BoA – SHINE WE ARE

November 9, 2012 at 7:50 PM | Posted in BoA | 1 Comment

ALBUM REVIEW
BoA – SHINE WE ARE

1. B.I.O.
2. Shine we are!
3. Sesangui Eodieseodo
4. Discovery
5. Milky Way (Club Remix)
6. Flower
7. Searching for Truth
8. Beside you
9. Ibyeolpunggyeong
10. Flying without wings / Westlife feat. BoA

♦ ♦ ♦

SHINE WE ARE is the third special Korean album (or 3.5 album) by South-Korean singer BoA, released on December 3, 2003.

B.I.O. opens the album with a quite agressive synthpop sound that was pretty common for BoA’s overall sound at that time. I have my doubts about her vocals, she sounds like she’s straining in the chorus, but still the song itsself is very memorable after listening to it and I like the style. As for the rest, I recon this is one of the weaker tracks on the album.

The title track Shine we are! is the second track, oozing a happier sound in the synthpop genre, and also with more of a bounce to it. It’s so much less generic than most of the other songs BoA released around this time, and as you can see I’m very critical about that detail. But I’m glad to inform here that this song is sooo not boring or anything, it’s a great uplifting pop song with better vocals than the first track. One of the best on the album, too.

Sesangui Eodieseodo is, as expected, the first slower song on the album, although it’s still not a ballad since it has enough punch to it. Yet it turns everything down a little bit with just some heavier percussion accompanying the rest of the arrangement (acoustic guitar, strings and soft synths). The song features BoA’s best vocals on the album yet, especially since she isn’t nasal or trying too hard.

Discovery is officially a track from BoA’s second Japanese album VALENTI, but she translated to Korean for it to be featured on this special album. I must say it definitely suitable for the Japanese music industry, but I bet Korean fans liked this song as well. The singing melody can get a little weird at some points, but I like her crazy high note in the chorus. The ambience of the song is once again pretty uplifting and very enjoyable indeed.

A remix for the next song was quite a original idea for BoA, I must say. Also, Milky Way (Club Remix) has become so much less generic this way. The beat is quite popping, the additional electronic effects support the overall ambience and I really like the vocal effects. Everything together makes this song a little more special and definitely better than the way I’ve heard the track before.

Another VALENTI song, and coincidently another good one. Flower comes off as quite mellow if you ask me, albeit with a little beat in the background but the piano and bells give it a cute and sweet touch. The song grow stronger as it develops, but the melodies remain pretty catchy throughout. Makes me wonder what the entire VALENTI album is like.

Okay so I know now that I’m practically listening to a Korean version of the VALENTI album now, but that’s fine. Searching for Truth is the next translated song, and it’s more bombastic than the other songs on the album because of some nice and original brass effects. I agree to some saying that the chorus is pretty boring compared to the verses, since in my opinion they verses have more bounce to them. Still, not a bad song.

Beside you is one of those unoriginal songs with a typical arrangement and even a typical buildup. It reminds me too much of so many songs on the Atlantis Princess album, so that’s a bummer. After listening the entire song I already forgor what it was like, so I think I’m gonna pass this one.

The first ballad (really?!) is Ibyeolpunggyeong, and after all those uptempo tracks it’s very good to finally have one of those typcial emotional tearjerkers with just piano and strings. And you can bet this track is moving, especially the lone violin does the trick. After a lot of thinking I recon this is the perfect place on the album to have this track, since Beside you was kinda plain. Now, this song comes out even better, love it!

An then comes one of my favorite BoA songs of ALL TIME: Flying without wings / Westlife feat. BoA. I have to admit BoA’s Engrish is minimal, I can understand her very well, but well, when compared to Westlife’s vocals it tends to get a little worse. Still, this power ballad is so moving, and the whole concept of an Asian artist collaborating with an Irish boy band gives me goosebumps. Close to perfection, it’s THE best track of the album and a good closer.

At first I was expecting the worst with this album, but then it took a turn for the better. Still not every track was very good, but the last two tracks on the album made all the difference for the overall rating. There weren’t many original tracks on this album, five of them being Japanese-to-Korean songs from VALENTI, but I’m still one of those people that claims that a song can sound very different even if only the language of the lyrics has changed. So, I can congratulate BoA with another good ‘grade’ on MA.

Favorite tracks: Shine we are! | Discovery | Milky Way (Club Remix) | Flower | Ibyeolpunggyeong | Flying without wings

OVERALL RATING

4 stars

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1 Comment »

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  1. ‘Discovery’ Nothing more to say…:)


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