There may seem to be an SM theme going on with this album review, since Jonghyun’s ‘Crazy’ album was discussed last month, but you guys can be safely assured that this is just pure coincidence!

 

{Special mention: Check out 4minute’s ‘Crazy’ album!} I was weighting up which album to cover this month, but I have to say I would most definitely recommend the recently released 4minute album!

 

So for February’s Tune In Album Review, we are presented with long awaited solo debut album since the news broke out regarding f(x) artist Amber under SM entertainment. In the past, SM entertainment had shown us glimpses of Amber’s true potential, which proved that that her speciality does not just lie with the traditional narrow K-pop rap role in her group but that she is multi-talented—which is a theme also emphasised by past Exo member Kris.

 

amber final

 

  1. Beautiful 

The opening track of the album is a treat for fans, especially considering that both the composition of the song and lyrics was the product of Amber’s talent. The unexpected sweetly feminine tone that pulls at your heart strings is complimented by the strumming of the guitar, making for a pleasant uplifting song with a message we could all relate to. Through this, we’ve been given the chance not to just enjoy Amber’s rapping skills but the makings of a well-rounded artist which are showcased in this album! The words ‘Happy to be myself’ implies the reflection of the journey that she must have gone through with all the trails that life threw in her direction over the years and somewhere along the way she fully accepts herself. This is a much more mature view at the usually playful rapper, this song and the message truly is beautiful!

 

Check out the MV for yourselves if you haven’t already, you won’t regret it!

 

  1. Shake that Brass (FT. TAEYEON)

Prior to listening to this song, I already looked up the teasers released and instantly I found the chorus beat very addictive, I ended up having those parts on repeat and wished for the release date of both the MV and album to hurry up! It wasn’t until I finished my final lecture last Thursday when this was released that I was able to finally listen to the full song, which features Girl’s Generation leader and main vocalist Taeyeon! No doubt that Amber had a wide range to choose from to feature in this single and despite some backlash directed towards Taeyeon, the voices meshed very well together with Amber’s rap accompanied by Taeyeon’s sweet vocals! I have a soft spot for songs like this, the kind of songs where you can dance and not care if you’re making a fool out of yourself!

 

Check out the MV for Shake that Brass!

 

 

  1. LOVE RUN

Following on, the next song transits from the upbeat ‘Shake that Brass’ to this next song title. As we diverge further into this album, we’re seeing different layers of Amber as a performer, a much softer version in comparison to how she is usually perceived in her f(x) promoted image, the free spirited tomboy rapper. This song adds a soft touch to the album, a feminine side to Amber which is something that we don’t often see. The melody transitions of this song is so smooth, it’s not too slow but not fast paced either, it’s very well balanced for those who have a taste for such songs!

 

 

  1. HEIGHTS

From the previous tracks in this album, rather than soft tuned songs which doesn’t even scrape the surface with Amber’s capabilities, this is more than evidently displayed with impressive vocals coming from the f(x) rapper. The kind of vibe I get from this song is that it would be good if you’re a jogger or you have a preference for working out, this is an ideal techno beat! It’s good to see her development as she continues to flourish into the type of artist she wants to be. Regardless of all the scandals that has been circulating around SM as of late, the main good aspect that’s coming out of all of this is that we’ve being spoiled with a number of solo debuts, possibly more in the future along with group comebacks later this year?

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  1. I JUST WANNA (FT. ERIC NAM)

And lastly but not least, we have a collaboration in the form of a song between Amber and After-school Club MC Eric Nam! But that’s not the best part, it’s sung in English! So for those who listen to K-pop songs but don’t really understand what’s actually being said, myself included, it’s good that they’re taking international fans in consideration with this duet! Eric’s smooth vocal tones coupled with Amber’s mixture of wide vocal ranged singing and raps in-between points of the song. Sounds like a musically match made in heaven, a pleasant surprise to wrap up album!

 

 

Conclusion

As a whole, I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting the amount of slower songs in comparison to the catchy tempo title track ‘Shake that Brass’, however having said that, much like with the rest of SM album releases the standard and quality of the composition of the music pieces rarely disappoints me. There are fans who, on the other hand, may be disappointed. Especially with f(x)’s music styles not fitting in with the concept of this album. The way I see it, solo albums are individualistic, the type of album that would be produced for Krystal, for example, would be different from Amber’s. And that’s fine, because all artists before they debut into the music scene all have an idea on the kinds of music they wish to produce in the future. When these K-pop idols are shoved into a clustered group of artists that either may be similar or different to them and are made to sing songs that they have minimum control over, it’s more difficult to shed light on the type of artists they want to be, in comparison to the idol image that is imposed on them. But to finish off, I’m happy for Amber, that she was given the spotlight and a true chance to shine to the rest of the world and that we can expect much greater things from her.

 

8.9 Beautiful

As cliché as it seems to recycle the Album Title, that's what I believe this album to be. Amber is shown to break the stereotype despite upholding the unique tomboyish look in the Kpop world, not afraid to showcase all the talents she wishes to bestow on her fans and the world, alike. Although the overall tone wasn't the direction I was expecting Amber to go in with this album, this is just her first so she is probably testing the waters so I reiterate my words, I expect great things from her in the future. She has real potential!

  • Overall thoughts? 9.2
  • Concept 8.8
  • Content material of album 8.7
  • User Ratings (1 Votes) 9.4
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UnitedKpop Writer since 2015, partial to listening to 2NE1 and BLACKPINK.