Episode 8

A-Jax "Snake" (2013) + Final Thoughts

An Album a Day is my exploration into the Korean music scene. This podcast will cover mainstream, indie and some underground artists within the scene and provide both factual and opinionated commentary. The biggest benefit to sharing my thoughts this way is that it will hopefully expose you to more great music and exploration of your own.

On October 21, 2013, A-Jax was announced to have what would ultimately be their final comeback, “Snake.” The EP dabbled in the rock genre at a time when other boy groups in the scene were much heavier on synthesizers and other electronic dance music subgenres. We’re slithering around the final album and I’ll share my final thoughts, right after the drop.

You’re tuned into An Album a Day. Show start.

Hey y’all, just a quick head’s up that this Friday, January 29, 2021, at 4:00 p.m. Central Time here in the States, Season 1 Episode 2 of A3Day Sister Show kicks off on www.a3daysistershow.com. Here’s a little about the show.

[A3Day Sister Show trailer]

Let’s assess “Snake,” a four-track EP (title track instrumental included) for what it truly was or is: a risky album to make. The guys had no reason to adjust their genre approach per se, and it might have done them in. Going against the masses is a worthwhile risk from time to time but the EP is simply “okay.” The title track, “Snake,” is playful and certainly funky but it’s not really for the club or the coffee shops. Now, don’t misunderstand, the song isn’t bad and works for radio and possibly a commercial along the lines of Old Navy here in the United States, but this should have been their second single. 

The track that should’ve headed this project off is “It Girl,” an R&B song with a sound adjacent to a jazz club of sorts. The sound and context works across several age groups and perhaps it wasn’t chosen as the first single because of this? I can’t imagine a 15-year-old falling in love with “It Girl” as much as an older teenager or friends in their 20s and 30s at norebang, so that could’ve been an obstacle. The final track, “Stay with me,” is another R&B song with a catchy rhythmically syllabic chorus. By the time I got into it, the song was going off -- it’s 3 minutes long. That’s not good.

K-pop fans on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being essential listening and 1 not worth mentioning, the A3Day rating for this album and their complete Korean discography is a 4. That rank stems largely from their continued cohesive production and performance, and willingness to try something new. They eventually earned the number 13 spot on Korean charts with this one, but enlistments, amicable departures, and terminations marred the group from that point on. Whatever potential they had for advancing as a group, even with member changes, stopped at the end of this album. It’s a bit of a disappointment, honestly. They weren’t bad, but they weren’t standouts in the scene either. Whatever it is that they are pursuing these days, I truly wish them all the best.

Continue to check out the #A3Day Highlights Playlist on Spotify, as it features tracks from today’s albums and past episode’s artists, and I’ll catch you in the next episode, bye y’all.

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About the Podcast

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An Album a Day
A Review of Every Album in K-pop

About your host

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Ashley Borjon

Ashley is a content creator, educator, and public speaker. As an authority on the Hallyu phenomenon, she has collaborated on projects and events with various domestic and international companies and brands as a music historian. As the host of An Album a Day, she leads an English-language podcast promoting commentary on South Korean pop music.