I checked iTunes and took a look at the number of plays I’ve racked up for each track of Grand Carnival. It turns out to be a pretty accurate representation of how I feel about each song so I’ll just review them in this order:
도돌이표(Repeat Sign) is easily my favorite track. It’s a perfect driving-at-night-with-the-windows-down kind of song and in the beginning it sounds like they really did record in the backseat of some van like the music video suggests. The production on Grand Carnival as a whole is A+ but 도돌이표 has a great beat. The guitar, bass and piano lend the song a neo-soul feel and I love the flow of Choiza and Gaeko’s verses and the catchy hook. I thoroughly enjoy the turn up towards the end right when you think the song is ending but they take it up another notch.
J.O.T.S. (feat. Nafla) cannot be separated in my mind from the badass music video . This is one of those songs that makes you feel cool as you walk to class/to work/wherever. The beat is a little old-school with a raw, gritty feel. I don’t think I would normally enjoy Nafla’s flow but it works for this song.
꿀잼(Jam) sounds like a track you’d find on a Primary album. It has that groovy vibe that’s become a mark of Amoeba Culture artists and it’s probably the most dance-able track on Grand Carnival. The music video (below) is hilarious and you can tell they had fun recording this one.
옥상에서(At the Rooftop) is the first track on the album and I while I dig the jazzy beat I feel like I can’t give it a proper evaluation without all of the lyrical information. I’m not sure if Gaeko’s flow has changed or if it has just grown on me but I enjoyed his and Choiza’s verses equally on this song.
야유회 (Picnic) (feat. Zico) provides a nice change of pace from the rest of the album. Once again, I really can’t stand Zico as a person but this track is a great fit for him.
있어줘 (Stay) (feat. Lydia Paek) is probably the song I’d most like to experience live because of the big band sound and Paek’s amazing vocals.
타이틀곡 (Title Song) (feat. Verbal Jint) is a great song and I need the lyrics to fully appreciate VJ’s verse. Verbal had an interesting presence on Mnet’s forever controversial ‘Show Me the Money’ rap program as a judge this summer. Even without the translations, if my assessment is correct, it sounds like he’s getting some things off of his chest on this track.
먹고하고자고 (Eat, Do, Sleep) is exactly the type of sexy, slow jam one could expect from this pair. Need I say more?
요즘어때? (How Are You?) (feat. DEAN) isn’t as good as I was hoping it would be. I usually appreciate it when features are just that, features, with the guest artist taking up an appropriate amount of space on the track. On 요즘어때, DEAN doesn’t come in until the last 45 seconds, making his feature seem like kind of an afterthought. I wanted more…
겨울이오면 (When Winter Comes) is the last track on the album. In my opinion, it’s nothing special, just a laid back outro but I do really like the chorus.
주민신고 (Resident Report) is a little strange. My only real reference point for Sway D is ‘Kawasaki’ (which he mentions) with B-Free and Play$tar. This is the one track on ‘Grand Carnival’ I could’ve done without.