BoA – IDENTITY

February 13, 2011 at 3:45 PM | Posted in BoA | 1 Comment

ALBUM REVIEW
BoA – IDENTITY

1. This Is Who I Am
2. EASY
3. BUMP BUMP! feat. Verbal (m-flo)
4. LAZER
5. interlude #1
6. is this love
7. まもりたい ~White Wishes~
8. interlude #2
9. ネコラブ
10. THE END Soshite and…
11. Possibility duet with Daichi Miura
12. fallin’
13. my all

♦ ♦ ♦

IDENTITY is the seventh Japanese album and the first self-produced by Korean singer BoA. It was released in two versions: a CD+DVD edition and a CD only edition. This album had the lowest debut sales of all BoA’s album to date and effectively ended her streak of #1 original studio albums. In Korea, the album reached #38 on the 2010 Gaon Overseas chart with 4,346 copies sold.

So I was pretty sure I reviewed this album before, but I guess that was on my previous blog. Anyway, the first song is This Is Who I Am, a jazzy new sound for BoA and much to my own surprise I love this song to death. I like how the track opens with the percussion drums and then how it is accompanied by piano and strings. In fact, I think this track is much to short to my taste.

A whole other type of song is EASY, a song that could easily fit on the tracklist of BoA’s English debut album because of its electropop sound. The percussion is nice and bouncy and the synthesizers are providing some catchy melodies and effects as well, but it’s just that sometimes BoA’s vocals are so plain and boring. Don’t know if that was supposed to be plain or if she just couldn’t bring this song in an interesting way. Except for that, quite a good song.

Back to one of the strongest tracks on the album, and one with another jazzy touch as well: BUMP BUMP! feat. Verbal (m-flo). The track seems both heavily R&B and jazz influenced, with gives off quite an exciting combination. BoA’s vocals are much better here, sounds like she’s dancing to the music behind her mic, the brass instrument is catchy and Verbal’s rap was very interesting. His yells in the verses were annoying, but they were luckily easy to circumvent.

LAZER starts off, funny enough, with lazerlike sound effects to put the music straight into the right mood. It’s another electropop song, quite like EASY, but her vocals are a lot better here so I must say this one is better than EASY. The music makes me think of a lazergame, believe it or not. BoA herself gives one of her better vocal performances on this album during the chorus.

interlude #1 (yes, another one will follow asap). Footsteps and a door closing, how pointless.

The first midtempo, more of a ballad type of song is is this love. My feelings about this song are kind of mixed. The music is very nice with soft percussion and a piano, even some soft synths in the background. The ambience of the song is nice, the track flows well, but BoA sounds a bit too boring, even in the chorus, which used to be the earcatcher of every song.

My absolute favorite track, and one of the two singles, is まもりたい ~White Wishes~. Finally a good quick-ballad, as I call it, in which BoA doesn’t sound like a lifeless drone at all. Lively, energetic and still soothing, quite a good prestation. I’m totally in love with the acoustic guitar in this song, the piano, chimes and synths, and BoA uses her great vocal abilities in the best way she can, top of the bill!

interlude #2. Some shooting camera’s. Yaaaawn…

ネコラブ is another dance song in the style of EASY, with a better composition overall. The music is interesting, but I don’t get the title, which is Neko Love (Kitten Love). True, the synths sometimes sound like a cat meowing, but I think that’s just me thinking that way. To me, this song sometimes sounds a little too much like over-selfconfidence. I quote: ‘B-0-A, people know my name‘…

A beautiful piano introduction opens THE END Soshite and… I really love the electric guitar in the transition from chorus to verse, it’s so different from all the other songs on this album. It’s over 7 minutes long, but the track doesn’t tend to drag at all, it’s just slow and BoA takes her time with the melodies and lyrics. Speaking of the girl herself, another standing ovation for some beautiful vocals here!

Okay, lemme get this straight. People can say whatever they want about ‘natural beauty’ Daichi Miura, but the guy has a VOICE! My god, I think he has one of the better singing voices in J-Pop I have ever heard. Possibility duet with Daichi Miura is therefore also one of the better tracks on this album, BoA’s and his voice blend so well together, they bring out the best in each other, and they both have a great feel for R&B songs.

I didn’t like fallin’ at first, but I guess it took its time to grow on me. BoA’s vocals are constantly altered by auto-tune and vocoders, which is a nice effect but sometimes she sounds very bland again. It doesn’t make sense to me. The musical arrangement though takes this song out of the dump and it has the tendency to make you move to the music of the piano and dancebeat. With these instruments, BoA is ready to go again. Pro’s and cons for this song.. Let’s just keep it in the middle.

From the start, I already thought my all would be a cute song, and I was right. The song is so slow it took me some time to like it, but it’s quite pretty. It’s mostly a piano and percussion based ballad, with some additional brass instruments now and then softly playing in the background during the chorus. After about three minutes I like this song more and more because it builds its way to the bridge and the last chorus. BoA belts out her lyrics one last time in a beautiful way.

I’m still a bit on the fence with this album, but when I think about it, it’s almost like Christina Aguilera’s Bionic. First, I loved the album, then I hated it, and then I loved it again. Every time I find out new things I hate and love, and I can never form one constant opinion. This time, I think the album grew on me after quite a good couple of listens over the past few months. Tracks like LAZER, ネコラブ >and fallin’ were some of the songs I didn’t like at first, but now they’re quite okay if you ask me. Ofcourse I understand why BoA fans claim this album as being her worst production ever, and ironically, it’s her first self-produced album. Wrong again, only about four or five songs are produced by her, the best out of the bunch being This Is Who I Am. I think I’m gonna play it safe right now and try not to be too enthousiastic about the album, my opinion changes almost every minute XD

Favorite tracks: This Is Who I Am | BUMP BUMP! feat. Verbal (m-flo) | まもりたい ~White Wishes~ | THE END Soshite and… | Possibility duet with Daichi Miura

OVERALL RATING

3 stars

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1 Comment »

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  1. Your hairdo was kinda nice here, BoA, so at least you got something out of this awful album….


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