For almost a year, F.Cuz was away from Korea and promoting in Japan. Their return was marked with the release of ONE LOVE, their third digital single.
Released: March 27, 2014
1. ONE LOVE [MV]
2. ONE LOVE (instrumental)
ONE LOVE changes things up from when the group last left off in Korea. While ONE LOVE is still pop with some dance elements, there is also a stronger electropop sound in this song. It’s quite a lighthearted piece and a nice song. The verses are the strongest parts of the song as it highlights each members’ vocals and is quite dreamy sounding. While the chorus is nice, it is also somewhat forgettable. The melody is quite nice, but it is overpowered by the barrage of synths that doesn’t give it the strength it should have. Part of it might be the vocal arrangement though as it forces the boys to use their falsetto. Speaking of vocals, I think the most surprising part was having Jinon singing the most parts, which is a nice change. I do find it odd that Kan also had a huge amount of parts. He does have a nice voice, but it seems too heavy for this song.
Overall: ONE LOVE was a nice change for the boy band, but I don’t think it was as strong as I would’ve liked, especially considering their last song was such an interesting piece.
Dreaming I is the second digital single released by f(x).
Released: August 10, 2012
1. Dreaming I (꿈꾸는 I ) [MV]
2. Dreaming I (inst)
Dreaming I is a striking change from the music heard off of their comeback mini, For Century Ultimate Zest. Here we have a light synthed-up pop song with a strong beat, a gentle piano line and some haunting strings. In some ways, it has similarities to their past song, Midnight Sun, but with a brighter and more uplifting atmosphere and a more polished finish. What I really enjoy is how they infused the rapping into the choruses, but made it not too off-putting. My only gripe was the transition from the verses to the chorus as it seems rather adrupt and could’ve been made to flow nicer. Vocally, it’s a nice straightforward track and everyone sounds good and has sizable parts.
Overall: I like that they brought something different from their third mini and that it was a slower song. The whole production of the song seemed much cleaner than the stuff brought on their previous release and I think it’s a good direction to go.
For Century Ultimate Zest is the second mini-album released by F.Cuz and their first Korean release after the departure of member LeeU and the addition of members Rae Hyun and Dae Geon. No.1 was used as the promotional track.
Released: April 27, 2012
1. Janus (야누스)
2. Pick Up The Phone (전화좀 받아)
3. Rise Up
4. Be Good When We’re Still Together (있을때 잘해봐)
5. No.1 [MV]
6. Be Good When We’re Still Together Remix (Remix DJ Rubato)
Janus opens the album and we are given a cool and edgy dance pop tune. The song reminds me a lot of what SS501 would pull off as it’s not exactly catchy but has a lot of attitude and the arrangement is very similar to their past songs. I really like the heavy beats as well as the use of the background vocals but there seems to be something missing. I find the pre-chorus’ are sloppy while the chorus’ though good seem rather bare in their delivery. It’s a good song though. Pick Up The Phone slows things down with a midtempo pop song. I really enjoy how the song opens and the use of clap beats, but the chorus is a little odd since the vocals are layered quite a bit. Also the rap doesn’t really fit in although I actually like how it goes. Vocally it’s nicely done, but there isn’t anything outstanding. I think that’s how the whole song really is. Rise Up opens with a nice guitar riff and already seems stronger than the last two songs. Then the beats are added and though the song is still very nice it would’ve been nice for the riffs to have a stronger presence throughout the song as it is sometimes overshadowed. They are only heard once and while from then on. The arrangement is strong regardless and isn’t too simple to be boring but too messy to be overwhelming. I’m usually not particularly fond of a lot of repetition, but the use of it during the second half of the chorus is well done. Great great song. Be Good When We’re Still Together is the Korean version of their Japanese song LUV HOLIC. I didn’t really like that song because I cannot stand Jejun’s vocals at all in this song (he’s fine in others). This one is a bit better because the other members take lines away from him lol. The song itself has a more generic pop sound with dance beats and a piano line undertone. The chorus is quite nice, but would’ve been better with Dae Geon taking it since his voice is stronger and would’ve made a stronger impact. We are finally at the promotional track. No.1 is a pop song with heavy dance beats and very similar to their past song No One. It does have that generic K-Pop boyband sound, but it’s insanely catchy especially the intros to the verses. The chorus are very powerful and feature a mixture of beats and synths. The melody is nice, but sometimes there could be a few tweeks. Vocally it’s great because we have Dae Geon taking the lead. All the other members have decent voices, but he clearly stands above. Then we are given Be Good When We’re Still Together Remix (Remix DJ Rubato) which is basically just a trance remix. I’m not a big fan of remixes and this one doesn’t quite cut it for me. I would’ve preferred an acoustic version of Rise Up more.
