Saturday, July 21, 2012

BEAST - "Beautiful Night"

When BEAST confirmed their comeback, I was both excited and scared -- excited because after "Fiction and Fact" they pretty much cemented themselves on my radar, and scared because Cube has screwed up pretty much all their comebacks this year (I'm looking at you all -- 4Minute, G.NA and A Pink) and I definitely didn't want the same thing to happen to BEAST.

However the minute I heard "Beautiful Night", I realized that I worried for nothing.

It's been a good three years since BEAST debuted, and I'm really, really pleased with their evolution both talent and material-wise, because really, they've gone nowhere but up -- where they're supposed to go. I can't really say I'm surprised because I saw it coming years ago, but for a K-Pop group of their standing to get to this point is really something else.

And that point is being able to move me with an uptempo. Being confident, technically proficient, and comfortable enough to make me call an uptempo beautiful -- because that takes a lot more than just a few members who can sing. There are two possible routes for a group who manages to do that -- the first is gaining my respect towards them as musicians and performers, like how Big Bang and 2NE1 did it, and the second is me legitimately stanning them, like how DBSK did it. Right now BEAST are leaning towards the respect side, but that can easily change.

This is probably the epitome of fearless pop as far as K-Pop is concerned -- the ever so slightly classier kind. Pop that isn't picky with it's brilliance -- that sounds good with or without the video, at low or high volumes, and I hope, recorded or live.

"Beautiful Night" is a song that needs little focus to fully appreciate, but higher levels of focus do result in higher appreciation, I think. The song moves at a fast enough pace to both keep your attention and familiarize you with each element, so you're neither bored nor completely baffled as to how something happened. It holds back where it should, but when it's time to explode it really brings everything.

And the song itself really fits BEAST. I was talking to Ree just a while ago and we were saying how it sounds to Euro and it's like S Club's "Alive" if it was done in 2012, but then I realized that we've seen this from BEAST before -- from "Bad Girl". It's like a classier, more mature and better-executed "Bad Girl", which, in my opinion, is one of the best indicators of growth. You look at the way they executed songs before, and you look at them now, and the improvement is striking.

"Beautiful Night" doesn't rely on just the song, or just the vocals -- it something that can stand on it's own, but it sounds so much better when a confident and practiced group like BEAST pulls it off.

From the very beginning, "Beautiful Night" attacks you with this strong, confident chorus/hook, but at the same time it's subdued enough to help you brace yourself for what's to come. We get to hear some really smooth but gutsy beats under it, but really, the focus of this part is on the chorus -- that stunning melody delivered with rich, but at the same time it just glides through. The build-up explodes before leading to this gorgeous synth loop by the second chorus, and continues for the entirety of the song.

The transitions are my favorite parts of the song, actually, because aside from the fact that they're so well-done to the point of them being extremely natural, they're one of the main reasons why the song is so confident. It's like biting into those tiny red chilis when you eat curry -- it doesn't always happen, but when it does it gives you a hard kick and your senses go into overdrive. In the best possible way.

Come to think of it, if "Beautiful Night" was food, it would be curry. The instrumentation is extremely rich, with all these rounded synths and the very smooth melody, but it also has kick, courtesy of the vocals and the transitions.

Up until this morning I was actually worried, because I looked through my "best of" list for this year, and none of the songs were worthy of being in the top ten. Looks like that's going to change now.


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