Ironic Clown


BoA – BoA
August 28, 2009, 7:43 pm
Filed under: BoA | Tags: , , , , ,

BoA

Track List:
1. I Did It For Love [Ft. Sean Garret]
2. Energetic
3. Did Ya
4. Look Who’s Talking
5. Eat You Up
6. Obsessed
7. Touched
8. Scream
9. Girls On Top
10. Dress Off
11. Hypnotic Dancefloor

BoA is BoA’s 12th studio album and her first album in English. It was released on the 17th/18th of March in the US and Japan respectively and reached number one on the Oricon Weekly Charts and 127 on the US Billboard 200.

Gone are the days when BoA was a cute fourteen year old in her home country of Korea performing sugary pop songs in while performing sleek dance movies and gone are the days when BoA’s image was squeaky clean… here comes America! Bring on America she as says. BoA has successfully conquered the Korean and Japanese music and is now ready for bigger and better thing… but did she take it to far this time? A few thousand miles to far… is BoA really designed for the American industry? Before this release my answer would have quite frankly been “no”. However I must say I am rather impressed!

BoA

BoA has been produced by an elite team such as Sean Garret and Bloodshy & Avant to help follow her American dream. You’d think that not being able to speak fluent English would stop somebody from entering the American music industry… apparently not? Instead her voice is covered in vocoders to hide the Korean accent… somewhat. To be quite honest, I actually like the vocoder on BoA, we all know that her voice isn’t the best, and I can only imagine what it would be like without her faithful vocoder… her glimmer of hope in the American music industry. Normally I am against vocoders on “singers” however this time it actually enhances her voice, sure it still doesn’t hit the right notes all the time, however it does provide it an acceptable and catchy alternative, because let’s face it even at the best of times BoA’s voice isn’t all that great.

BoA has gone for a very stereotypical American approach full of what I like to call “me, me, me” lyrics. These lyrics can sometimes sound awkward when BoA says them because I still think of her as the innocent fourteen year-old, however her newest release just proves how much BoA is determined to conquer America. Some lyrics are just hilarious and make me burst out in laughter every time I listen to them because they are so cheesy and stereotypical. Examples of these are littered throughout the entire album, Eat You Up probably being the best example, with lyrics like ”I’ll eat you up, woah, so yum yum and “I wanna take you to my room.” Examples can also be seen in Obsessed when she opens the song with “I’m breaking the rules don’t really care if I get caught. Because I’m in love, love, love can’t get enough of you. Need you night and day. When you’re not around I’m tested, I could get arrested carrying on this way. I’m going crazy here by myself. I want you and no one else. Sending out a signal of my distress, I confess, I’m Obsessed. I could go on about all the corny lyrics… but I’m afraid you’ll think I’m… Obsessed. Har har. Despite the lyrics be so atrociously shallow I actually didn’t mind it on this album, because it provides humour and makes BoA who she is.

In terms of arrangements all the songs are spot on. BoA’s obviously worked with some good producers because every song (except for Girls onBoA Top) is infectious. BoA has ditched the sugary pop altogether (which a lot more artists should do!) and gone with aggressive pop. Some of the songs do sound the same; however they all have individual characteristics and a clever track-listing to moderate the sound.

So the biggest question of all… has BoA successfully conquered the American music industry? Well, ugh, sorta? There’s no clear answer really. By this I mean BoA has come up with an excellent album, her best so far, however I do feel that this is not a genuine BoA, instead a special commercialised “American version” designed for Westerners covered in an extra thick layer of plastic. Don’t get me wrong I do love this album, however I don’t feel like this is the real BoA. I also believe that the Americans haven’t embraced her as much as she looked like she had tried to embrace them. Having said this, I do believe that she has made a big milestone with the Western J-Pop community and for me that’s enough!

_______________

Hits:
I Did It For Love | Energetic | Did Ya | Look Who’s Talking | Eat You Up | Obsessed | Touched | Scream | Dress Off | Hypnotic Dancefloor

So-so:
N/A

Misses:
Girls on Top
_______________

Overall Rating:
4.5 Stars
4½ stars 

BoA

Big thanks to Selryam for the scans!

Joshua

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BoA – THE FACE
April 24, 2009, 1:56 pm
Filed under: BoA

BoA - THE FACE

Track list:
1. AGGRESSIVE
2. Sweet Impact
3. My Way, Your Way [Featuring WISE]
4. be with you.
5. LOSE YOUR MIND [Featuring Yutaka Furukawa from DOPING PANDA]
6. Girl In The Mirror
7. Happy Birthday
8. Diamond Heart
9. LOVE LETTER
10. BRAVE
11. Gyappu ni Yarareta!
12. Style
13. Smile again
14. Beautiful Flowers
15. Best Friend
16. Hey Boy, Hey Girl [SEAMO featuring BoA]

THE FACE is BoA’s 6th Japanese Studio album. It was released on the 27th of February, 2008 and climbed to number one on the Oricon Weekly Charts selling 185,388 copies.

Just over one year since the release of MADE IN TWENTY (20) BoA comes out with her 6th Japanese album. The album opens on a happy note with the lines “Let’s say I love you, it’s so easy” which is the beginning of the optimism and fun which is carried throughout the majority of the album.

