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Review: Epik High’s ‘[e]’ album, part two (‘[e]nergy’)

January 3, 2010

Okay, I’m updating with the review for disc two of Epik High’s “[e]” album. If you want to read the review for disc one, check it out here.

Let’s get right into it! I’m looking forward to this disc because I have a feeling it will have a different feeling from the first disc. I don’t think that will be bad, because I’m immensely into “[e]motion,” but if “[e]” is anything like the two-disc “Remapping the Human Soul,” I know that the second disc will have a lot of fun energy (as the title, “[e]nergy” alludes to). I like seeing all sides of Epik High. Be prepared for lots of netspeak; it tends to show itself when I get hyped.

Disc 2: [e]nergy

  1. Orchestras. Spotlights. Turntables. (feat. MYK): Maybe I’m reading too much into these intros, but I always feel that when a group DOES have an intro, it’s to really get you ready for the rest of the album. There is definitely a more driven feeling with this one as compared to “Oceans. Sand. Trees.” I love it though! MYK’s voice is perfect for the emotion of the song.
  2. Still Here (feat. Dok2): AH, I love Dok2 (pronounced “Doki”). He sounds really good too. Anyway, back to the meat of the song; the energy really is here. Loooooooooooove the drive of track. It’s kind of pulling you away from whatever you’re doing because it’s so in-your-face. Honestly, it’s one of those songs I immediately connect with. I think in the first disc they were showing us their soft side, and with “[e]nergy” they’re reminding us of their hip hop roots.
  3. Sensitive Thug (Skit): LMAOOO. Is this supposed to be funny? I think so because it’s a skit, not a song. I’m seriously laughing right now. Sensitive thug (thug)? Yeah, I’m basically positive this is supposed to be hilarious.
  4. 따라해 (Wannabe) (feat. Mellow): I’m so excited about this song! AND IT’S AWESOME. HOMG. I’m going to run off and what the MV as soon as I’m finished with the song. I love Epik High for being able to be classy and then turn around and have a catchy-as-get-out track such as this… and it’s as ironic as it is. Really, how can anyone complain about this song? Of course, there are plenty of rumors that it picks on particular people in the industry, but whatever. Even if it does, who cares. I need to listen to this song like ten thousand times more when it’s done. It’s way too fun. (AND OMG THE MV = LOVE FOREVER!)
  5. Rocksteady (feat. Kero One, Dumbfoundead, MYK, Rakka): Heck yeah, a full on rap song. Songs like “Eight by Eight” (both versions!) are the kind that take a while to grow on me, but once they do I just randomly put them on repeat and I love it. I really admire the skill it takes to have such masterful flow. That being said, I have to be in the mood for this kind of track. Just being honest. Still, I can tell when I like I song, and I like this one. I love the throwbacks to “Top Gun” and the whole “East-West connection” thing.
  6. Madonna (feat. Mellow): The lyrics are already making me smile. This disc is way more tech-y that the first, but it really works for the “energy” theme. I really love Mellow’s voice. Epik High does really well when they have light and airy female vocals to balance out their oh-so manly raps.
  7. 말로맨/Mallomaen: They take it a step down for this song, but not in quality–it’s all in rhythm. Anyway, it’s a really chill song to listen to even though they tell everyone to get out and shut up… lol.
  8. Shopaholic: Is this song about me? Kidding, but I do love to spend some dollaaahs. I think it’s interesting that even the slower songs on this disc still feel more energetic than emotional. I wonder if they had to sort through tracks and assign them to each one or if they had the plan all along? Who knows. I love the guitar in this song though. Dy-ya-munds lllloool.
  9. Supreme 100: I wonder what direction this song will go in because it’s so long… OH, is it kind of like the “16” tracks they’ve been releasing? But LONGER. Freestyle? Major props. WOW, I’m not even halfway through this track and I’m extremely impressed. If you ever doubted this guy’s talent you just have to listen to this song for two seconds and your mind will be blown. It’s totally Tablo but I’m not complaining. Ah, he says “2010” too.
  10. High Technology: Mmmk I like this song. Did he just says “Harry Potter”? Omggg love. I can see why they use this song for the second part of the “Wannabe” MV saga. I love the chorus! I’m interested in looking up the lyrics too, cause they’re probably pretty insightful. Leave it to Epik High to write a catchy song that exposes habits of society.
  11. Rocksteady (Korean Ver.) (feat. Paloalto, Dok2, Beatbox DG, Beenzino): Isn’t it sad that I didn’t even notice that the first “Rocksteady” was in English? That’s how smooth these guys are. I can take Korean or English and just chill out and ZONE out. I love the grouping of guys they chose for both tracks though. Each song has it’s own flavor but they all rock it (or rock STEADY it… har har… I know, not funny).
  12. High Skool Dropout (반항하지 마/Do Not Struggle): Isn’t this the song from their remix album? Okay, now I see that they added to it. I kind of like this one more! I love the back-and-forth between Tukutz and Mithra.
  13. 흉/Whitetip: The beginning of this song reminded me slightly of 2NE1’s “Fire,” but only because of the sound they used. Ooh, I like the piano! This song is pretty awesome, to tell you the truth (as if I doubted it). I like the feel of it a lot. It has the energy characteristic of the album.
  14. Lesson 4 (Tablo’s Word): I usually love Tablo’s “Words.” This is no exception! I like the mix between music and vocals, Korean and English. This song feels full and I think I’ll need to hear it a few more times before I’ll have a better grasp on it. Musically, it’s very worth listening to.
  15. Organs. Screams. Televisions. This song has such a creepy feel to it! It’s rather underwater-ish. Still, it has beauty and hope in it. It’s a good way to end the album, because you’re left feeling… I don’t know. I guess I feel like something is complete, but I still want more.

