BoA – Hurricane Venus

September 16, 2010 at 7:17 PM | Posted in BoA | 2 Comments

BoA – Hurricane Venus

3. Dangerous
4. Yeop Saram (옆 사람)
5. M.E.P. (My Electronic Piano)
<6. Let Me
7. Hanbyeol (한별)
8. Adrenaline
9. Haru Haru (하루하루)
10. Don’t Know What To Say
11. Romance (로망스)

♦ ♦ ♦

Hurricane Venus is South Korean singer BoA’s sixth Korean studio album and fourteenth album overall. It was released on August 5, 2010 to commemorate the tenth anniversary of her 2000 debut. The album sold 54,659 copies in its first month. <em>Hurricane Venus</em>is BoA’s first Korean album since Girls On Top in 2005.

Wow, surprise surprise, I guess BoA wanted to save her image after the ‘identity crisis’. Let’s see what GAME has got to offer us fans. Well, a big uptempo beat for sure, together with a lot of heavy synths. It’s a decent song in my opinion, although some fellow reviewers might say this track was a bad start for this album. BoA displays some great, sturdy vocals in this song, especially in the chorus. For an electropop song, I like this pretty much already!

More heaviness considering synth arrangements with the electronic-manic-supersonic-bionic-energy-song. HURRICANE VENUS. BoA really gave it her best shot with this track, it already started with a big kinda BOOM that made me go like ‘wow, BoA, WOMAN!’. Our girl is getting fierce, people. This song is even better than GAME, and it may even feature more vocoder elements. Kinda suits BoA’s lovely voice though.

She keeps on going with Dangerous, but this is a bit of a slower paced track compared to the previous two. Most of the time, electropop doesn’t appeal to me, that’s a well known fact around here. But the way BoA handles it… Gosh, I may even start to like it then! She continues to appear as fierce and strong as she did before on this album. Her vocals may be a bit plain, but the music sure knocks you out!

The first ballad on this album is Yeop Saram (옆 사람), and from the start it drew my attention with it’s beautiful strings and melody. Here, BoA does what she does best if you ask me: heartfelt pop ballads. Her voice does sound a lot better without the scratching and breaking from the vocoder effects, she sounds as crystal clear as ever. The bridge builds up the big drama and I think this may be one of the best ballads she’s ever done in her whole ten year career!

The introduction for M.E.P. (My Electronic Piano) is sooo cute when BoA starts to sing “you’re so beautiful“! This song is not really going back to that electropop thing, she just sticks to pop with this. It’s lighter than the first three tracks, for sure. I love her high note in the line “I think you’re still in love with me“, goosebumps all over. This good pop orientated song has a strong synth arrangement, but it’s not too dominant. BoA’s vocals are most prominent to me.

Let Me has a big attitude, oh my gosh. Hot hot hot! I agree with ‘Lost Wing’ (another review blog) that this song might be kind of the lovechild of GAME and Damgerous. It’s a bit alike, but the melody and just the track as a whole also has a certain amount of uniqueness all over. The chorus lines “ah ah ah ah ah“, repeated all the time, are actually quite, no not quite, SOOO addictive. I can tell it will get stuck in my head the rest of the day…

The second ballad on this album after Yeop Saram is the beautiful acoustic Hanbyeol (한별). It’s such a simple and delecate song when compared to all existing ballads, because this only features an acoustic guitar in the entire first part of the song. In the second part, some electric guitar riffs and a soft percussion beat are added, as well as male voices. I don’t care if this song is over six and a half minutes in length, how can I not love this beautiful ballad? She’s done it again!

I gotta focus again and wake up from my daydream when Adrenaline drops in with all its strong instruments. It could easily be a Britney Spears cover, altered with Korean lyrics. The beat is fast and pumping, and the synths have totally taken over again. “La la la la la, I love it“… Well… strangely, I do! These kind of songs, BoA can throw them on me anytime. The chorus are almost a reminder to Flo Rida’s rapping techniques in the chorus of his song ‘Right Round‘!

Haru Haru (하루하루) finally throws in an R&B flavor onto this album, so we’ve almost had all the styles (I believe there’s one more style to come). I love me some handclaps in a beat, and some good popping bass as well, so I believe this song really has to offer me something besides the good melodies in both the hook as the chorus. The synth lines in this track are a great addition too. I don’t believe anyone but BoA can pull this song off, she’s done such a great job on this one!

More ballads! Yes, we’re not done yet, we still got Don’t Know What To Say left. This is the first song of which I can say I’m pretty on the fence with… True, BoA’s vocals are very very good, as well as her brother on the piano and the way the two of them worked together. It’s just that she should’ve placed the ballads in this section further apart, so I’m ready for something different by now. Still, I don’t hate this track. Not even a bit!

Okay… what have we here? Is BoA giving us some jazz and blues? Yeah, I feel the blues with this one for sure. Romance (로망스) is the first full jazz/blues track I’ve ever listened to in my entire life, admitted. For a first meeting with this genre, BoA introduced me quite well. I have the strange feeling she thought she should let the music pop out a little bit more with this track instead of her own beautiful voice. I think I’m gonna stand up for BoA, she did so great on this one! She handled the very low notes like a true pro, and the whole thing is just simply top notch. Didn’t expect that at all!

Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for South Korea’s shining star! No more ‘this is who I really am’ type of crap, THIS is the real BoA! She truly made her comeback, either Korean or worldwide, with this beautiful album. Sure, there were only six months between the releases of IDENTITY and Hurricane Venus, but that shows how much effort BoA can put into a production in such a short period of time! In only six months she cooked up a whole blend of styles for us, from electropop to ballads, from R&amp;B to jazz. I think that’s worth some more bonus points. I really enjoyed listening to this album, and I’m sure everyone else who tried this out, did too. She reclaimed her good image, her conscience is clear as well, hehe. Oh I’m soooo back in love with her music right now…

Favorite tracks: HURRICANE VENUS | Yeop Saram (옆 사람) | M.E.P. (My Electronic Piano) | Hanbyeol (한별) | Haru Haru (하루하루) | Romance (로망스)


4½ stars


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