Monday, September 27, 2010

Miss A - Step Up

I'm far too stressed to explain why I've been MIA for the gazillionth time, so let's skip that entirely and get to the review. I need to relax. It's my birthday tomorrow - I need to relax.

So Miss A are back with a second "single album" (how these terms were thought of is beyond me) and for those who aren't familiar with them, they're JYP's newest girl group under a subsidiary label, AQ Entertainment, and before they debuted they were set to be targeted at China - two members are Chinese - but so far it's only been Korean domination for them. And I mean domination - there was mild controversy surrounding their wins for Bad Girl, Good Girl on various music shows because people just aren't used to new acts winning. Whatever.

I wasn't a big fan of the material, but I acknowledge that compared to the bands that came out with them, *ahem* SISTAR *ahem*, they are very talented. They can't sing and dance complicated choreography as well as I'd want them to, but it's acceptable.

Now we have their second round of promotions, and to be honest I'm still not 100% falling over my feet with the material, but I see where they're going on this. Although the album is very gimmick-y on the verge of being novel, there's a concept to the 4 tracks and it's very clear why they were put together - for that alone they have my respect. Then add strong vocals to the mix and I'm happy. I'm not in love, but I'm happy.

Step Up, the opening track, is probably my favorite of the 4. It's fun and fresh - if you were to ask me to describe the song in one word I'd say it very funky, because it is. I like the addition of what sounds like a whistle part, and I like how the song goes a little further than just your ordinary loop-intensive pop song. Once again, it's the little things that matter and set songs apart these days. The melody of the verses is actually kind of pretty, but it still manages to blend in with everything else happening behind. The hook sticks, and although it's the return of the "eh eh eh"'s, at the end of the day the whole song falls into place - it just works.

Now the lead single - Breathe. I appreciate their effort to add the same whistles from Step Up and a few other elements as well, but you don't always have to be that literal when you want cohesion. Although I don't mind. Everything about this song was thought of, and pulled off, with a sense of conviction - they're sure of what they're doing and they know what they want. That shows in a song. It's catchy, but it's still melodic so it's not as annoying as it could possibly be - that's what you get when you have actual singers. I'm not the biggest fan of it, but once again it actually works, so who am I to say it doesn't?

A ballad in the form of 멍하니 comes up next, and it's your generic piano-accompanied with a string section and some computer-generated effects here and there before a drum part kicks in and the orchestration goes all-out. Yes. It's pretty and it's a very welcome break from all the catchy, fun uptempos. That and they can actually sing, so it sounds effortless. Extra points if they can pull this off live, and they better!

It's the end of the album, and they just had to ruin everything. 그 음악을 틀어줘요 DJ sounds like a cheap attempt at an uptempo, which is technically a novelty song. I don't like novelty songs. I've heard the percussion part somewhere else, and the melody something Koyote would probably have no problem singing. I'm not insulting them, it's just that novelty songs aren't really in my good books.

4.7/5 (my personal rating's different, but you don't need to know that. ;D)

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