Brave Brothers - Volume 1: The Classic

Ohmyohmyohmyohmy, how long as it been since my last post? Well, it doesn't matter - I'm back, and I won't be going anywhere for the next few weeks. Except maybe around the time I deliver my senior speech (ABOUT HALLYU!!!) and take the second and last university entrance exam I'm taking. That and I lost my earphones yesterday so I'm relying on my phone for all blogging listening I have to do, and the battery life of my phone is not the best in the world. But anyway, I'M BACK WITH AN ALBUM REVIEW!

The Brave Brothers. Whether you're new to kpop or a veteran in the field, you've heard their songs. You may not know which songs they were responsible for, but I think it's a given that they produce majority of the non-"big 3" acts, and even a few big 3 acts here and there. They (some sources lead me to believe that it's just one guy, but whatever) used to work under YGE, but left to start independently producing. It's pretty much paid off, as they've worked with/for artists like After School, San Dambi, U-Kiss, 4Minute, BEAST, Brown Eyed Girls, and the list goes on.

This album's format is very much like that of Timbaland's Shock Value - the credited artist on the tracks is "Brave Brothers", but each song bears a "featuring" tag, and those featured artists sing/perform majority of the song. I find it stupid, but then again they are producers, not singers. BUT THEN AGAIN, they're producers so they shouldn't be credited as the performer, they should be credited as the producers. I better stop now.

The thing with these kinds of albums that I like is that they are cohesive - all produced and written by the same people with experience in catering to different acts while keeping a distinct sound, that's bound to be cohesive. Even if almost all of the duo's "commissioned" songs sound very similar, I think they did a very good job of "showing a whole range of styles" without straying from the cohesion that so little acts nowadays have.

The first full cut on the album is 너를 그린다 (part of that translates to "tears"?) with vocal powerhouse duo Davichi and Electroboyz, who I assume are rappers/occasional singers. The melody's gorgeous, and I find it nice and refreshing that the girls aren't screaming their heads off, even if they do a pretty good job with that. The rap was annoying at first, but for once I'm thankful they had some autotuned bits - none on Davichi though, thankfully. Pretty song, nice and laid-back, it's a joy to listen to.

Ugh. I don't like 돌아 돌아, I really don't. It's got character, I give that to them, but if you were with me when I started my foray into kpop, I'm not the biggest fan of rapping, and even until now I don't respond well to songs that are predominantly rapped. The autotune-laden hook really sticks, but the song just makes my finger want to press "forward" about 20 seconds into it.

Ahh yes, the Jaebeom song - 울고싶단 말야. I've got to hand it to these guys, they know how to make beautiful songs. There are pretty songs, yes, but there are also beautiful songs - the ones that make you smile, but are actually really simple. The melody on this song really stands out against the simple, but gorgeous, piano loop and the generic percussion line. It isn't easy pulling that off - a boring melody on top of the elements you have on this song will make it your run-of-the-mill R&B copycat song with no kick. But this one's got a melody to die for.

I don't like Addict either, I'm sorry. Although, to put my two cents in, it reminds me a lot of something Big Bang would be willing to record as an album track - I can vividly imagine GD rapping that rap line. The synths annoy me, though, and the melody is very stiff and techno-y. I realize where they're coming from with this track, I just don't like it. Period.

Even if I'm all "music shouldn't really be censored unless absolutely necessary", Music Award and 돈 벌었지, frankly, sound horrible because of all the cursing. I understand if they want to curse, freedom of expression is there for everyone to avail of, but the right to freedom of expression comes with the responsibility to make something tasteful. These were everything but tasteful.

They've whipped up a "new version" of Invisible with Son Dambi, and they've really made it sound like a Dambi song. From the arrangement, the vocal treatment and all the way down to the instrumental - everything just sounds right. I like how they managed to portray the featured artists as how their actual material sound like, not make them clones of one another. I used to say that the Brave Brothers' productions all sound the same, and to a certain extent they do, but this package as a whole kind of makes me want to partially retract that statement a bit.

Electric guitars on 가위바위보, huh? Interesting. To a certain extent it comes of as a bit wannabe-ish to me, especially when he spells out R-O-C-K, but whatever floats your boats, guys.

Saving the two best songs for last, I assume.

First, a "guitar remix" of 슬픈 음악 with ballad dudes V.O.S on vocals, and their vocals on the chorus remind me of the Davichi song, but the song's got a completely different thing altogether. The cymbals mixed with the rest of the percussion line and the progression of the arrangement are similar to After School's Because Of You, but the rather quaint guitars give the song character. I like character.

When I first heard Bittersweet I was tired as hell and pissed off, but it's one of those songs that have the power to make me smile with just the melody. The rap part is tasteful, they got it right on this cut even if there is relatively a lot of rapping, and the melody is just gorgeous. The treatment of the vocals remind me of that song they released December last year with the two guys from U-Kiss, but with a slightly different sound. That cut was crisper, this one's a lot warmer - almost effortless. All the elements just come together and the end result? A gorgeous, gorgeous end to a strong album.

Best Track: It's between Bittersweet and 울고싶단 말야
Better Tracks: 너를 그린다, Invisible
Worst Track: Music Award
The Rating: 4.3/5 the two tasteless songs ruined it


  1. Yay. My fave angsty writer is back. And so are the feisty reviews. :)

    Haha. Anyways, I totally dig Brave Brothers though sometimes their music gets a bit tad and predictable.

    I dunno. Haha.

    But they really do get to work with awesome artists and voila, the results are just to die for.

    As usual, your post keeps me hanging for more.

    Till then.

    Your avid fan, (LOL)

  2. 4.6/5?! I'd give it 1/5 because of the new version of Invisible and I Want to Cry.

    I really had high hopes this album would be better than the crap they made last year but no, it's terrible. What were they thinking?!

    And they have the deceny to diss other producers like Tiger and JYP ¬_¬ No...I agree about Music Award, too much swearing yet the beat is good.

  3. Lol, did you use the Lucifer review as a template? Because the better tracks says "너를 그린다, Invisible, Life, Love Pain, Love Still Goes On"

    But, yeah, spot on review. Nothing more to say when you've said it all.

  4. i appreciate his music. he got skillz that most ppl cant have


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