[Album] Joanne – Joanne 01

Joanne debuted in 2001 during the boom of young female singer debuts that included BoA, Hanul, and Dana among others. Joanne showed a lot of potential and was a rising star until family matters caused her to head back to the US. While she did release one Japanese single in 2009, she had only released one album in Korea. Sadly, Joanne passed away in 2014 after getting into a car accident. Joanne 01 is her first and only album.

Released: August 25, 2001
1. Pure (순수)
2. First Love
3. Good Day Sunshine (햇살 좋은날)
4. You Filled Me with Colour (낙서에 가득한 그대)
5. Game
6. With You
7. Hidden Time
8. Jealousy (질투)
9. Love Good Weather (사랑하기 좋은 날)
10. Fall Away (버려)
11. Temptation (유혹)
12. Crush

Joanne’s debut opens with Pure, one of the songs used to promote the album. It’s a surprising starter considering it is a pretty pop ballad. Still, this is my favourite song on the album. It sounds a lot of pop ballads from Korea around this time, but what makes it stand out is the sweet melody that is sung by the young Joanne. Her youthful tone suits the song and she actually shows some vocal prowess. It’s a good starter.

First Love is an upbeat dance/pop tune and while it is an odd transition into this song, it’s exactly what I need. It’s a strong tune and has a very catchy melody. Joanne’s voice does get a bit screechy at times during the chorus, but in general, her voice is rather mature and she pulls off this more serious pop style. It is a bit weird thinking a 13 year old girl is singing “Baby, I wanna be with you tonight” though. Besides that, it is no wonder it was the other promo song.

Good Day Sunshine continues the uptempo style, but with something more R&B. I do find the music to be a little lacking compared to last two songs, but the melody is still easy to follow and Joanne sounds much more comfortable in her range for the most part. My favourite parts are actually the verses though as Joanne’s lower vocal register is really nice to listen to.

You Filled Me with Colour is another ballad, but once again, more on the R&B side of things. This is totally something heard from the early 00’s in K-Pop. The verses are rather boring because the melody just does not stand out. The chorus is a bit more memorable, but the song goes for the sweeter side of things, so it sort of just floats along. A bit on the boring side of things.

Thankfully, Game brings things back up with something more uptempo. Another uptempo R&B/dance tune, this one sounds more like an American track in regards to music. The chorus is where things are a bit odd. The melody is nice, but I feel like it doesn’t totally mesh with the music. It’s catchy and a solid tune, just wish it pushed things a bit more.

With You is more on the slower side of things with its light R&B beat. I want to like this song, but it is just not that memorable. The verses are boring and the chorus isn’t much better. Like the last slow tune, it stays on the sweet and gentle side, but it ends up a bit flat. Only when Joanne pushes her voice a bit at the end do things get a bit more energy.

This album just keeps bouncing from fast to slow songs as Hidden Time is another upbeat offering. I like that it isn’t as in-your-face as the other faster songs and plays around a bit more with background vocals. Unfortunately, the chorus isn’t that catchy and I feel like the harmonized hooks could have been a bit better. It has potential, but doesn’t quite hit the point.

Jealousy is more on the bright pop side of things. I like that there is a change in sound, but I’m on the fence with this song. Joanne’s sweet vocals fit this song nicely, but the song itself just comes off a bit flat. There are some nice points in the melody that does come up, but I wish it had more energy to it. I feel like it could even more explosive and bright.

Finally a midtempo tune, Love Good Weather is a nice and relaxing change. It keeps up the more programmed music sound, but the touches of acoustic guitar that pop up help differentiate it a lot from the other songs and it comes off with a summery vibe. It has some nice hooks and is a decent song, although not the strongest album track.

Fall Away is back to the upbeat R&B/dance sound. Unfortunately, this is one of the weaker songs. It doesn’t have a powerful side to it and keeps at this more steady level throughout. I just wish it had more energy as the melody is a quite forgettable as well. It gives it this feeling of dragging on and on despite only being 4 minutes long.

Luckily, Temptation is better. It also has an uptempo dance sound, but it is much harder hitting and it has much more energy. The background vocals are a bit odd and the music is a bit weak considering the power of the melody. However, at least the melody is catchy and Joanne sounds more confident here.

Crush is the English version of First Love. Everything is pretty much the same except the lyrics. Since Joanne was from the US, her English is quite fluent and she pulls it off. The lyrics are a bit odd at times, but it generally works.

Overall: I think I was expecting a little more from this album as the promotional songs are quite solid. Unfortunately, the rest of the album doesn’t quite live up to the hype. There are a lot of upbeat songs, but some of them just aren’t that exciting. Except Pure, the ballads come off a bit dull and have weaker melodies. One thing can be said though and that is at 13, Joanne was a pretty solid singer. Her voice was distinct and really shines throughout many of the songs.