If you’re going to buy one album from last year THIS year, go for Epik High’s “[e].” It will be worth your money! Sure, I have other albums by the group that I have liked more, but that doesn’t change the fact that I find this to be a really good mix of songs. As for the two-disc idea, I feel that disc two is the yang to disc one’s yin. In “[e]nergy” you honestly get what you’re promised: a CD full of songs that make you think of adjectives like “awake,” “alive,” and, “full.” Where “[e]motion” will make you contemplate, “[e]nergy” will have you up and about. Together, they make one unstoppable album. I think if Epik High must have a hiatus, this is the perfect album with which to start it.

I know Epik High will never see this review, but if I could tell them face-to-face what I think of their music, I’d let them know that I find them to be a huge inspiration. Even though I’m not a musician, I am an artist. I think we all are, in a way (as hugely cheesy as that sounds; don’t worry, I know). If you can connect to something creative and beautiful and channel the energy you get from it to any aspect of your life and return that life and love, you definitely are. I think everything we love shapes who we are, even if it’s “just” music. I’m happy to say I love Epik High. I don’t deny my love of the corny and kitche when it comes to music, but at the end of the day I want to listen to artists that are more than that.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. qoobie23 permalink
    January 4, 2010 1:31 am

    I can’t believe you managed to hold out on watching the Wannabe MV until now! A great parody. I love how their creativity shines not only through their music, beats and lyrics, but also their album packaging, MVs, website and random youtube clips (like their parody of The Office). Very few artistes today can put out such a complete package whilst being ‘real’.

    High Skool Dropout was indeed in their remix album, I think its a remix of an old track of theirs – High Skool – second album.

    Great reviews~ I wouldn’t have the patience to do a track by track review of a 30 track album!

    Seriously looking forward to see what solo material Tablo and Mithra will come up with this year~

  2. January 4, 2010 3:45 am

    I can’t believe it either! I kept thinking I would, but then again… I kept thinking I would give in and listen to the album as well. I’m glad I waited though, because now is a great time to enjoy this “new” music.

    I agree with you! The guys of Epik High are incredibly creative. I love them more than ever now that they’ve got Map the Soul. It makes it so much easier for fans (especially international fans) to connect with the group and see more aspects of them.

    Aiiii, I didn’t have patience for it so I had to break it in two parts haha.

  3. qoobie23 permalink
    January 4, 2010 4:08 am

    oh oh – you made your new banner right? I can easily tell that TOP, Taeyang and CL are 3 of them, but who are the other 3?

    I’ve been discretely turning my head upside down at work to see the 3rd guy – can’t work out who he is.

    The girl sitting looks like Sunye of WG? And the last one…. is that a guy from U-Kiss? At first I thought it was either Taecyeon or Wooyoung… but the guy seems too small to be him. Argh! How can I call myself a kpop fan if I don’t know who these people are! RAGE

  4. January 4, 2010 4:15 am

    HAHA, you can still call yourself a fan of Kpop because two of the three aren’t Korean. The upside-down guy is Show Luo and the girl sitting is Ueno Juri. I mostly talk about K-entertainment, but for the few times I branch out I added some other people. The third guy is Taecyeon from 2PM, so you basically got that.

    I have a less cluttered version, but I figured I’m a pretty cluttered blogger. This place can handle six people in a header.

  5. qoobie23 permalink
    January 4, 2010 6:59 am

    Ahhh so I pretty much got all my kpop guys right? PHEW. I’ll be able to sleep soundly tonight. 😀

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