Overall: For Century Ultimate Zest is a decent mini-album. It has a nice selection of song, but it’s just we are given a a bunch of songs that could be pulled off by any boyband. The only thing that really stands out differently is Rise Up, which is by far F.Cuz’s best song yet.
Gorgeous is the second mini-album released by F.Cuz. Midnight Sun (Original Ver.) was used as the promotional song, while Friend’s Graduation was used as the follow-up.
Released: November 8, 2010
2. U Crazy
3. Midnight Sun (Original Ver.) [MV]
4. Friend’s Graduation (친구졸업) [MV]
5. Say U Say Me
6. Mine (내꺼)
7. I’m Okay (괜찮아)
8. Midnight Sun (Remix Ver.)
9. Midnight Sun (Instrumental)
10. Friend’s Graduation (Instrumental)
Busting into this mini we are blasted with the Intro which is just a 1 minute piece of random noises and them trying to make us guess who is back. But it flows nicely into U Crazy, which is an upbeat dance tune with an assortment of interesting synths. The arrangement of it is very similar to that of No One, but in this song everything seems more polished. The sound is smoother and there seems to be more substance in the music. I also enjoy that there is not that much unnecessary autotune covering the voices since it brings out more personality. It’s quite catchy and could have been a promotional single too. We are suddenly thrown into Midnight Sun (Original Ver.) right after though and what an interesting twist we have. Midnight Sun while still upbeat has a darker quality to it that is emphasized by the use of piano in the verses and the strings in the chorus. I’ve heard people say it’s a little more J-Pop and I can hear some of it in the production quality. With that said, it’s a solid song with more focus on the melody which is a nice change from the repetitive sound. The song also helps emphasize the vocals of the group members and it helps that there isn’t a rap here since I think it would ruin the flow on this song. Excellent! Once again we are thrown around as Friend’s Graduation is a straightforward pop tune. Compared to the last song, I’m not as impressed as it doesn’t stand out as much, but it’s a still a quality track with a catchy melody. Much like the last song, it was nice to see the talents of the members as the melody helped show that. Say U Say Me pretty much continues the same style as the last song but with a slightly more upbeat sound. With that said, it lacks the charm of the last song. It isn’t really memorable and the arrangement seems much messier. The chorus doesn’t really have a focus and much of it seems like an attempt to get some hooks in there but it didn’t really work out. But that’s all ok since Mine makes up for it with it’s more club-friendly sound. This song is much more focused than the last one and the production is just so much smoother. My favourite about this one are the heavy beats which have been missing in this mini when compared to their last. The chorus melody is nice, but there seems to be something missing that would really give it that extra push. Nevertheless, it’s still a good song. I’m Okay slows things down a bit with a midtempo R&B ballad. I’m gonna say that this is the weakest song on the album just because it’s so dull. The lyrics are quite nice and everyone’s vocals sound good, but the melody has very little going for it and the arrangement is just flat. I can barely get through this song. Basically the only difference between Midnight Sun (Original Ver) and Midnight Sun (Remix Ver) are the beats as they are much heavier in the latter. I was hoping for something a little more different…After we are given two instrumentals which is quite nice and then the Outro which has a great beat. This sounds like it could make a great song.
