Ashley. 21. Dreamer.Neon rudeboy. West Indian Brit queer. Wine or die.
So miss A’s “Touch” album was released six days ago, and originally this post was going to be a video review but the upload failed on me first time. I’ve also done a video blog on it, but I did miss some things out so here’s a written review of this brilliant album.
So the album begins with Touch, the title track. Touch opens with a mix of harsh eletronic gongs and a horror- inspired keyboard procession, after which it transitions into a funky, disco inspired pop song. The positive and sweet lyrics coupled with the solemn instrumental makes for a nice contrast and it definitely shows another side of the group. The rap, handled by Jia and maknae Suzy is sensual and fits in nicely with the vocals. The ad-libs on the track are nice and smooth, never too much and always enough.
The second track on this album is Lips, which also happens to be my favourite on this release. With its aggressive house beat, bongo drums akin to Major Lazer’s Pon Di Floor and trance synths lacing the chorus, this track is a dancefloor smash and perfect for nightclubs. The dancehall influence which was present in “Breathe" makes a re-appearance on this track, and coupled with erratic sirens and sexy lyrics make for a very well produced proper dance track which I hope is promoted and an English version released. This was produced by Fuego, who also produced “Love Alone" on the A Class album.
Rock N Rule, with its Euro-pop synths, uplifting rhythm and fast- paced drum pattern is the third track. This track has all the makings of a current k-pop smash: a catchy instrumental and lyrics, reference to shuffling (Party Rock is in the house!) and a dubstep breakdown. The breakdown fits in nicely and is quite melodic unlike other attempts at dubstep in k-pop (Yes, Hyuna, I’m looking at you), it’s quite gay and happy- go- lucky. Although my least favourite song on the album, I give kudos to these ladies for attempting to interpret a current trend in their style.
Opening with loud electronic bass warps and a marching band drum, No Mercy is the fourth track on this album. This track seems to be a favourite of many, and I enjoy it. It sounds like something that Xenomania would have produced for the Sugababes or Girls Aloud a few years ago, and would fit in on Catfights & Spotlights, the sixth album by the Sugababes. Western comparisons aside, this bubbly, retro- styled pop track with it’s rock ‘n’ roll guitars, frustrated lyrics and 60’s girl group harmonies is very well executed.
Nearing the end of the album, Over U is the fifth track of the album. Packed with female attitude, this electronic European pop ditty sounds like a Britney Spears track, if only she could sing! The chorus is reminiscent of the Gorillaz’ 19-2000, and its clean and polished production leave me wondering if JYPE are trying to push these girls abroad.
Finally, the album closes with Touch (Newport Mix). This remix of the title track gives the original a run for its money. The ballad and R&B styling of this version inject it with a sultry and very feminine coating, and the rap this time around takes no nonsense from anybody.
I have to hand it to JYPE, they seem to know what they’re doing with these girls. I wonder if they’re trying to push miss A out of Asia. This album is pop, not k-pop, and in that miss A seem to have evolved and matured from the high energy young girls we saw in “Breathe”. I think I’d have liked to see a bit more variety in the production, maybe some blues, some rock, I’m not sure. I would have also liked to have seen the girls try their hand at writing their own songs and lyrics. This album isn’t perfect by any means, and it does have its low points. But the good points do outweigh the bad and what is presented is a very polished, clean pop EP by a group able to explore different facets of their image. miss A, you deserve a pat on the back.