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J-MIN Mini Album Vol. 1 - Shine

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J-MIN Mini Album Vol. 1 - Shine
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YesAsia Editorial Description

Though Shine is J-Min's first Korean album, she actually debuted in Japan back in 2007. One of SM Entertainment's few solo artists, she's regularly released music in Japan over the last seven years, and has participated in the soundtracks for various Korean dramas including School 2013 and To the Beautiful You. The talented singer now finally gets her chance to Shine with her first mini-album which contains six songs, three of which she penned.
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Technical Information

Product Title: J-MIN Mini Album Vol. 1 - Shine J-MIN Mini Album Vol. 1 - Shine J-MIN Mini Album Vol. 1 - Shine J-MIN 1stミニアルバム - Shine 제이민 미니앨범 1집 - Shine
Singer Name(s): J-MIN J-MIN J-MIN J−Min 제이민
Release Date: 2014-07-23
Language: Korean
Disc Format(s): CD
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
Publisher: SM Entertainment
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1036302926

Product Information / Track List

제이민 미니앨범 1집 - Shine

01. Shine
02. 후 (後)
03. If you want
04. 나의 매일 (My Everyday)
05. Finally
06. 비밀편지 (Secret Letter)


SM 솔로 여가수 J-Min, 국내 첫 미니앨범 ‘Shine’ 7월 21일 발매!

SM의 실력파 솔로 여가수, J-Min이 7월 21일 첫 미니앨범 ‘Shine’을 출시한다.

이번 앨범은 J-Min이 국내에서 선보이는 첫 솔로 음반으로, 타이틀 곡 ‘Shine’을 비롯한 다양한 장르의 총 6곡이 수록되어 있으며, J-Min이 작사에 참여한 곡도 3곡을 담아, J-Min 특유의 음악적 재능과 음악 색깔을 만나기에 충분하다.

특히, J-Min은 일본에서 지난 2007년 먼저 데뷔해 활동한 실력파 여가수로, 국내에서는 드라마 ‘무신’, ‘난폭한 로맨스’, ‘더킹투하츠’, ‘아름다운 그대에게’ 등 다수의 OST에 참여함은 물론, 뮤지컬 ‘잭 더 리퍼’, ‘삼총사’ 등에 출연해 뮤지컬 배우로 활약을 펼치는 등 뛰어난 가창력을 인정 받은 만큼, 이번 미니앨범을 통해 보여줄 새로운 음악과 무대가 더욱 기대된다.

-Album Size: 130 x 145 x 13 mm
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August 31, 2014

Finally, J-Min's first Korean album
I first heard J-Min four years ago at the 2010 SMTOWN Live in Los Angeles. At the time, I thought she had a refreshing voice and musical style, and looked forward to hearing more of her. The wait turned out to be longer than expected. In the last few years, J-Min has released occasional J-pop singles and participated in occasional K-Drama soundtracks, which at least puts her on a slightly better plane than fellow SM soloist Zhang Liyin, but overall she's simply been underpromoted. This July, a full seven years after her Japan debut in 2007, she finally got to release her first Korean mini-album Shine.

A break from the predominantly urban and electronic-based autotune dance sound of idol K-pop, the title track Shine (Track 1) is a wonderful pop rock jam comparable to J-Min's Japanese singles. Epitomizing her guitar pop style, the song has an upbeat power pop vibe and great hooks and beats.

Hoo (Track 2) should sound familiar to anyone who watched Miss Korea, as it is a reworked version of the theme song Hero. Upon comparison, the song's progression at the end as well as the lyrics to one of the verses have been changed, but the two versions retain similar arrangement, tone and delivery, such that the differences are hardly noticeable. Either way, the song itself in both iterations is a lovely acoustic ballad with a bare, poignant melody and warm lyrics by Moon Sung Nam of indie band Every Single Day. J-Min interprets the song with a strong yet gentle wispiness that, especially in the opening bars, reminds a bit of Kim Yoon Ah.

The other two ballads of the album, "My Everyday" (Track 4) and Finally (Track 5), don't quite measure up to Hoo musically. "My Everyday," in particular, seems to be a Kenzie afterthought, a by-the-numbers ballad with forgettable melody and arrangement. J-Min's vocal delivery is fine but does not lift the song above generic. Finally, which J-Min wrote the lyrics for, fares better with a sweet refrain and effective piano-driven arrangement. Notably, the song's long notes give her room to ad-lib and let loose her powerful vocals.

J-Min penned the lyrics for two other songs on the album including the Korean remake of her Japanese single If You Want (Track 3). The pop rock number sounds like an early 2000s Top 40 hit, a Michelle Branch-style throwback that works on pure force of its catchy melody and positive energy. The most playful song on the album, "Secret Letter" (Track 6) delivers a lovesick message with uptempo flair. The song goes slightly higher than J-Min's comfortable vocal range at points, but otherwise makes for a bright, head-bopping blend.

An odd one out amid SM's idol roster, J-Min had to wait a long time for this Korean debut album. Considering that Shine has come and gone without much fanfare, I fear that she may have to wait a long time again for a follow-up, but Shine will at least stay on my playlist for a long while.

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