[mini-album review] Secret’s Secret Time

The secret’s out – after a rather long hiatus from the K-pop scene (don’t laugh; 6 months is an eternity in idol years), Secret is back with their first mini-album Secret Time and a rather radical transformation, image-wise. While their first single failed to impress me, I’m looking forward to seeing if the girls have something more appealing to put on the table.

1. My Boy – I like it, nice melody and great vocals from the girls, though I felt like the rap was completely unnecessary (especially since I think Zinger is a much better singer than she is a rapper, or at the very least her voice doesn’t sound as nasal when she sings) and the song ends far too abruptly. To get a little nitpicky, I wouldn’t have put this song as a first track because the transition from mellow to upbeat is a little weird.

2. Magic – I think a lot of people are disappointed in the song because the beat in the teaser was so strong, but I personally don’t care. As a teaser to the sort of image the girls are going for (fun, sexy and confident), it does it’s job reasonably well. As for the song itself, the only complaint I have is the pronounciation of ‘Magic.’ Some have interpreted their pronounciation to be a combination of ‘magic’ and ‘music’ but I don’t buy it, because the line ‘magic music’ would be redundant if that were the case. Still, the song is light, catchy and definitely funky, a throwback to the sort of dance music popular in the 90’s-2000’s. I also like the dance; while it’s certainly no masterpiece, it’s very fun and flirty, which goes quite well with the song.

3. Spotlight – I don’t like it. It sounds rather cutesy and far too…electronic, I suppose. I mean, props to the producers for having enough faith in the girls’ vocals not to autotune the entire song but it sounds very generic and uninspired.

4. Sure I’ll Be Fine – It’s been four hours and I still don’t know what to make of this song. I mean, it’s a nice song but it’s not particularly strong and I can’t shake off the feeling that I’ve heard it before. Am I right in saying that it sounds a little bit like Without You by U-Kiss?

5. I Want You Back (acoustic) – I like this more mellow, chilled-out version. I thought the original was a little too busy in the background so it got a little annoying after awhile, but this version is gentler and sweeter. My only critique is that I would’ve liked it better had they switched up the unnecessary rap for a killer bridge.

6. 3 Years, 6 Months (acoustic) – Conversely, I prefer the original version. I thought the harmonies in the beginning made the song sound more heartfelt.

General Comments: Groups under larger companies are almost assured of a fanbase straightaway so sometimes it doesn’t matter if their promotional songs suck because the company has enough clout to influence consumers (don’t deny, you know I’m right) and to promote them to hell and back. Secret doesn’t have this luxury; although they debuted with something other than a dance track (as opposed to 4Minute and 2ne1 who did), I feel like they kind of failed to stand out because the song was kind of boring and they weren’t promoted as much. It’s a shame because they’re all pretty solid vocals-wise, which is something that not a lot of groups right now can boast.
I’d give this album a 3.5-4/5. All the songs are great, except for Spotlight, though I do wonder if the entire thing is strong enough to give Secret enough of a push into the spotlight. To get nitpicky again, I think the two acoustic versions would’ve worked better in a full-length album and I would’ve liked to see them maintaining that funky sound from Magic throughout the entire album. Still, this first mini-album certainly didn’t disappoint and I’m looking forward to their next releases. 🙂

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