Fresh from the military, Jung Ji Hoon aka Rain is back with a new album to kick off 2014. Here’s our review.
1. Rain Effect (널 붙잡을 노래) intro song that lasts 30 seconds and a taster of things to come in this album. This song was in one of Rain‘s teaser video clips before he released the full-length MVs for the next two songs in this album.
2. 30 Sexy With heavy funky beats and hand claps this is indeed a hot song where a guy wants a lady to stay with him to party. The lyrics just scream sex. I’ve noticed a lot of people thought Rain originally said “Dirty Sexy” or “Dirty Baby” as opposed to “30 Sexy” and “30 Baby.” Either way it doesn’t lessen the song’s sauciness whatsoever and Rain uses a lot of Falsetto in the catchy chorus, reminding me more of Prince and Michael Jackson (not so much Justin Timberlake which I know a lot of people associate Rain with, especially since the former is one of Rain’s influences). I think what’s even catchier is the music in between the verses. As for the 30 mention itself, it makes me wonder – was Rain implying that being aged 30 is sexy? Is it a shout out to the fans in his age range or much older?
3. LA Song The little circus intro was unexpected but things speed up when the song kicks off into Latin music beat. Rain sings the first verse where he explains he is obedient yet causes trouble. He then raps in the second one which talks about how he may have it all but is nothing like the “cheesy people” who follow him and simply wants to party. Another potential club track to play. Mixing brass instruments and a bit of electric guitar (that little guitar solo is brilliant). Warning – the “lalalala lalala” chorus is going to stick into your head.
4. Where Are You, Oppa? (어디 가요. 오빠) feat HyunA Just when you thought 30 Sexy was steamy we then get another sexy idol to collaborate on this album. Rain seems to do more rapping in this track and HyunA adds a cute but seductive voice, asking Oppa to come play with her. Of course Oppa is too busy because he’s being a superstar. Surely this song will inspire girls to use this method to get to their Oppa.
5. Marilyn Monroe (마릴린 먼로) Rain gets romantic with a simple R’n’B ballad. He’s in love with a stunning woman who cannot compare to the legendary blonde bombshell.
6. Baby (차에 타봐) Another R’n’B track. Rain wakes up the following morning to find his girlfriend had left without saying a word. Turns out she was seeing another man but only because her current boyfriend is over-protective and possessive to the point of wanting to punch the other guy in the face. Not quite a typically romantic song, however when you listen till the end and read the translations you’ll see the story behind the track. Could definitely work for an MV.
7. Superman Futuristic sounds ensue here. Rain says he’s Superman and he’ll give you everything because he’s so impressive.
8. Found Out (알아버렸어) Another R’n’B ballad. Rain just broke up with a girl who apparently faked her feelings for him and went off with another guy. Sadly her face continuously haunts him after the break up and no matter how much it hurts him he’ll try his hardest to erase her existence from his mind.
9. Dear Mama Don’t Cry A perfect song for a guy to sing to his Mother to show how much he appreciates her for bringing him up, despite hardships. Rain lost his Mother back in 2000 and this certainly pays tribute to her.
10. 30 Sexy (East4A Deeptech Mix) A much faster remix of one of the main comeback singles. Something for the DJs to play with on vinyl.
UK Potential: 4/5
Rain‘s few words of Engrish might raise one or two eyebrows but I would think the listeners won’t really pay attention to that and focus more on the funky music or the fierce choreography if they were watching his dances. The music in Rain Effect stands a very high chance of doing well here. I can see 30 Sexy and LA Song being massive party favourites for UK clubbers. The R’n’B tracks in this album will appeal to the young music listeners who want some romance or drama. Where Are You, Oppa? is definitely a song for the Kpop fangirls. You might be able to relate to it.
Ever since his stage comeback on MAMA 2013, Rain showed why he was one of Kpop’s big stars but was this album worth it? He’s certainly added different music genres here. He’s rapping more and going for highly charged party tracks yet maintains his R’n’B vocal style so anyone who was a fan of his older works can be reassured he hasn’t dropped that sound permanently. Rain Effect is definitely more experimental than Rain‘s previous works.