BoA – ID; Peace B

April 15, 2012 at 5:17 PM | Posted in BoA | Leave a comment

ALBUM REVIEW
BoA – ID; Peace B

1. ID; Peace B
2. Come To Me
3. Heart-off (체념)
4. Sara (사라)
5. I’m sorry (비밀일기)
6. No Way (안돼, 난 안돼)
7. Every Breath You Take (차마)
8. Whatever
9. I’m Your Lady Tonight
10. Young Lovers (어린 연인)
11. Letting You Go (이별준비)
12. Someday Somewhere (먼 훗날 우리)

♦ ♦ ♦

ID; Peace B is the debut album by South-Korean singer BoA, released on August 26, 2000. It reached #10 on the Korean album chart and sold 218,000 copies worldwide. BoA was only thirteen years old at that time.

For a thirteen-year-old, Boa sounds very mature when singing ID; Peace B (quite like she does now, her voice never really changed) and even though the music is very ‘turn-of-the-century-ish’ with that typical pop/urban sound I really like the way this album kicks off. It’s a very energetic song with a very cool and bombastic strings arrangement, plus she can belt out some pretty amazing notes.

Come To Me sounds like a Christina Aguilera song, but BoA can pull off this more laid back type of songs easily. It’s more of a midtempo track and I liked the piano part in the background best of all the instrumental parts. BoA herself, well, the girl just has an amazing voice. They shouldn’t have featured a random rapping part by some guy, and should’ve just focused on BoA herself. Nice track, but not wow.

Just ditch the background vocalists in Heart-off (체념) and the song would be so much better. It has potential because of its epic and somewhat Arabian sound, but BoA is easily overpowered and has to belt her way out of it. She does it really well, but it’s just a shame. I keep having the feeling the song is just some basic 2000’s pop song, so this could’ve been so much more.

Sara (사라) is one of BoA’s best known songs from her early career, and it has been released in English and Chinese as well. It has a mysterious feeling to it with an echo sound in the background, but it’s actually a really good song. It’s a bit repetitive at times, but it works, even the rap section isn’t all that bad. Has to be one of the best songs on the album!

I’m sorry (비밀일기) caught my attention from the start because of its unique funky ballad style. It’s pretty, and yet very bouncy at the same time because of the electric guitar riffs. I like BoA singing in a lower pitch in the verses, but the song tends to drag after a while. It definitely has some great moments, but it’s more of the same old thing all the way through.

I think BoA’s voice sounds a bit strange and even more childish in No Way (안돼, 난 안돼), the higher pitch totally takes her right out of her comfort zone from the very start, and this time her own pitchy adlibbings overpower everything. I’m on the fence with this song, and that even becomes stronger when another random rap section comes along. True, BoA is great for having such a huge voice, but it’s totally out of place here.

Every Breath You Take (차마) is another ballad but one of the better, because all the flaws of the previous ballads aren’t found in this one. There are some musical breaks, BoA controls her vocals (and sounds really pretty and strong), and it’s not so darn cliché. The music is beautiful and some instruments bring some kind of magical feel to the song, and still it sounds pretty emotional.

Whatever brings back the standard pop/urban sound or, as I call it, Christina Aguilera style. I’d say it’s mellow, and yet still hot. I don’t know, it just sounds so nostalgic and I like it for that quality. It’s not the most original song ever, but it’s bouncy, BoA does a great job herself while not singing in a high pitch at all, the rap section was nice and it’s not a very long track. Kind of a filler, but a good filler in that case.

BoA’s vocals are a bit on the strange side at the very beginning of I’m Your Lady Tonight, but still it’s not unpleasant. What pleases me even more is the cheerful arrangement, this song is one pile of fun and BoA definitely sounds like she had a good time singing this. The line ‘Baby come baby come to me‘ is pretty catchy as well, the background vocals are repeating the line throughout the song to make it complete.

The first thing I noticed about Young Lovers (어린 연인) is BoA’s vocal range in this song. She starts off very breathy and low pitched in the verses and then tends to belt out her notes in further parts. Still, it’s the only attractive thing in this song together with the acoustic guitar in the bridge, because the rest of it is plain meh. The song is there but it has no special quality or anything.

I feel like I’ve heard Letting You Go (이별준비) somewhere before, but I can’t think of anything. The thing is, it’s a simple mellow song but it definitely has something in there I really like. The belt-and-swoop thing she does in the chorus tends to irritate me after a while, but her vocals are great in all the other parts of this song. It’s a great song to take things slower before the last song.

Someday Somewhere (먼 훗날 우리) is the last bouncy pop song on her album, and despite her echoing vocals in the verses, this track actually sounds pretty nice. The combination of the percussion, hand claps and synths in the song might not be very original, even generic, but it works to make this song a bit memorable. Nice song to end the album.

So BoA didn’t really release the most solid, interesting or unique debut album back in the day, but she definitely caught the world’s interest with her amazing vocals. Although most of her songs were pretty generic, she did have material that could have caused her breakthrough in the music world. Shortly after this alum she started preparing her Japanese debut, so it must mean something. Ofcourse this album is not bad, it reminds me too much of Christina Aguilera’s first album though, and too many songs sounded alike. I’m glad BoA evolved to become one of my favorite artists, so she still deserves some credit for this (after all, she was only thirteen).

Favorite tracks: ID; Peace B | Sara (사라) | Every Breath You Take (차마) | Letting You Go (이별준비)

OVERALL RATING

3 stars

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