Otherwise known as the post where Kaye abuses the word ‘funk.’
Admittedly, I’m really critical of girl groups. I absolutely hate it when they stick with typical cutesy concepts and I’m always after their producers to go beyond what is expected of a girl group. When news of f(x)‘s debut started circulating, I thought that they probably had a huge chance of appealing to me because I really liked how they were styled, and with the ginormous success that was SHINee, I thought that SM would probably mold their future idol groups to follow a similarly funky path. Unfortunately, I found Lachata to be completely underwhelming and Chu~ to be far too cutesy for my taste. The members didn’t particularly appeal to me either (I find Amber’s packaging in particular to be a little annoying because it feels a little too gimmicky even though I know that she’s really boyish in real life) so I quickly dropped them. When news of their first mini-album NU ABO started going around however, I found myself eager to give them another try.
1. NU ABO – you know, I don’t think it’s a good sign when the producers feel the need to add fake applause in the beginning of the song. Just kidding, of course. I thought it sounded pretty messy when I first listened to it, but it does manage to grow on you after a while. As sick the beat is however, I don’t think it’s not particularly memorable. I gave it around four listens…and then promptly forgot everything in between “nananana NU ABO.”
2. Mr. Boogie – I now understand why everyone jizzed so hard over this song when it was first released. This is about a hundred times better than Lachata (I can never remember how it’s actually spelled) and a zillion times better than Chu~. I also like that Amber’s not rapping because I find her flow rather awkward to listen to. What really would’ve made this song for me would be if they put in a dance break or like a killer bridge or something since it’s pretty flat althroughout.
3. Ice Cream – I guess no matter how hard f(x) tries to be crunk, they’ll always return to the typical cutesy girl group formula. This is one of the weaker tracks on the mini – there’s nothing particularly original or memorable about it and it actually sounds kind of like a leftover track of SNSD’s.
4. Me+U – Ugh, I hate it when girls use the chipmunk voice (see: Oh! And Hot Issue). It’s cheating! The most out of tune person could use the chipmunk voice and still manage to come out sounding halfway decent. In any case, if Ice Cream was one of the weaker tracks, this is probably the weakest for me.
5. Surprise Party – I expected to dislike this song because it starts out sounding typically sweet so I was surprised when I actually started liking it somewhere in the middle. It actually lessens in sugary sweetness after you get through that first verse but again, it’s typical girl group stuff.
6. Sorry (Dear Daddy) – the sort of songs that are popular these days don’t really give the really solid vocalists a chance to show off their chops so I think that it’s good that SM included this song for Luna and Krystal because they’re actually quite good. Sadly, their voices are under utilized because even though the ballads they get to sing are lovely, they’re also really boring and this is no exception.
Concept-wise, it’s practically SHINee’s Romeo version 2.0, which is not necessarily a bad thing since it actually does look better-executed. At least they’re not wearing bugs. However, the problem I have with this album is that it has a major lack of continuity, which bugs me a little bit. With other groups, I can pretty much tell the direction that the group is going for by the similarities in their songs and I don’t feel that at all with f(x). They achieve their goal of cranking out something really funky and dance-able, but it only lasts for one or two tracks. Afterwards, they slip into typical girl group fodder, where the cutesier the better, which makes me wonder how Amber feels. Girl is so boyish that she puts all of SHINee to shame. HA
By the way, can I just take this opportunity to just…fangirl over Luna a little bit? I’m not a fan of f(x) AT ALL, but even I have to admit that the kid’s got pipes that’d put some of the veterans to shame. In addition to that, even though the dancer title goes to Victoria (who is extremely bendy), I actually prefer Luna’s style since it’s funkier and more high-energy compared to that of Victoria’s. It’s a travesty that this girl doesn’t even get half the popularity she deserves just because she’s not exactly Korea’s ideal type looks-wise, being short and rather darker-skinned.
All in all, I give it a 2/5. Definitely room for improvement.