OK, so I gave this album another few listens. It still sucks... It's not that the songs are bad; they're actually all VERY good and VERY well produced. What sucks is that they're Lee Hyori's songs. The problem is that Hyori is delusional. She actually believes that she's a real singer, and so she's released a "back to basics" album as you're all calling it to showcase her new and improved vocals. Well yes, they have drastically improved from years past, but it doesn't matter; bitch doesn't have a good voice. No amount of voice lessons can change that.
Lee Hyori had defined her artistry by (1) her ridiculously flawless looks, (2) capable dancing, and (3) releasing well-produced, trend-setting dance tracks with catchy beats and melodies
that her producers steal for her. This is her niche and she needs to stick with it, because it's the only thing she CAN do. Every track I listen to on this album, I think "wow, this would have been a great debut for a rookie artist with a much better voice." I understand that Hyori wants to "explore her artistic expression" or whatever, but there's a way to do that without disappointing the majority of your fans. An album can still be cohesive with some experimental songs, so the bitch could have easily thrown some AMAZING dance tracks on the album and cut down A LOT on the snoozefests ("Bounced Checks of Love"? I felt like I was getting more retarded by the second listening to that song).
I did delete "Monochrome" from my iPod, albeit with a very heavy sigh. I'm saving that space for Hyori's next release, because I'm sure she'll come to her senses and give her fans what they really want: SLUTTY DANCE MUSIC.