Ailee‘s 2013 summer comeback came in the form of a second mini album. Here’s a quick review.
1) U + I A powerful opening to this mini album. It’s jazzy fierceness with a slight big band beat. Ailee sounds like a confident, sassy woman and is telling her significant other that she is sick of his lies and that she will be perfectly fine when they go their separate ways. The brass beats at the beginning of the song remind me a little of Christine Aguilera‘s Ain’t No Other Man.
2) No No No Ailee has found out the man she likes isn’t who he seems. A person who thinks love is a joke and was never honest with his feelings to begin with. She’s upset her love was deceived but won’t have any more of these lies.
3) Rainy Day A contrast to the confident pace of U + I. Starting off with a slow piano piece before singing her heart out, Ailee wishes the rain would fall harder and heavier so she can forget the pain and heartache. This is like the perfect song to blast out if you’re standing by the window, watching the rain come down after breaking up with someone.
4) How Could You Do This To Me (이런 법이 어딨어) One of the slower tracks on this mini album with an R’n’B edge and a sad feeling. Ailee is trying to ignore the fact she just broke up from a relationship and attempting to laugh it off but it’s not working very well.
5) Scandal (열애설) This dark song could work for a Tango dance routine with the brisk drums and low piano notes. It talks about a scandal with Ailee’s man seeing another woman. She refuses to believe this story at first but the lies spread and she can’t escape the news. She then starts to wonder if these rumours speak the truth.
6) I’ll be OK A song about reassurance and that breaking up is the right thing to do. Ailee and her lover are about to break up but somehow there are some indecisive moments from the guy but Ailee is reassuring him she will be ok. Look ahead and go, don’t turn around. Turn around don’t don’t you turn around. Don’t cry and look for me
Overall: I think this mini album really shows Ailee‘s vocals have become more polished and controlled since her debut last year. In terms of song themes, there isn’t anything new here and most of the tracks talk about break-ups – whether they were intentional or unexpected and Ailee is able to show emotions in both sides of this situation i.e. when she’s about to walk away from her man or just after he has told her they are no longer together. With this album Ailee once again proves her status as a strong vocalist in Kpop.
UK Potential: 4/5 UK music listeners might adapt to A’s Doll House right away, considering how there is a nice mixture of R’n’B, jazz and emotional pop ballad in this mini album. If they’re fans of R’n’B and soul divas there is a possibility of the entire album doing well here, should the listener bypass the fact most of the songs are in Korean with a flicker of English words. I think the promotional single U + I could stand a chance in the UK chart as it carries the sassy, young, independent woman character.