not a bad thing though because I really enjoy the American feel of this track. Its arrangement is simple but it’s highly infectious and Jade sounds lovely. The verses are sung quickly compared to the chorus and her voice sounds great during the sped up parts of the verses. The backing vocals in the chorus are beautiful and Jade sings passionately, “I´m living misery/but I don´t wanna be/caught up in jealousy/but this ain´t me.” Songs like this make me wonder why Jade hasn’t tried to break into the States because she can make great mainstream music. Dreams begins with a piano and backing vocals singing “let me hear my dreams” that lead into Jade’s vocals which have some kind of effect on them. There’s a dream-like quality to the song mostly because of the effect on Jade’s vocals and I really like that aspect of the song because it fits with the title perfectly. The music slows down for the bridge and it starts to pick up when she sings “it’s my time now, my road is open/and I’ll still fly though my wings are broken.” The chorus is repetitive with Jade and background vocals singing “let me hear my dreams,” but it sounds nice and the added ad-libbing in the final chorus is fantastic.

The best song on the album, hands down, is the marvelous Ladies Night. Jade opens the song with an announcement, “good morning class/here are ten simple ways/to get rid of a lazy boyfriend,” and then the song bursts into delicious synths. The song is pure electropop and it’s highly infectious and irresistible. There’s actually not that much singing on this track, the verses consist of Jade speaking which is very amusing, “drug him, bug him, slug him, mug him/wash your hands throw him out with the junk.” The best part of the song is when Jade sings “runaway/runaway/runaway now” because she sounds incredible. The way she delivers these lines are phenomenal and her voice is full of energy. The bridge is synth heaven with addicting robotic vocals, “leave him, lose him, cut, replace him, hate him, then erase him.” This is an extremely entertaining male bashing song and it’s the best song on the album. I’ve never been a huge fan of Vaya Con Dios but it’s not that bad a track. There’s a lot of clapping and drum beats which gives it a summery upbeat feel. The references to people and the incorporation of different languages are genius, “no teary Toni Braxton goodbyes,” “I’m thinking like Confucian,” “auf wiedersehen, don’t you cry,” and “arrivederci, have a nice life.” For the chorus Jade repeatedly sings “vaya con dios” with “oohs” in the background. I love the part when the choir comes in singing “I’m going through, I’m going through, I’m going through,” it’s quite interesting.

Beautiful Girl has a great message and it has an amazing synth melody that is breezy and light. I absolutely adore the electronic elements of this track and the lyrics are easy to relate to “and another label tells me/that it’s just not enough to be just me/airbrush those thoughts, because they’re not pretty.” Jade’s vocals are light and she sounds very cute on this track. Her vocals for the chorus are a bit higher than the tone she uses for the verses and they go perfectly with the cool arrangement. After she belts out in the bridge the music slows down before heading back into the chorus. This is a great summery track and its super addicting. Over & Over is easily the catchiest song on the album. Like the previous track, the melody is very bright, summery and completely irresistible. Jade has some vocoder effects on her voice that blend nicely with the synths. The chorus is where the song shines because it is so addicting, “just a little kiss and then goodbye/just a little tear but I won’t cry/you’re a mistake that I make over and over.” Jade performs in a high voice and she sounds vibrant and cute. She sings passionately and puts more power in her vocals for the bridge and the chorus after the bridge is slowed down before returning to its original tempo.

Happy Tears is a dramatic ballad where Jade gets to show off her lovely and strong vocals. The song has a simple arrangement with strings that are accompanied by Jade’s raw vocals. After the first chorus the music fades away and then comes back with added instruments which make the song even more beautiful. Jade’s vocals are soft for the most part but there are a few moments when she sings with a stronger tone, right before the chorus and her vocals sound amazing during these parts, “I will still be holding on,” and “but this is the life I chose.” She also uses her strong tone for the final chorus and with the added instruments it makes for an epic conclusion. The closing track on the album, Million Miles, is a stripped-down acoustic song. Jade’s vocals are wonderful and the little high note that she hits in the chorus, “can learn to fly high,” is really nice. I also really liked the parts in the chorus when she sings “bum bum bum bum da do do.” It flows well with the songs acoustic nature. This song is incredibly short as it’s just a little bit over two minutes, so it goes by very quickly. The Korean version of the album contains a cover of ABBA’s The Winner Takes It All. Sweetbox’s version is faithful to the original as it changes tempo in the same places the original did. The major difference though is that the arrangement in Sweetbox’s version is slightly more upbeat and vibrant. Jade’s vocals in the first verse are luscious and she sounds gorgeous. The music increases tempo after the first chorus and it gives the song a fantastic dance-like feel. The song switches back and forth between the two tempos a few times but it doesn’t hinder the track in any way, instead it makes it more interesting. The end of the song is amazing because of the backing vocals and Jade’s fantastic ad-libbing.

Conclusion: Jade and Geo have constructed another fantastic album and it’s my favourite Sweetbox album. Addicted is a great blend of the old and the new. Their venture into electropop turned out to be successful and the synth-infused melodies were so addicting. The energetic and fun nature of this album is very refreshing after having two dark albums. Jade and Geo prove time and time again that they are versatile and can create both unique and mainstream songs and Addicted is a testament to that.

Recommended Tracks: Ladies Night, Graceland, Every Step, Happy Tears, Over & Over, Beautiful Girl, Addicted and Break Down

Rating

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4 Comments »

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  1. Oh, my god, yes, this was definitely their best album under the Sweetbox name. Actually, it’s better than most of the post-Sweetbox material, too. I kind of loved that they went more mainstream for it, and since it worked out and I wasn’t the biggest fan of After The Lights, it was nice to see that it worked out so well. So yeah.

    Also, to hell with your “meh reviews” comment, they’re great. ♥

    • Thanks so much! Most people go crazy over Adagio but I think Addicted is much better. Adagio would have been much better without the rappers. I actually got into Jade through her post-Sweetbox material so Bittersweet Symphony has a special place in my heart lol.

      • I think the most people love Adagio is because it has the Final Fantasy X-2 tracks if anything. It IS a good album, but… It lacks something that both Jade and Addicted have, I think so it’s not really my favourite. The lack of the rapper would’ve helped it, too.

        And on that note, after getting into Sweetbox through FFX-2, Addicted was where I first really started, so that’s probably why I love it so much. But it is still amazing.

  2. Yeah, that’s probably why people love Adagio so much. I remember checking out their albums after I heard the FFX-2 songs but I kind of forgot about them. Then I heard she went solo and checked out Bittersweet Symphony and I was so mad that I stopped following them XD.


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