Jo Kwon Vol. 1, released on 6.25.12, is Jo Kwon’s debut solo album.
「Awesome Girl (feat. Yankie)」 starts off as an upbeat electronica club beat with Jokwon’s vocals being full on autotuned. He sings, “You’re awesome girl~” repeatedly in the chorus. Right after the first chorus Yankie comes in for the rap before Jokwon comes back in for a sweet 2nd verse before going back into the bridge and chorus.
Not sure why the Radio edit is first, but 「Animal (Radio Edit) (feat. Jung Ho Suk of Bulletproof Boy Scouts)」 is a heated song as Jokwon sings with a sultry voice against a techno instrumental. Once we get to the chorus, the synthesizer and organs (?) heats things up even more as Jokwon sings, “Don’t stop the beat, don’t make it dry (?)”. This is a really short song, just barely under 3 minutes.
Next up is 「I’m Da One (feat. Zion T)」, which tbh I am so disappointed with. I was expected a badass song from what I saw from the teasers! But it’s still cute nonetheless. It starts off with some cute ad-libs and whistling with a bright electronica instrumental. Jokwon’s vocals are bright and smooth as Zion T comes in every now and then for some speaking/rap parts. The chorus is cute as he sings, “So come on! Bring it up! I’m da (the) one!” I feel like something is missing from this, but still a cute, energetic and fun song.
「Lipstick」 starts off sounding like a electronica club beat, but it actually turns out to be a bright, energetic electronica song. The synthesizer comes in during the bridge/chorus as things get more quick paced before Jokwon sings, “I will be a freak freak because of your lipstick”.
「Who’s Loving You Now」 brings the autotune back for a bit in the beginning for the ad-lib before we get an instrumental with a drum that slowly begins to include other percussion as Jokwon whispers, “There is no one like you.” As other percussion and instruments come in, he begins to sing more strongly, “Who’s loving you now? Who’s holding you tightly now? Who’s loving you now? Who’s making you smile?” It kinda sounds like a few familiar R&B songs, using the ex-bf tone to sing to the girl.
「Wingardium Leviosa」 starts off with the sound of the intercoms before going into a heavy synthesizer quick paced instrumental that Jokwon goes right into strongly. He sings with a bit of mischievousness in his vocals as he sings in a higher octave in the bridge and chorus. The instrumentation is a bit irritating (if it was something else, I think it would’ve been better) but the way Jokwon sings itself is great. Yay for songs named after Harry Potter spells?
Time for a 2AM feature! 「Something ‘Bout You (feat. Jung Jinwoon of 2AM)」 is a sultry song complete with attractive guitar chords and the tambourine. Jokwon sings in a sultry voice, beckoning the listener. There’s a lot of electronica once we get into the chorus as he sings, “Y’know there’s something about you!” Jinwoon doesn’t come in until the 3rd verse, but he does it really well. This kind of song really fits Jinwoon, there’s just something about his voice that really completes the song.
「Heaven (feat. Miso of GLAM)」 is a R&B duet as the electronica makes a strong instrumental with Jokwon singing first before Miso comes in. In the chorus, the two of them come together to harmonize, though one thing I really don’t like about Miso is the slight strain in her vocals (you’d have to listen to the song to get what I mean). It’s a nice song though.
Now Jokwon brings us a ballad with 「Just a Kiss」, a melancholic piano instrumental coupled with some orchestra as Jokwon whispers into the song. After the first chorus, percussion and other instruments get added to the instrumentation as Jokwon becomes more stronger in his vocals and the tone of the song also gets stronger.
The album ends with 「Animal (feat. Jung Ho Suk of Bulletproof Boy Scouts)」, which I’m going to assume is the original version. It’s pretty much the same as the radio edit except longer.
Jokwon has amazing vocals and this album really gave him a chance to do other song genres (since 2AM mostly does ballads). I really enjoy watching Jokwon dancing for I’m Da One, actually. This is a really good album and worth the listen.