What’s up everyone, Hyunnie here! I am finally back from a very lengthy hiatus! As I have explained in my previous post, I’ve been busy trying to finish off a couple of assessments (major essays for example), fighting off a bad case of the flu, and also been trying to cope with my first days of practical at a high school! So, August & September have just been such a hectic time period for me, and I do apologise for disappearing for so long! I’ll try and get back into the routine again, but I have to admi, that is certainly easier said than done!
Today’s post is about Wax unni’s newest album “Spark”, which was released on the 26th August. I have been a huge fan of Wax ever since I discovered her song Coin Laundry (사랑한 적도 없는) at the beginning of the year (“Coin Laundry” is still a song that I love and play all the time!) so when I heard that she was releasing a new album, I literally freaked out and jumped up and down for about 10 minutes straight! The sad thing about this, is that I feel that she is so underrated, despite her being in the business for almost 15 years. Therefore, I hope that this post will bring more awareness about her, and encourage you all to go and check her out; she is amazing! If you want to read more about her, here is a nice post written by Soompi about her background and some of her greatest hits.
Alright, enough chit-chat and let’s get started with this review!
Name of artist: Wax (왁스)
Name of album: Spark (스파크)
Date of release: 26th August 2014
Number of tracks: 11
Genre: Ballad, Pop Rock
So, along with this album, 4 MVs for four songs were released prior to the actual album release. All 4 are absolutely wonderful, and are in no way poorly done or filmed. Two of those MVs are some of my favourite songs from the entire album, which I will discuss below.
Just a little warning beforehand, I suck at reviewing music. The main difference I have with songs is whether or not they sound good to my ears or not. Therefore, for the sack of me not embarrassing myself further, I will only be reviewing the songs that have an MV (so that I can comment on how pretty it is along with the song LOL) But be prepared, since I have a bad feeling that this is going to be a really bad example of how a review should be hehe~
I will be ordering it in the way the album has set out the songs!
1. 가을 끝 (The End of Autumn)
As expected from Wax, this song is a beautiful ballad about a woman who has been left by her man, and asks where he could be right now. As the end of autumn is quickly turning to winter, she starts to try and forget him, but instead misses him more and more. Her voice is both passionate and convincing; it is true that it is hard to forget the one you love, when you were so sure that he/she would be your last. The acoustic guitar strumming, along with the dominant drumming and cymbal-playing in the background highlights how our inner feelings feel and approach such times of confliction – both calm and hectic.
Now, onto the MV.
First off, I will never ever doubt the amazing ability that Wax has with her MVs. They are always so professionally filmed and executed, and a true joy to watch. When I watched this MV the first time around (without the subs), I felt so drained of happiness since I focused on the MV itself, rather than the song. However, when I checked back for the sake of this review, I watched it again with the subtitles, and I just broke down by the end of it all. Reading the lyrics, and watching the video alongside it truly strengthened my love and admiration for Wax. By the end of the MV, I felt so raw and disorientated and absolutely touched. Wax, you are truly amazing.
The drama within the MV reflects one way the song could be interpreted – a woman rejects the love of her life for another (I’m assuming anyway), and the man has ‘left her’ forever (literally). She misses him dearly, despite her efforts to try and forget him.
Her moral dilemma between dream and reality signifies her inner conflict about how much she loved this man, and whether rejecting him was the right decision.
By the end of the MV, we can interpret it in many ways. One way would be no, she still feels guilty and can’t let go. Another way (which is probably what I would assume) is that she is just as broken as before, but by meeting him for one last time, she is willing to move on and forget him – to go on with her life without him, much like how autumn gives no mercy when it transforms into winter. A wonderful song, which just goes hand-in-hand with the MV.
2. 떠나버려 (Just Leave)
A great contrast from the previous track, huh? Apart from ballads, Wax is also well-known for her rock songs, which date back to when she was still in the rock-band “Dog”. It is absolutely great and refreshing to hear her return to her rock-inspired roots! This song is just solid in the rock department. The beginning of the track doesn’t hint on the fact that it is a rock song, but definitely by the chorus, the vocals, melody and instruments release and blast out, but never in a fashion that makes you repel or hate it. That is probably the pop-factor talking by then 😉
The MV is pretty straight-forward, but it’s meaning behind it all is what makes the whole video more intriguing and truly captures the audience. From what we can assume, the woman is ‘escaping’ from a nightmare that she just can’t shake off.
