JEA: JUST JEA

By Paris365 on January 09, 2013

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Release Date

1/9/12

Genre

K-Pop

Label

Loen Entertainment

This mini-album, Just JeA, is being billed as the solo debut of JeA, leader of the insanely popular K-pop girl group Brown Eyed Girls. And it is her first album or mini-album. But she's actually contributed various solo tracks to soundtracks during recent years, including "Geudae Babo" ("You Fool") for Padam Padam, "Because Of You" for History of a Salaryman, "Mia" for Chuno and "Poison" for The Fugitive: Plan B.

Just JeA opens with "Days & Nights," a duet with none other than the famous R&B singer Eric Benet. And you could definitely call this song R&B, but it's also something of a genre-bender featuring sexy Spanish guitar and percussion on top of its uber-heavy beat, which could have just as easily been used for a pop or hip-hop song. It starts off with JeA singing in Korean, her voice sweet and sultry. Eric's smooth-as-ever vocals first appear during the bridge, which they sing together: "and I can't help that I'm in love with you, I'll never love again like we did then." They continue singing together for the oh-so-passionate chorus, which is mostly in English, though Eric's voice is significantly louder in the mix. For the next verse, it alternates between JeA singing a line in Korean and Eric singing a line in English. The two definitely have chemistry, resulting in a very seductive song and it's easy to imagine them performing it live on Dancing With The Stars or the like.

"I'm a kitty on the street," JeA sings during the second track, " 길고양이" (translation: "Street Cats"), delivering one hell of a hook. It's a very fun mid-tempo song that blends everything from upright bass to piano to acoustic guitars to fingers snapping. Genre-wise, it's impossible to peg down. It has moments where it sounds like jazz and moments where it sounds like funk, among other things.

Next up is "그대가 잠든 사이" (translation: "While You Were Sleeping"), an epic song that begins with some mellow piano and JeA singing oh-so-softly. It quickly becomes intense with sweeping strings and JeA really opening up her voice. The impressive arrangement also features layers of backing vocals and an electric guitar solo, calling to mind none other than Queen. To that end, JeA hits Freddie Mercury caliber high notes time and time again throughout the dazzling song.

The silky R&B ballad "Let's Hug," a duet with Jung Yup, follows. It's something of a retro track, calling to mind the R&B sound of the '70's. While it is endearing and a solid song in its own right, it pales compared to "Days & Nights," but then most R&B songs would pale in comparison to that powerhouse.

The mini-album concludes with the edgy song "Silent Stalker" featuring Double K. It has some potent beats, as well as some crunchy guitars, but the vocals dominate throughout most of the song. "Believe me, I'm in love, I'm in love with you," JeA sings super passionately -- and in a slightly creepy manner -- while Double K expresses his lack of interest in the background. (He also gets his own verses in the song, making it sure to please his fans as much as JeA's.) I would have to say it's the most intense song about stalking I've ever heard and it's also my favorite track here. -Michael McCarthy

Labels and artists interested in being featured here may contact Michael McCarthy at cinema365@gmail.com. Follow Michael on Twitter https://twitter.com/paris365.

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