With the midterms already approaching, students might want to take some time off to relax and enjoy the calm before the storm. Jun Bumsun and the Yangbans’ second album, Revolution Songs (2016), released in March, could be the exact escape that they might want to experience. Ultimately, the artists’ fiery music full of energy and passion, coupled with some songs that have an emotional touch, will definitely be the great 40-minute getaway.
The name Jun Bumsun was named after the vocalist, while the Yangbans refer to the three other members. Jun Bumsun and the Yangbans made their first appearance in 2014, with their first album, Love Songs (2014). Revolution Songs begins with an energetic song called “Revolution.” Just as the title of the album suggests, it brings its listeners to a world of motivation and determination. “Until when, are you going to lie down,” it begins. The flow of the album continues with yet another song full of energy titled “Fire.” The beginning of the album instills an aura of rampant liveliness to achieve a cause, just as it is like in a revolution.
As the album continues to flow, it does the unexpected. When most people think of “revolution,” an image of violence and bravery could come into mind. However, one participating in a cause should always step back to reflect. This could be the reason why the series of songs that continue as the album progresses are rather melancholy, giving room for reflection. This album known for its genre as “heavy rock” also has a vulnerable side, allowing its listener to become more sympathetic to the deeper messages that the artists are trying to portray.
“You there, my brother, sister, fellow soldier, my friend, (…) my companion,” sings the lyrics of the song “Friends and Lovers.” The lyrics of the song and the instrumentals altogether formulate an aura of reflection of the people who are most dear, probably one that a soldier in a revolution reminisces about often. The song portrays a rather blue and a steady going mood, a drastic difference from the previous songs. This part of the album is what allows the listeners to reflect on what they have been listening to for the past minutes.
The album comes to an end with, nevertheless, upbeat music—definitely a perfect way to end an album that journeys its listener on a rollercoaster of emotions. The song “Midnight Run” uses a catchy line that is repeatedly played throughout the song–“give me bossam” the artist sings, bossam being a traditional Korean dish, known for its healthy ingredients. The listeners could feel the music as a refreshing way to look at a glimpse of the past 40 minutes of listening to the album.
Once the album comes to an end, listeners would notice the uniqueness of the album in general. The ability of its artists to use traditional aspects of the Korean history and culture and to integrate it to modern music is something that other K-pop songs do not offer. It also gives a distinct glimpse of what a revolution could look like in the eyes of a contemporary artist. It is this ability—one that opens the eyes of the listeners to a whole new world—that can be considered as one of the most beautiful forms of art in the 21st century. Certainly, the journey that the album will take the listeners on is something that can be looked forward to as they take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life.
▲ Jun Bumsun and the Yangbans. Provided by onair168.com.