B.A.P‘s third mini album following the almighty One Shot. What does Badman have in store for the babyz? Here’s our review.
1. Whut’s Poppin’
The album begins with an epic-sounding intro, quite akin to that of Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ in it’s 80s electro sound, but this then quickly gives way to that heavier industrial beat B.A.P have become associated with. This track only serves as a short introduction to the album and is designed to get listeners pumped up and ready for what the other tracks have in store for them. However, even with its short length of 1:52, the song itself has quite a lot to say. The members boast about how they are different from all the other acts on the K-Pop scene, parts like: “my body line is different from all the girly guys” and “it’s not pleasing to the eye, all the rooted pop music, just stop” shows an awareness of the pop industry and an almost fierce dislike of it. All of B.A.P’s past albums seem to have a short intro track at the beginning as a way of setting the tone for listeners, this one is very aggressive and is undoubtedly enjoyable for many B.A.P fans.
Here we have another very epic song, with an equally epic MV. This track is all about losing faith in the world around you and losing control, becoming a criminal with little regard for anything of anyone around you. It is very angry and gives out the idea of anarchy and going against those who occupy the top tiers of society (the fact that the MV shows mass rioting obviously echoes this sentiment). The guys sing and rap about being dangerous and strong, warning everyone to stay away from them if the wish to be safe. I remember when I first heard the song, I thought it was a complete mess and did not like it at all, but after a few listens, it really began to grow on me and has now become one of my favourite K-Pop songs of 2013. In a way, the sporadic beat and frequent changes in tone are quite refreshing and keep the song very interesting. As always B.A.P’s vocals are amazing and they can really pull off long and wavering notes with such precision. It really shows you their talents.
3. Excuse Me
This song is another one full of energy, it reminds me a slighty of a big stage show in the way that Yong Guk begins with the announcement: “Ladies and Gentleman, B.A.P’s time is back, Leggo!” along with the trumpets in the background throughout the whole song. It seems that this song addresses fellow K-Pop artists and is, again, very ego-inflating in its nature. They are saying that they are way above other artists, taunting them by saying things like “Try and follow me, you know it know it, you can’t from below my feet” and “a match of a different weight class, you and I are born a mismatch”. The chorus is very catchy and you will probably find yourself singing “Excuse me!” and getting annoyed with yourself as you are trying to concentrate on other things. Some of the English is a little lacking in places, but it doesn’t take too much away from the song as a whole.
4. Coffee Shop
My go to song for a wind down session after a long day. The very slow, jazz beat took me by surprise when I first heard it. I expected something brutal and in your face like B.A.P’s previous songs but I started to indulge in this song over time and I could listen to it with my eyes closed, imagining myself sitting outside a cafe and enjoying the cool breeze while sipping a hot drink. This song also talks about a guy’s memory where he met a girl in a coffee shop and how he goes back to this same place to reminisce, stating how coffee smell fades just like this girl’s (caramel) scent.
5. Bow Wow
Opening with a rather cabaret style this song then lands into r’n’b territory, starting with a monologue between a couple where a guy ogles other girls while his girlfriend is by his side and she’s not happy with the drooling. Given the name of the song you’ll definitely hear dogs barking. Bow Wow is quite a cheeky track which describes how men can’t help checking out other attractive women despite being in a relationship but in the end it’s just a simple glance and the one who matters is the girl by his side.
Ending the mini album is B.A.P’s second promo song during the band’s summer promotional period. I thought Coffee Shop had been enough to surprise me with how un-B.A.P it sounded but then Hurricane followed and that shocked me even more. It was fast potential party material. The video itself shows the guys having a good time in Las Vegas and how nobody else in Korea knows how to party in the same way as the band. The song sounds like a mash-up of speedy electro dance and hip-hop. Funnily enough during the hip-hop section that’s when we get a bit of the B.A.P sound we’re accustomed to, right next to the whistle. Who wants a night-out with B.A.P?
Ting: Repeated listening of the One Shot mini album and viewing of B.A.P’s MTVK appearance turned me into a fan (I feel strange saying baby). Like with BIGBANG, this group stood out to me with how their music did not limit itself to just one genre. I loved how punchy and powerful their music could be but when they slowed it down slightly with tracks like Coma or Rain Sound they still carried their musical appeal. I appreciate how hardworking they are (their schedules are ridiculous though) and I could see they put in a lot of effort in this mini album. B.A.P fans may enjoy the different songs on offer. I found the songs tend to grow on you after a few listens.
Holly: B.A.P are one of the very few rookie groups that have managed to catch my attention over the past year or so. I was not a huge fan at first, but you can really see how talented they are after giving them a chance. There is no denying that they are one of the most hard and constantly working K-Pop groups in existence and it is clear to see that it’s worth being that way when considering the mark they have made in the incredibly competitive field. They have a very distinctive sound that is instantly recognisable, they have also shown their versatility with a few choice tracks, but I feel perhaps it is not enough to sustain them for future releases. They will have to be careful that they don’t over do certain sounds at the risk of their fans becoming bored.
Overall though, this album is definitely one to listen to when you want to get a little bit pumped and B.A.P certainly has the talent to sustain themselves for many years to come. I doubt this sound would work on a global level, but the songs are quite infectious and fans of B.A.P will probably be very pleased with this mini album.
2/5 With six tracks to listen to, Badman provides very different sides of B.A.P that might surprise a new listener. For example they slow it down with Coffee Prince, they have a laugh with Bow Wow, they speed it up with Hurricane and they get angry with Badman. I like the jazz influence in some of the tracks and you can tell Yongguk appreciates that genre from his Instagram and Vine updates. So anyone who happens to like jazz might be okay with Badman. To recommend B.A.P’s music using this album might not work exactly. Hurricane might be a letdown because of the “Engrish.” However Badman as a single track could be strong enough to attract UK listeners due to its strong hip-hop beat and aggressive tone.
Let us know what you think of this album and this review in the comment section below!