Got to Be! by Eru

The short of it: As a ballad album, it’ll sound very traditional, but when you’re a veteran like Eru, there’s not a lot of mistakes you can make vocally or otherwise, except maybe not being interesting enough for the younger listeners.

Take-a-fourth: 하얀 눈물 White Tears, Time (feat. Shorry J By 마이티 마우스), 늦은 후회, 생각해봐요 With 주희 (from 8eight)

Tracklist: 01 Time (feat. Shorry J By 마이티 마우스) 02 하얀 눈물 White Tears 03 고백 04 늦은 후회 05 사랑멜로디 (솔약국집 아들들 Ost) 06 다시 사랑한다 말해도 07 If Only.. 08 생각해봐요 With 주희 (from 8eight) 09 내가 밉다 10 이별마저 사랑해줄게 11 사랑을 믿어요 (솔약국집 아들들 Ost) 12 하얀 눈물 (inst.)

 “하얀 눈물 White Tears” is a ballad of the electric guitar type, and it brought me back to the old-school anime soundtracks of my childhood. There’s not much to be said about it really, Eru’s voice is used quite well here, and as a title track, it’s obviously also a signal that Eru’s is staying true to his ballad genre. Time (feat. Shorry J By 마이티 마우스) is the most current-sounding song in the album, and as such it’ll probably be the most interesting. The song is a great example of auto-tuning done right, but then again, you’d want to be spare about masking a voice like Eru’s anyway. The rap part definitely makes this song interesting. 고백 and 사랑멜로디 (솔약국집 아들들 Ost) are the two other fast-paced songs, both feel-good and with the latter one possibly being the cheesier sounding with its electronic acapella voicing inserts. 늦은 후회 is another good ballad, sweet and with a simple piano. 생각해봐요 with 주희 (from 8eight) is interesting because it’s a good duet, the ending is really good because the interaction (blending, rounding etc) of the two voices gets quite superb. 이별마저 사랑해줄게 is the most traditional sounding track, with Eru singing with a chorus of back-up singers.

Taking the album as a whole (and especially in the latter tracks), there is a tendency for the songs to be formulaic: starting out subdued in the verses, then swelling in the chorus, and finally epic climaxing with queued in violins or an electric guitar. As such, I would have also welcomed if 다시 사랑한다 말해도, for example, continued as the consistent low-key acoustic guitar-type song it started out (think Narsha’s I’m in love), if only for making the ballads not blend into each other.

So as I was hinting, I thought the album got quite monotonous at times; it made me appreciate how Hwanhee’s H-Hour had songs that I could for the most part distinguish and remember. But I can see an older generation appreciating the album, you’d play through the whole album in the background on a slow day. And this is mainly because all the ballads are quite good. In my opinion though, I think Eru could also do well swinging the other way, i.e., also embracing a more modern update. The electric guitars throughout the album would sound, to the younger generation, as extremely old, but he does quite well in Time (feat. Shorry J By 마이티 마우스) for example. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate that he doesn’t sell-out and go electro-pop on us, but there’s a way to be a bit more modern (think Kim Tae Woo’s “Love Rain”). Either way, Got to Be! is a decent album.

Tracklist: 01 Time (feat. Shorry J By 마이티 마우스) 02 하얀 눈물 White Tears 03 고백 04 늦은 후회 05 사랑멜로디 (솔약국집 아들들 Ost) 06 다시 사랑한다 말해도 07 If Only.. 08 생각해봐요 With 주희 (from 8eight) 09 내가 밉다 10 이별마저 사랑해줄게 11 사랑을 믿어요 (솔약국집 아들들 Ost) 12 하얀 눈물 (inst.)

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