BoA - THE FACEBoA is the perfect example of a pop star who releases album after album without much personal input; however this changes with THE FACE. BoA has had more creative input and even wrote a song herself: Gyappu ni Yarareta! BoA’s attempt is quite good and better than Koda Kumi’s first attempt with the song Milk Tea.

Just to make things more interesting BoA has collaborated with WISE, Yutaka Furukawa and SEAMO to create an urban effect seen throughout some of the songs in the album, and once again BoA succeeds quite nicely. My Way, Your Way in which BoA collaborates with WISE is a nice mid tempo song, in which WISE really adds to the romantic feel of the song. In LOSE YOUR MIND BoA collaborates with Yutaka Furukawa from the band DOPING PANDA to create a unique pop track with less synth and more authentic instruments, creating a genuine sound. The bonus track Hey Boy, Hey Girl which can be found on the CD+2DVD edition of the album is a nice collaboration, however BoA only features on this track and the majority of the song is SEAMO rapping which is not necessarily a bad thing.

BoA - THE FACETHE FACE is full of upbeat fun and catchy pop tracks, and BoA even takes it one step further with songs like Girl In The Mirror and Style which could even be described as dance tracks. Other pop tracks such as AGGRESIVE and Sweet Impact are also performed with energy and impact. However about half-way through the album things start to get slightly hazy with Happy Birthday and Diamond Heart which tend to get on the boring side because of unoriginal arrangements and corny lyrics.

Despite THE FACE having a big track list, only a few of the songs on the album could be called ballads. be with you. LOVE LETTER and Smile again are examples of the types of ballads that BoA performs best. be with you. can sometimes falter because of its bland arrangements and slow vocals however LOVE LETTER and Smile again both manage to succeed. LOVE LETTER is a full blown, dramatic pop ballad with nice vocals from BoA’s end. Smile again is a more laid back in terms of arrangements however when it comes to vocals BoA is at her best. While BoA’s vocals may not be the best in the industry they still are nice on the ears, even if sometimes they tend to lack emotion.

In terms of production THE FACE performs well. Most of the arrangements are unique and original, which is what makes the albumBoA - THE FACE interesting. BoA worked with a large range of producers to bring a variety of the album, which is not seen on some of her previous albums, especially OUTGROW. The arrangements on the album show BoA’s softer side on tracks be with you. and Best Friend, however they also do a decent job parading BoA’s edgier side in tracks such as Girl In The Mirror and Style.

Besides Diamond Heart and Happy Birthday being next to each other, the flow of the album is nice and each song seems to fit with the next song nicely, however because of above average arrangements they never seem to merge into each other.

THE FACE is BoA’s most creative Japanese album yet and shows great variety throughout while still maintaining that cutesy-good-girl BoA feel to it. It’s a shame that this album didn’t sell nearly as well as her previous albums, because when it comes to comparing her previous albums with THE FACE it becomes quite clear that THE FACE has more Style, AGGRESSION and impact, plus it also shows a sweet, beautiful and BRAVE side of BoA, after all this album is meant to display the many faces/sides of BoA.

_______________

Hits:
AGGRESSIVE | Sweet Impact |My Way, Your Way | LOSE YOUR MIND | Girl In The Mirror | LOVE LETTER | BRAVE | Gyappu ni Yarareta! | Style | Smile again | Beautiful Flowers | Best Friend | Hey Boy, Hey Girl

So-so:
be with you. | Diamond Heart

Misses:
Happy Birthday
________________

Overall Rating:4.5 Stars4½ Stars

BoA - THE FACE

Joshua



BoA – Vivid
May 24, 2008, 3:53 am
Filed under: BoA | Tags: , , , , ,

BoA - Vivid

Tracklist:
1. Kissing You
2. Sparkling
3. Joyful Smile
4. Kissing You (Instrumental)
5. Sparkling (Instrumental)
6. Joyful Smile (Instrumental)

This is BoA’s 26th single and her first since the release of her Japanese album The Face.

Kissing You opens with a somewhat distorted piano line and strings, which is really catchy. Then comes BoA’s vocals, which sound deeper then her vocals on “The Face.” This song has a constant beat throughout. Cute English lyrics are dotted throughout the song. A very cute song, but the annoying thing is that it gets very repetitive towards the end.

Sparking opens with slow vocals, piano and percussion, but then quickly changes to an upbeat techno song. Once again BoA incorporates cute English lyrics into this song, but BoA also has made this song very repetitive, and her vocals aren’t the strongest, but a decent try.

Ah, finally, this is more like it! Joyful Smile is by far the best song on the single. Its chirpy vocals and lyrics really create a “happy as happy can be” atmosphere, like most of her songs. But be warned: This song is extremely catchy! About three quarters through the piece there is a thoughtful electronic instrumental solo, and a little while after there is distorted beats, which give a great effect. As in most of BoA’s songs great English vocals are added at appropriate times throughout the piece. A great song!

Joyful Smile is the song that pretty much saved this single, but I really liked how this single sounded different from BoA’s previous works. BoA is a great singer, but I don’t think this was the best way to start a new era.

Rating3 Stars3 stars

Vivid promo