REVIEW: Seo Taiji - Ultramania
This is the sixth album (second solo album) from
Korean artist, Seo Taiji. Apparently Taiji's previous albums were of varying
styles, including pop, and now he has taken a liking to "pimp rock". After
staying in the U.S. for over four years working on his "new" sound, Taiji has
now returned to Korea, where he is quite well-known.
According to what little English is used on the
layout, the album is composed, arranged, written, performed, and produced
entirely by Taiji. In general, the entire album is nicely performed, skillfully
produced, and if nothing else, Taiji should be credited for his abundance of
skills. With a few exceptions, the vocals are in Korean, so if you're into
lyrics, you'll need a translator.
Ok, on with the music. The first track is a short
musical intro of little consequence. The second track, "Tank", sounds like an
Asian Korn. The song is actually decent, and is more akin to Korn's older
material. The third track, "Orange" sounds somewhat like Soulfly with Asian
vocals. Track four, "Internet War", sounds like Korn again. Keep in mind that
Tiaji's vocals are much quirkier than those of Jonathon Davis, and there is some
originality here, but the guitars are so Korny that it's hard to ignore the
resemblance. Similar to Track 1, Track 5 is a very short musical interlude,
rougly 10 seconds long. Track six sees a return to the same style displayed on
the other tracks. The bass is totally Korn, while the odd lead guitars do offer
of a departure from the rap-metal feel. The riffs Taiji uses aren't bad, and
some actually "rock", despite their lack of originality. Track 7 is 40 seconds
of looping effects and dance-type grooves. Track eight, "Ultramania", sounds
like Korn again, at first, but then veers off into a slick, more energetic
Track nine, "Do you remember", clocks in at over 9
minutes, but only about 5 minutes of music, the rest being static, then silence,
followed by a mediocre hidden track. The song contains a hodgepodge of new-metal
trademarks, but interspersed amongst the typical stuff are actually some fairly
interesting uses of layered melodies and orchestra-sounding slabs of guitar.
This is definitely the best track on the album and actually sounds very
Bottom Line: If you
haven't already gathered as much, Taiji is obviously influenced by Korn. Almost
everything on this album seems inspired by them in one fashion or another.
However, to his credit, Taiji is able to inject something unique into his
offerings, and in some odd way, this album might be viewed as refreshing,
especially in comparison to Korn's currently stale (Issues) music.
--- Available from Wawa
Seo Taiji Links
Seo Taiji website