Monday, March 23, 2009
Album Review: BoA - BoA (4/5)
Korean Pop singer BoA releases her eponymous English debut. Bringing in help from Bloodshy & Avant, who've produced for the likes of Britney Spears and Kylie Minogue and Sean Garrett to help make a successful transition from J-Pop to well crafted, contemporary, mainstream dance pop. With no standards set, I'm pretty impressed with BoA, it's a solid pop album, drawing in comparisons from Lady GaGa and Madonna at their more electronic moments.
The album opens solidly with the heavy snyth-based "I DId It For Love" which has a fulfilling pulsing bassline. It has a killer chorus, which throws a harsh reminiscent to Madonna's "Give It 2 Me." This is swiftly followed up with "Energetic" which sounds vaguely like Lady GaGa's "LoveGame", it's another synth based number, but not one of my favorites, the distorted repetition of the lyric: "Put me on", puts me off. "Did Ya" adopts a distinctive euro-pop sound. It's among the best cuts on here, the song is very basic, consisting of spanish guitar, drums, rhythmic handclaps and a very catchy chorus.
With no ballads in place, the album does well at keeping the pace flowing. "Look Who's Talking" and "Touched" are couple of the highlights --Indulging in a satisfying retro theme, particually "Look Who's Talking" which completely excellerates with its electronically fueled chorus. "Obsessed" is another of my favorites, it's the slowest song on the album, it carries through a distinctive spacey vibe --even incorporating a surprise vocoder.
Unfortunately there are couple of duds. "Scream" is lyrically lacking, but production on the song is great. "Girls On Top" which has a more urban vibe than anything else on the album sounds a tad empty and very Vanessa Hudgens. The playful "Dress Of" comes off very annoying with its lengthy, pointless repetition towards the round off of the chorus.
Despite a couple clunkers, I'm pretty impressed with this album --a very solid debut. What bothers me is the similarities I can draw from most of the songs, we've already established that the album draws inspiration from Lady GaGa and Madonna (at her more electronic moments) but I can also draw comparisons from Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale and Hilary Duff, which leads me to the point that BoA isn't that original, but to be honest in this once case I couldn't care less, It's a simple, solid Pop album.
Best Tracks: Obessed, Did Ya, I Did It For Love, Look Who's Talking, Touched