TEST DRIVE featuring JASON DERULO, released on 12.7.11, is Akanishi’s first mini-album. The title track was released previously on November 8th as his debut in the USA.
「TEST DRIVE featuring JASON DERULO (7th Heaven Mix)」 starts off with a dramatic electronica/synthesizer instrumental as a voice says, “It’s Jin… Jason Derulo.” The song then goes into a techno-like electronica instrumental as Jin sings about taking a girl for a ride (cough, I really think this has sexual undertones to it. Is it just me?) By the chorus, Jin’s vocals get buried under the instrumental before it goes into the second verse which Jason Derulo sings in.
I’m assuming 「TEST DRIVE featuring JASON DERULO (Main Mix)」 is the original song. Instead of the techno-ish instrumental, this time the instrumental has a constant electronica/drum beat beating along with the light electronica affects. The chorus also has a different instrumental which is lighter and sounds slightly pipe organ-ish and doesn’t bury Jin’s vocals as much as the last mix did.
This 「TEST DRIVE featuring JASON DERULO (Funkystepz Mix)」 is definitely completely techno this time. It manipulates the voice recordings to fit the techno of the song with the instrumental being very prominent over Jin’s vocals.
「MY MP3」 has a quirky electronica instrumental as Jin comes in with slightly autotuned vocals. The bridge before the second chorus has Jin singing in a really high key which totally surprised me at first. So this song is basically about Jin describing a girl as his mp3 or a song. That’s kinda sweet in a way, haha. Although I didn’t really like the way this song is arranged.
Next up is 「PAPARATS」 which starts off with a quiet guitar instrumental with the percussion as Jin sings as if we’re hearing him through the radio (that’s how his voice is edited). The bridge has him going breathy with light vocals followed by a completely rock instrumental in the chorus as Jin’s hoarse vocals sing against the instrumental. This song is about the paparazzi, but I really like how emotional the lyrics are and the song itself is really nicely done.
Last is 「TIPSY LOVE」 which is a sweet sugar-y song about Jin being totally tipsy over a girl. The song is really a weird mix of different styles as he starts off really sweet in the beginning chorus, followed by a rap, then an autotuned bridge before he goes back into the sweet chorus.
There should be a MV for TEST DRIVE somewhere, but I really did not like the song nor the MV when it first came out, so please watch it for yourself LOL.
With this single, Jin is turning fully into American music influences which is understandable since TEST DRIVE was his debut single in the USA. A song I really like is PAPARATS. I would’ve liked TIPSY LOVE a lot if it wasn’t so bi-polar and without autotune.