BoA – WOMAN

October 28, 2018 at 12:10 PM | Posted in BoA | 1 Comment

woman1ALBUM REVIEW
BoA – WOMAN

1. Woman
2. Like It!
3. Irreversible
4. Encounter
5. Little More
6. U&I
7. If
8. No Limit
9. Good Love
10. I want you back

♦ ♦ ♦

woman2WOMAN is the ninth Korean album by South Korean singer BoA, released on October 24, 2018.

Woman is a kick-ass track with lots and lots of attitude (I mean, that click-clack of stiletto heels at the beginning of the song – FIERCE). It has a very groovy feel to it, but it also sounds quite contemporary. I love how BoA references her album ‘Girls on Top’ as well. This track is quite short at only 2:50 minutes, but a catchy opener and lead track!

Like It! is filled with synths, handclaps and catchy chants in the chorus. That chanting makes the song memorable, the rest of it isn’t forgettable or anything but it’s not BoA’s best track in her discography. That having been said, I think this one can definitely grow on me and it might become one of my favorites yet (never say never).

Slowing things down with Irreversible. It’s not quite a ballad, more of a midtempo pop song and it’s so steady that I almost lost my concentration and wandered off. There’s a quality to the chorus that keeps it interesting nonetheless so it’s not bad at all, I just think this one needs a little more time to really stick.

Encounter wakes me up in the best way possible with its borderline Major Lazer approach, very sexy and danceable. It’s so well produced that it might eventually be better than the title track (which up till now slays pretty much everything). Please hold while I play this on repeat.

Once Little More comes around, it once again proves BoA is a very versatile artist (and longtime followers now how much I love versatile albums). It’s a joyful and happy track filled with drum beats and horns, almost like BoA’s own K-pop take on Kool and the Gang’s ‘Celebration’. I love her high-pitched vocals in the chorus, no one can pull it off quite like BoA.

woman3From the first note, I instantly recognized the hit that U&I is. If Encounter was well produced, this one is even better. It’s clear that the arrangement combines everything that’s good about Swedish and Dutch electronic music and this is obviously my favorite song so far.

BoA did not only write the lyrics for If, she was also involved in the arrangement along with Stainboys. It’s another slow but groovy track with a lot of emphasis on BoA’s vocals and the guitars. That’s probably what makes it stand out, otherwise it would’ve been a bit like Irreversible.

I love the sound of No Limit, very dancehall and it reminds me of Justin Bieber’s ‘Sorry’. The hook is very catchy and BoA displays killer vocals. This might be what some call mainstream, but if that’s what it is then hit me with some more mainstream stuff BoA.

Good Love channels 90s R&B, which was one of BoA’s biggest inspirations. It’s a feel-good track and it’s almost like BoA takes me back to the music scene circa 1997. I just feel very happy listening to this so she definitely earned some bonus points here.

I want you back throws in some groovy disco vibes a la the Jacksons. It’s well placed behind Good Love to ensure that little throwback section to close the album. It offers pretty much everything a BoA fan could ever want; amazing vocals, old school music and an infinite amount of sass.

Though I might not be able to graps the idea of why there’s such a hype around this album, I do recognize the value of it for BoA’s career. It’s like her third comeback this year and the woman still manages to improve and be original with every release. BoA did not only dab into 2018’s most popular musical styles, she also stayed true to her inspiration and the music that influenced her from the very beginning. I’m giving this album a high rating because I just know that some of the songs I wasn’t that enthusiastic about will definitely grow on me soon enough.

Favorite songsWoman | Encounter | Little More | U&I | No Limit | Good Love

OVERALL RATING
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4½ stars

woman4

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Aimer – Anata ni Deawanakereba ~Kasetsu Touka~ / Hoshikuzu Venus

October 3, 2018 at 3:35 PM | Posted in Aimer | Leave a comment

anatanideawanakereba.pngSINGLE REVIEW
Aimer – Anata ni Deawanakereba ~Kasetsu Touka~ / Hoshikuzu Venus

1. Anata ni Deawanakereba ~Kasetsu Touka~
2. Hoshikuzu Venus
3. Breaking Up Is Hard To Do (Neil Sedaka cover)

Anata ni Deawanakereba ~Kasetsu Touka~ / Hoshikuzu Venus is the fourth single by Japanese singer Aimer, released on August 15, 2012.  Anata ni Deawanakereba ~Kasetsu Touka~ was used as the ending theme song for the anime Natsuyuki Rendezvous, Hoshikuzu Venus was used as the theme song for the drama Koi Nante Zeitaku ga Watashi ni Ochite Kuru no Darouka? The single reached #26 on the Oricon charts.

Despite being another ballad, Anata ni Deawanakereba ~Kasetsu Touka~ has sooo much more power to it that I instantly pick this as my favorite Aimer A-side so far! The arrangement has extended to more than just piano and strings with guitars and percussion joining in. The PV is also very moving, it adds to the overall experience of the song so definitely recommended to watch. This song alone is worth 5 stars.

Hoshikuzu Venus is a good track on its own but when placed after the previous song, it becomes this slow unoriginal meh song. That having been said, I like the verses a lot and Aimer’s vocals are very pleasant and light. There’s a little electric guitar solo wedged somewhere in the bridge, very nice but I just wish it was more prominent.

I’m surprised by how much I actually like Breaking Up Is Hard To Do! The vibe of the original 1962 song can still be heard very well and Aimer shows she CAN nail a more bouncy pop/rock song instead of just ballads. Short, but sweet.

OVERALL RATING
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4 stars

Aimer – Yuki no Furu Machi / Fuyu no Diamond

October 3, 2018 at 3:17 PM | Posted in Aimer | Leave a comment

yukinofurumachiSINGLE REVIEW
Aimer – Yuki no Furu Machi / Fuyu no Diamond

1. Yuki no Furu Machi
2. Fuyu no Diamond
3. ORION (Mika Nakashima cover)

Yuki no Furu Machi / Fuyu no Diamond is the third single by Japanese singer Aimer, released on February 22, 2012. Yuki no Furu Machi was used as the ending theme song for the series Ghost Whisperer. Fuyu no Diamond was used as the ending theme song for the TV program Rock to the Future. The single reached #72 on the Oricon charts.

The synths in the instrumental parts of Yuki no Furu Machi instantly capture my attention, it’s a nice touch to the arrangement. Basically this song fits right among RE:pray and Rokutosei no Yoru, which isn’t automatically a bad thing but I’m waiting for Aimer to be more original. The chorus is a bit boring if you ask me, but the rest of the song is quite good and I’m sure it will grow on me more.

Fuyu no Diamond is like Yuki no Furu Machi part two but then slower. It starts off monotonous, but this time I like the sound of the choruses so much better. It really helps to look up the lyrics, it’s so sad but it plucks on your heartstrings in a way that makes it more beautiful. It’s a long track, but while listening on it I already like it more and more.

ORION is a cover of the original by Japanese singer Mika Nakashima. Originally, it’s a pop ballad with a bit of pop/rock to it, but Aimer made it even slower and turned it in the jazz direction. Although I like Aimer’s vocals better than Mika’s, the original arrangement had more that I liked. This is just too much of a lullaby.

Aimer, just give me something other than a ballad already!

OVERALL RATING
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3 stars

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