Overall: For the second mini I was quite impressed with what F.Cuz brought to the table. Sure there were some odd moments in there like the ballad and a messy dance song, but for the most part it was pretty solid and there were 4 really high quality songs and all of them were upbeat tunes. Since it’s a mini I sorta wish they would of just had those four songs and not the other two, but oh well.
No One is the first mini-album released by F.Cuz. The title track was used as the promotional single while their debut digital single, Jiggy, is also included.
Released: March 11, 2011
2. No One [MV]
3. Because of You (너 때문에)
4. Boy Meet Girl
5. Jiggy [MV]
6. No One (Inst.)
The mini-album opens with Go, a pumping dance tune that relies heavily on a pounding bass. The verses are a little weak and don’t really don’t have much going on, but the chorus has a fast paced melody that is quite nice on the ears. It’s nice because it focuses mostly on the hooks and despite not having anything very standout, it’s a strong straightforward dance/pop song. Vocally there isn’t much going on and you don’t get a strong sense of the group’s voices since it’s all covered by autotune but that’s ok, the song is just so good that it makes up for that. It actually reminds me a little of SNSD’s Show Show Show but stronger. The title track, No One, is also used as the promotional track. With that said, it’s just ok. This dance/pop tune has a strong bass like the last and has the same general sound, but it lacks the hooks in the chorus. It’s catchy nonetheless, but focuses a lot on the repetition of the phrase “No One”. The rap brings in a nice break and the vocals are pretty ok. I like it, but there is something missing to the song. It’s just not that strong and sounds like the generic boyband tune. Because of You brings a little something new to the mini-album by not giving a bass heavy dance/pop tune. With that said, we are given a 2PM ripoff since it sticks strongly to that sad sounding pop song that the group was known for. I’ll be honest that it’s not bad and has a little more life than the last song but I seriously thought I was listening to another group’s song. The song does allow the group to showcase their vocals when compared to the last two songs although there are some heavily autotuned parts. Boy Meet Girl brings us back to tha heavy bass. This song is much better than the last two and reminds me more of Go than of No One. It’s catchy although the melody isn’t as striking as the former. I do think the song would’ve sounded a bit better with a rap though. The heavy beat is nice but it causes the song to sound a little flat by the end. Last but not least we have Jiggy which was already released earlier (and was reviewed earlier). It’s still that catchy pop tune and despite not fitting in at all with any of the other songs on the mini, it brings a bit of the much needed personality. It’s fun.
Overall: The first mini by F.Cuz is a good start. I wasn’t terribly impressed by any of the songs except maybe Go but they are all solid nonetheless. I just feel that the mini is lacking something and much of it is a generic mess. And as much as I enjoy Jiggy it is an odd ending considering it doesn’t fit in at all with the rest of the songs.
F.Cuz is a boy band that debuted in early 2010. They originally had four members but after one of them left in 2011, their company added two more. They’ve yet to have a breakthrough hit and have been overshadowed by quite a few newer groups. Despite that, I do enjoy quite a few of their songs. Jiggy is their debut digital single.
Released: January 8, 2010
1. Jiggy [MV]
What did I expect with this song? Jiggy is a really interesting song to say the least. It’s pretty much a upbeat pop tune with dance elements although more on the “cute” side. At times it is actually humorous with the awkward use of background vocals and the consistent clap-beat. It’s certainly catchy to say the least but I think a lot of that has to do with the repetitive use of the word “Jiggy” because the rest of the song seems rather rough around the edges. The thing that irks me the most about the song though is definitely the ending, which switches the chorus into all autotune. It’s unnecessary and that part would’ve sounded better without it. The vocals are nothing too impressive and at times it feels like the members are struggling just to get the notes just because of the odd melodies. The rap….
Overall: I won’t say Jiggy is impressive, but it has some redeeming factors. It lacks a strong melody and instead relies on repetition. With that said it’s quite catchy and gives the group an image of something for upbeat and lighthearted.