SPICA – Painkiller

April 18, 2012 at 6:48 PM | Posted in SPICA | Leave a comment

MINI-ALBUM REVIEW
SPICA – Painkiller

1. Painkiller
2. 화 (火) (Fire)
3. Up N Down
4. 러시안룰렛 (Russian Roulette)
5. No More
6. 일기장 (Diary)
7. 독하게 (Intensely)
8. Painkiller (inst.)

♦ ♦ ♦

Painkiller is the re-package of South-Korean girl group SPICA’s first mini-album ‘Russian Roulette’.

Painkiller is the new track for this re-package and it opens with a pretty but kind of haunting piano melody, after which Boa starts to do her beautiful adlips. Boa and Bohyung have both the most and best parts in this song (and the best vocals), Narae, Jiwon and Joohyun are just featured in the chorus and have small parts in the verses, but all the girls sound very good together. I like the haunted ambience of this track, it’s like dark R&B with a good bass and synth riffs.

A hybrid of soft ballad elements and powerful instruments and vocals, that’s what 화 (火) (Fire) is. Bohyung constantly belts out her lyrics, but it fits the aggressive ambience with a lot of electric guitar riffs and heavy percussion. It’s a nice track in my opinion but the vocals are a bit messy and the song ends too abruptly.

Up N Down is a typical energetic dance/pop track with a lot of synths and altered vocals. Joohyun, labeled as the rapper of the group, has her real semi-rap part in this song, which wasn’t very strong but still enjoyable for it fit the energy. This track kicks ass, for sure, I love it.

러시안룰렛 (Russian Roulette) has a beat with a little bounce to it which I really like, and Joohyun’s opening rap is much better and with more attitude this time. It was surprising to hear a heavy electric guitar joining the arrangement after a while, because then this song transforms from being a bouncy and happy song to a rather rocky one. It has a lot of spice and energy and the girls delivered a great vocal performance each (who did that whistle note!??).

No More is a generic song and a bit predictable, but at least it sounds fun and energetic. This time the energy wasn’t coming from either an R&B beat or guitars, but the synths played a huge part this time. It’s a pity it ends kind of sudden, because I was just getting used to it and the parts I used to call repetiton actually became catchy at that point.

Right when the album needs it, there’s another ballad: 일기장 (Diary). Both the song’s arrangement and the girls’ voices are pretty soothing in the beginning, and I loved how the acoustic guitar played those little riffs. The track becomes a little more powerful in the chorus when an electric guitar is added, so everything is perfectly balanced in this song. No big vocal parts, everything was just right.

The focus lies entirely on the vocals at the very beginning of 독하게 (Intesively), so the song has a nice buildup quality into this strong pop track. Again I love the use of acoustic guitars and strings, it’s so different from the rest of the songs on the album. About the vocals, this is the best song for the group as a whole and this is where they sound best together, although Bohyun screwed up her belting after the bridge.

I’m glad I’ve found SPICA, they sound really promising for the K-pop scene. Every time a girl group comes along I think “Oh damn, not another After School wannabe with that standard lineup,” but there’s not much of a standard lineup in this group. Although Boa and Bohyun have the most prominent parts, every girl contributes to the singing. Their music brings along quite some varieties, from R&B to synthpop and pop with some heavier rock influences. I think their style is amazing and the new track Painkiller was the absolute best ❤

Favorite tracks: Painkiller | 러시안룰렛 (Russian Roulette) | 일기장 (Diary) | 독하게 (Intesively)

OVERALL RATING

4½ stars

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