CNBLUE Serves Sweet Rock-Pop on 'Can't Stop'



The Korean rock quartet return with a new six-track EP boasting a broad range of rock-pop compositions

After earning its biggest hit on the K-Pop Hot 100 yet last February with the angsty "I'm Sorry," CNBLUE returns with "Can't Stop," which sounds sure to send the rock-pop outfit to the upper rankings of the chart again despite a 180 in sound.

Opening with a tender piano solo by lead vocalist/guitarist Yonghwa, "Can't Stop" automatically sets a romantic mood despite somber lyrics about losing a lover. The production grows more intricate but keeps its affectionate feel with soft percussion and low bass strums.

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Yet once the chorus hits, the vocals, instrumentation and overall energy of the track jump as if the band can't bear to keep their feelings subdued any longer. The chorus is made up of a stirring, easy-to-shout-along to "Can't stop me now / Can't stop me now" melody that perfectly accompanies the energetic declarations.

On the bridge, the guitar licks get harder along with strings are added to the mix leading to a chorus where each member rocks out with his respective instrument.

The music video follows the sonic theme of "Can't Stop." It opens with the band on a gloomy music video set, but picks up on the chorus where the boys and their instruments literally jump off the ground -- piano and drum set included. All the while, the romantic mood is kept by lovey-dovey scenes of Yonghwa trying to reconnect with his love interest plus the quartet playing on sets adorned with bouquets of flowers and cool-colored lighting.

"Can't Stop" doubles as the title of CNBLUE's new EP. The six-song release includes the fiesty rock jam "Diamond Girl," gritty, rock ballad "Cold Love" and gorgeous piano/string composition "Love Is," a more traditional slow-tempo track for ballad fans. Along with "Can't Stop," standout "Like a Child" is equally accessible and boasts an uplifting melody recalling Coldplay. Listen to a highlight medley of the EP below.

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CNBLUE recently played a pair of U.S. shows -- its first solo shows Stateside -- and told Billboard that it hopes "one day we'll have our own color and our own sound and people will say, 'Oh, that sounds like CNBLUE.'" Whether singing about heartbreak or love, CNBLUE's sweet, uplifting take on pop-rock is certainly on its way to becoming instantly recognizable across hemispheres.

CNBLUE will return to America in April with a set at the Open Concert L.A. K-Pop Festival.