Made in Asia…miss A: Bad But Good

These girls are burning up the real time and weekly charts right now. Their success is a bit surprising, but not completely unexpected. I remembered laughing at one description of miss A as Wonder Girl’s “more sexually liberated sisters,” though the maknae Suzy Bae is a 94-er. It’s true. The music given to miss A was what should’ve been given to the Wonder Girls–it’s a more free, soulful sound that brought me back to my favorite Wonder Girls days–before Tell Me, Nobody and So  Hot–to the easy listening, snap-a-longable days of Irony, I Wanna, and Heartbreak. They had pretty good promotion before debut, with the revealing of members and a few dance teasers beforehand. Min got the most press since she was once upon a time Lil Jon’s protégée aiming for a US debut, and hung out with idol regulars like SNSD’s Hyoyeon and Kara’s Nicole, but there was no overhype, and in general people were teased enough to just be interested in their debut. There was nothing to criticize about their debut–their song wasn’t bad, they danced reasonably well, their outfit wasn’t a hideous fashion faux pas, so the public liked them. Plus, the JYP touch was there. Thus the public liked them. Now they’re topping the charts.

The debut single, Bad Girl Good Girl is a good track. It’s not spectacular but it’s definitely above average. It’s a song that pulls you along and make you want to listen to it, won’t get tired of listening after a few repeats, but not a song that you actively want to repeat.

The second song, 딱 마주쳐, pushes the without going beyond the line of funky. It’s got a gypsy 80s techno-beat, but saves itself from getting lost amongst the other weird sounding retro songs by utilizing only minimum autotune. The easiest way to avoid scrutiny, these days, is to use autotune as less as possible. It’s much harder now to autotune “tastefully” to add flair to the song. The “yeah yeah” chorus is interesting without being repeated too many times. The rapping is also thankfully left to a minimum. A fun song. It’s really an edgier and more fun version of 2 Different Tears.

다시 사랑 is my personal favorite out of this minialbum. As I was listening to it in the car today, it hit me that this song could’ve fit in T-ara’s Absolute First Album perfectly if no one told me otherwise, which is a good thing because I really liked T-ara’s pre-Braking Heart (I’m Really Hurt is good, though) songs, and Absolute First Album ranks #1 in my 2009-2010 most worth it albums list. It’s got the techno-synth and bass beats and the melodic phrases that parallels T-ara songs like “One and One” and “A is for Apple.” Heck, even the rapping sounds like something Hyomin and Eunjung would do.

I just realized there are a million songs called Break It. Kara’s debut song went by the same name. I really like the plucked bass in the background. This is a song that automatically makes the listener want to snap along and move with the beat when walking (cause that’s what I did). It does a nice job of balancing the album–it’s slow but not boring.

An aside–I have this habit of picking up words or phrases of different languages that I think sound ugly just base on sound as a linguistics minor, and the phrase 더 이상 is really one of the weirdest sounding lumps of syllables to be put together. Phonetically, it does not sound very pleasing. Moving on.

Really good replay value, I think a good debut minialbum. Are they the next 2ne1? Who cares. No kpop group has shared the same path to success or failure, so I’m just going to sit back and let this ship sail its course. I’m willing to bet they win Rookie of the Month, though, lest Girl’s Day decide to scrap their debut song and whip up something entirely different.

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