She never seems to get a good night sleep, and so she finally gains the courage to face her fears against her nightmares.
We can interpret the nightmare literally however, I feel that this MV symbolises something more than trying to find a solution to escape our nightmares; rather it encourages us all to face our fears, regardless of what they are. It could be a person, a memory, an event, an object – your fears can come in different forms. For me, this MV screams out to me to face forward against my greatest fears, which would potentially be the loss of my family and friends; that I should work hard, and try to create a future for not only myself, but also for them.
3. 그랬으면 좋을 텐데 (How I Wish It Could Be That Way)
This track isn’t as rock-heavy as the last one, however its rock elements are very enjoyable. This is such a great song to just blast out when your alone at home, or while you are driving just like how the MV was shown. The song is really fresh and amazing – it really brings us back to what the music was like in the 1980s (which, by the way was an AWESOME time for music :D) With Wax’s blasting vocals during the chorus, it really emphasises the feelings she must be having – that she is patiently waiting for their special someone to come back.
As for the MV, it definitely gives justice to the song. Aware of what the song talks about, the MV expresses how the song make us feel. A woman, wait for her man to return, misses him dearly every day as she waits.
However, instead of sulking around and crying over him, she looks to the past and reflects over it, coming to the conclusion that she should look forward to the day that he will return. Jumping on couches, blasting music from her car – actions that tell us “I’m fine, and that I will wait for you patiently”.
It feels like a song for all the women who are waiting for their men to return from the military (at least one way of interpreting it), or the women whose men travel a lot for work. Overall, the MV and song gives a really positive message for anyone out there who have a partner that does have to leave them for a certain reason – don’t worry because one day they will return.
4.숨겨둔 절반의 사랑 (Half Love, Left Hidden)
This song is certainly one of my favourites from the album, and I can probably say the same for the MV too. The song isn’t as heavy (in terms of emotion) as “The End of Autumn”, but its meaning is still quite significant – that her love for this person was not meant to be. Initially, the song begins with the layering of distant vocals and instrumental sounds (sorry, couldn’t word this properly at all!), which hints to us that this song will focus more on the lyrics and meaning of the song, rather than the actual instruments played (as you would notice in most electronic or rock songs). Wax’s vocals conveys to us the feelings of the lyrics – forget him already, he isn’t and can’t be yours. Yet, there still lies hints of hope here and there, a sense of hope that maybe, just maybe, she may still have a chance. Such emotion used to sing the true meaning and feelings of this song is amazing, and is certainly the main reason why this song never seems to get old for me, even though I have played it on repeat for ages!
The MV gives us a scenario where the song paints the story for us. We are introduced to a young woman who is walking towards a train track, thinking deeply with each step she takes.
From there, we are then shown a less mature version of her as she impatiently anticipates her meeting with someone. Gradually, we realised that this young woman has a deep crush on a older man, a love that is pure, innocent and untainted. However, as she steadily realises that this love could never be reciprocated, she is heartbroken.
By the end of the MV, we see her return to the beginning scene, which as many have pointed out (including myself) is connected to the anime film “5 centimetres per second” from 2007 (and is one of my most favourite anime films of all time) yet, I feel that it is slightly different.
During the time that I had started typing this post (which I have to admit was a while ago), another song from Wax’s album was released called (Fly High). It is a really nice song (as with the whole album) which goes back to Wax’s rock-music roots as well. I won’t write a review on it (reasons why should be obvious to you all) but it is certainly another MV worth checking out!
So, that is my review for Wax’s “Spark” Album. I know it wasn’t a complete review of some sort, however I feel that for my lack of music reviewing skills, this is probably sufficient enough. I was just so determined to try and give Wax a huge shoutout, since I believe that she is really underrated among the Kpop industry today. I do hope to see many more take more interest into her music, and despite her style not exactly being everyone’s cup-of-tea, I do wish that everyone can give her a try, and see what you like and maybe dislike.
Thank you all for tuning in on this random review, and I do hope to return very soon. Once again, I apologise for disappearing for so long and sadly, I am sensing that it may happen again very soon (sorry in advance!)
❤ Yami Hyunnie ^^~