TONE, released on 9.28.11, is Tohoshinki’s 6th album. (On a separate note, all the covers are really ugly.)
「Introduction ~magenta~」 sounds like a Japanese lullaby a mom would actually sing to her child, especially the way Changmin and Yunho are singing it, which I think is the point.
「B.U.T (BE-AU-TY)」 is the song they promoted for the album. It has a slight reminiscent drum beat with heavy synthesizer as Changmin and Yunho are autotuned. There’s also this weird “alien” like sound in the background. The chorus is repetitive as they sing B.U.T.T.T.T… then a bunch of “hey!” I really don’t like this song.
Seems like synthesizer, autotune, and the electronica will be common in these songs cause 「I Think U Know」 has it too. The verses are heavily autotuned as they sing in a low key, almost in a taunting, confident way. The title “I think you know” is repeated frequently in the song, especially in the bridge and the chorus. Yeah, next.
Things are changed up with 「Duet」, an R&Bish track with the boys singing in low, husky vocals and a simple, repetitive electronica and guitar instrumental. The harsh staccato from the instrumental though is a bit distracting. The chorus gets more busy with more instrumentation as the pace of the lyrics picks up, but is really short and goes back into the next verse pretty quickly.
「Thank you my girl」 starts off with a fancy orchestra (think ballroom music) before stopping and going into a mix of orchestra (?) and synthesizer. The chorus has lots of voices overlapping, which gets really confusing and messy.
It seems to me that 「Telephone」 has some sad undertones to it with the bass guitar sounding a bit like “The Day You Went Away” from M2M. Their vocals also have that melancholy undertone to it, which I really like.
「Back to Tomorrow」 starts off with a repetitive piano beat before the violins come in along with the boys’ vocals (I am really starting to forget whose voice is who). The chorus gets really screechy though with their vocals trying to reach a high key with the classic “clap” electronica sound or whatever that is. It kind of makes me think of an anime ending or… I don’t really know how to explain it.
「Why? (Keep Your Head Down)」 got remade into a Japanese version, so this is basically just the same thing except in Japanese. The intro starts with an electric guitar and Yunho introducing the song “Keep Your Head Down. It’s U-know time. Do you know what time it is? It’s the return of the kings” as a primarily band-marching instrumental comes in. This song is primarily influenced by anger (the song is about a boyfriend becoming angry with an ex-girlfriend and talking about what bad decisions she has made). The vocals itself are kind of moderate paced in comparison to the Korean original. The whole composition itself and the song as a whole isn’t really something that I could like. It IS fierce, albeit confusing. My friend had pointed out that the song sounds a bit like “Hey! Don’t Bring Me Down” from their MIROTIC album and it really does.
Another Japanese remake, a traditional instrument starts the song, 「MAXIMUM」, before being mixed in with synthesizer and other sounds. It’s a quick song as both Yunho and Changmin sing with stress in their vocals to emphasize the anger (?) and power in their confidence. It’s kinda hard to describe this song; it’s fast paced and you get the obligatory Changmin scream (figures) but besides that, their vocals itself just go along with the flow of the music which in itself has that bit of traditional sound in it.
「I Don’t Know」 starts with a guitar instrumental coupled with some electronica sounds. The verses are heatedly sung with husky vocals while the chorus is loud as they practically yell-sing, “Hey! I don’t know!” Another song from first listen that I really did not like :/.
I’m getting the Lady Gaga vibe from 「Superstar」’s instrumental. Or maybe it’s just me? It just sounds oddly familiar somehow. Either way, there’s autotune in here, which the boys don’t need, and it gives the song an annoying tone to it. The instrumental itself is loud in the chorus with the verses autotune-less. From first listen, I honestly did not like it. It just sounds really messy to me.
「シアワセ色の花 (Shiawase iro no Hana)」 has a pretty instrumental with a classic combination of piano and orchestra and the boys’ low, husky vocals. The chorus picks up the pace a little with the boys’ singing more loudly and confidently, while the instrumental is a bit more busy but not too much. The song is pretty.
The first of the CD-only songs is 「Easy Mind」 which is an upbeat guitar instrumental with upbeat vocals. Nothing much to say about the song besides its really happy, upbeat, and the chorus is especially upbeat with the whistles. Things do quiet down a little in the third verse with a quieted down instrumental, but that soon picks back up in the last chorus.
Can’t find 「Weep」 or 「Somebody to Love -2011 Version-」, so no comments on those, sorry!
I don’t really find myself liking this style that HoMin are putting out now as Tohoshinki, but the one song I did like was Shiawase iro no Hana. Everything else was pretty meh.