First of all, I know that the blog looks horribly plain at the moment but I’m currently trying to overhaul the layout with my minimal web design skills (in between trying to keep up with my academic and extra-curricular responsibilities, oh noes) so please bear with me.
Second of all, yay Secret’s back! 🙂 It’s no secret (heh, pun) that these girls are probably my favorite girl group so I’m glad that they’re back with their new mini-album Madonna. Their previous single Magic, was rather well-received (in comparison to I Want You Back, anyway) so I’m hoping that they get even more (much deserved) love with this one.
1. Madonna – I LOVE THIS SONG SO MUCH, IT’S NOT EVEN FUNNY. Yes, it sounds like Magic 2.0, but I’ve noticed that there are people who haven’t heard Magic before, and they like this one enough, so I think that the song has actual merit on its own. In my case, I enjoy groups like Chicago and The Crusaders, so personally, I’m pleased at the fusion of the funky, big band jazz sound with Korean dance pop. The only criticism I can think of (besides the obvious rehashing) is that there’s not much of a climax in the song, but that’s it. It’s fun and confident, a perfect mix of classy and sexy.
2. Lalala – I was a bit disappointed with this one because I would have really liked for the jazz-funk sound to carry over the whole mini. Taken by itself however, the song’s not too bad. I’d describe this song to fall under the genre of ‘soft electronica,’ which means that while it’s got an electronica vibe (the skittering, the processing etc), it’s not exactly danceable, which is the basis of its appeal. The song capitalizes more on vocals, which in my opinion, is particularly refreshing.
3. Do Better (feat. Baek Chan of 8eight) – It’s not bad, but it’s probably my least favorite song off the track, probably because it sounds like something that should be on 4Minute’s repertoire; not necessarily a bad thing, but I find that it hinders them from finding their own thing. I would have liked for Zinger and Baek Chan to throw some rhymes at each other (he was there for like…five seconds =.= Under-utilization, I say) and for the song to have ended a lot less abruptly.
4. Hesitant – My second favorite off this mini, though I couldn’t help but think of Justin Bieber’s One Time, and their debut single I Want You Back when I heard the intro. It’s really sweet and cute, but the girls’ strong vocals keep the song from becoming typical cutesy fodder.
5. Empty Space – This is a beautiful ballad, lovely melody, and amazing vocals from the girls but I find this rather generic. There’s not much of a climax to the song and the lack of it keeps the song from making it past ‘okay.’ I think the best part about this song though, is that whoever wrote it recognized the fact that Zinger is a capable enough singer (well hey, that rhymes!) and thus there’s no need to force-insert a rap into the song.
The funny thing about this mini-album is that it has some external cohesion (meaning that most of the songs give off the similar overall feel as their previous releases) but not a lot of internal cohesion. It’s a gripe I have with a lot of idol groups; they have a concept and they stick to it for the promotional tracks but the rest of the songs feel like the producers had extra songs and were like, “Hey, let’s just put it into the album.” Again, this is something that I need to point out all the time I’m not sure if it’s a legitimate concern or just me nitpicking.
Like I said before, I really would have liked for them to stick with the whole jazzy, big band sound; it’d certainly be something new in K-pop (or at least new right now because pop music seems to recycle trends anyway), what with all the electronica, so it would probably help them stand out more. What I like about them though, is the fact that they don’t seem to be willing to compromise great vocals for a catchy tune. Autotune was used sparingly throughout the album, and even Zinger got to show off her vocal chops. Speaking of Zinger, girl pretty much owned the entire album. Did you catch her shaking it in the MV? I can’t even. I actually didn’t like Zinger’s rapping style before (I think she’s a little too nasally), but her flow is pretty good for an idol rapper, and she does it with so much…conviction that it’s hard not to like her. And what’s this? A rapper that can actually sing? Praise Shisus.
3.5-4/5 for me 🙂