Miss A‘s 2nd full length album is a compilation of songs from their previous two mini albums and entirely new songs, including the most recent promotion song, ‘Hush‘.
The main problem I have with a lot of these songs is that the rap sections feel like they were just added for the sake of having a rap section. That goes for many of the group’s earlier songs, too, and might even be company-wide. However, the choruses make up for it, most of them being full of potential and really quite catchy. These songs are the kind that are strong enough to stay around for a while, with the inclusion of previous hits like ‘I Don’t Need A Man’ and ‘Touch’ being very telling of their staying power.
‘Come Tonight‘ is a cool funk track that sets up the album for a smooth take-off. In fact, this song probably builds in the rap better than any of the other songs. The song doesn’t go anywhere climatic but that is it’s charm; it’s an easy listener and relies on breathy vocals and subtle harmonies to keep it progressing steadily. In opposition, ‘Hush‘ begins very tamely and gradually builds up to a pounding beat accompanied by strong but not intrusive vocals. The chorus is insanely catchy – it takes no more than a few listens to become completely hooked. Impressively, the song manages to include both quiet and loud phrases without misplacing the flow and continuity.
The intro of ‘Love Is U‘ could potentially trick the listener into thinking this song is a ballad with a similar cold feeling to that of the previous track. Dispelling any such thoughts, the guitar soon breaks in with bursts of sunny strumming and simple melodic vocals soon follow. The use of English is subtle, with exception to the chorus lyrics, “Love is you,” which make sense to a certain extent, if we allow an amount of abstract grammar. The song is clean, bright and happy, and again, it’s an easy listener that isn’t hard to join in with. Similar guitar use can be found in ‘Spotlight‘ which also has a bright melody but much better use of English. The use of rhyme in the chorus makes for another catchy track that would have been better suited on a summer release, truthfully. This track offers nothing that is entirely different from ‘Love Is U‘, and unfortunately it becomes a bit on the repetitive side. Though, as a stand alone track it has no real negative issues!
Heading towards a heavier genre, ‘Hide and Sick‘ combines a menacing rock guitar with synth sounds that are dappled throughout the song, keeping it from becoming too heavy for a pop album. While the lyrics don’t make a big impression, the song offers something to tap along to and it might just get stuck in your head for a while after… The track that follows next transports us back to a sunny state of mind; ‘Mama I’m Good‘ is an upbeat feel good song which has the potential to serve as a sort of morning anthem to get us all up and out of bed, motivated. The bass and keyboard create a groove that compliments the tempo and sweeps the song along without becoming at all boring. ‘Like U‘ offers the chance to relax a little with a lazy beat and much slower tempo than the songs before it. While the song is a platform for the members to showcase their vocal skills, it would have been nice to hear them experiment with a wider range since the song plants itself around a small range of high notes until the very end.
What comes next truly baffles me. The ‘party version’ of ‘Hush‘ is possibly one of the most confusing things, in my opinion, to come out of K-pop. I honestly thought that the original version of ‘Hush’ was already a dance track that just slowly built it’s way up. This ‘party’ version is clunky and messy; the addition of synth patterns and more beats makes it sound like a bad club song. The original version holds much more strength as a song and creates atmosphere in the way that this version fails to do.
Crazy remixes aside, the album moves into the songs that we’ve heard before, including promotion singles ‘Touch‘, ‘I Don’t Need A Man‘ and ‘Over U‘ (this was promoted alongside Touch). ‘Touch’ gained praise for it’s creative take on pop music, whereas ‘I Don’t Need A Man’ was liked for it’s simple catchy beat and important message. ‘Over U’ is a pop track that boasts an impressively simple chorus and well executed transitions. ‘If I Were A Boy‘ is a laid back song with an almost festive undertone, while the intro of ‘Time’s Up‘ instantly brings the mind to a western club song (that I just can’t pinpoint).
What this album does is make good tracks out of simple components; rarely will you find a complicated melody but each song is distinctive in its own right. The marriage of old and new songs will be a treat for fans, and perhaps an easy introduction to the group for potential fans! If we look at the UK market, it’s likely this album would stand a good chance of success – maybe not quite the success of a western artist but a good chance as a K-pop album. Miss A never have a badly pronounced English word in their songs and English is used in most, if not all, of the songs on this album. Simple pop with nothing ‘scary’ would potentially appeal to the pop demographic here and the range of sound offers something to everyone.
What are your thoughts on the album? A success for Miss A? And which version of ‘Hush’ do you like best? Let us know in the comments below!