Published on April 6th, 2015 | by ponyforprez0
miss A: ‘Colors’ album review
miss A is the perfect example of a girl group in K-pop that proves you don’t have to have extraordinary pipes to be outstanding if you’re given the right amount of marketing – and also possess incredible appeal and the X-factor of course. There are several differing profiles explaining the vocal roles of each member but it’s pretty self explanatory that this is a group that doesn’t have one stand-out singer (although I’d beg to differ that queen Fei is notably better). Yet, their songs work. They’re always catchy, don’t require more vocal work than they can handle, and also manage to stand out amongst other releases.
With ‘Colors‘, the girls explore a more vibrant and varied sound. The album encompasses pop, jazzy overlays and an experimental foray into trap music, a genre that amps up the synths and rhythmic beats. There’s a little something for everyone, and I’m really impressed by the overall quality.
‘One Step’ is a gorgeous, jazzy opening number and one of the girls’ best works here. It reminds me that miss A don’t get saccharine B-tracks unlike so many other girl groups because they get these awesome soulful tracks instead (‘Love Is U’ from ‘Hush‘ as another prime example) that showcase their capabilities at optimal range.
‘Only You’ as a lead single is brilliant – it’s bubblegum pop but full of girlish swag at the same time. Is ‘girlish swag’ a word? Because that’s the vibe I get from here. ‘Only You’ is also super catchy and makes you want to drop everything and dance. The verses are addictive, with short, punchy lines, while the chorus carries us through with lots of fluff from Suzy‘s lithe, airy vocals. It’s refreshing – a nod to new producer Black Eyed Pilseung who’s dropped hits like SISTAR‘s ‘Touch My Body’. There are no climatic moments, no showy belt-y lines, but it’s perfect that way. Does Suzy have more lines than she should have had? Yes, because Fei and Min can easily carry them too, but I won’t deny that Suzy’s voice does match up pretty well and keeps the tonality of the chorus consistent.
‘Love Song’ is a fan favourite, and it’s not hard to see why. With its eclectic music range, flirty come-hither verses and overall dizzying good vibes, it takes you to a different place. The drop after each ‘neol bureuneun love song’ (‘singing you in a love song‘) is electrifying – instead of a conventional dubstep break it’s this sick synth violin that plays out the same melody throughout the song.
‘Melting’ is an interesting track because the instrumental is quiet and unassuming, with hints of bass weaved into it. The members actually show really good control here with their singing, hooking listeners in instead of letting the song fall into forgettable category.
Penned by Suzy, ‘I Caught Ya’ is about catching your lover cheating on you (we wonder where she gathered all that angst for lyrics such as ‘Were you shocked? Running away like a rabbit. Put your pants on at least, don’t be ridiculous’ though hmm), which explains the attempt at making this the album’s head-bangin’ number. Unfortunately, the guitar and fast pace of this doesn’t help channel any excitement or grit for the song, and it falls flat at portraying the snarky lyrics – it’s more bubbly than brash that’s for sure.
‘Stuck’ is this album’s slow, breezy track that closes the album on a sweet note. It still contains a faint sprinkling of horns and dreamy piano, and throws in a ton of nostalgia-brimmed crooning for good measure. It does end on quite an abrupt note though, which is my only gripe about the song. Otherwise, I think it’s a quaint ending song to wrap up the mini album.
‘Colors’ doesn’t shows extreme musical growth for miss A – it’s everything we know they can manage – but it’s cohesive, enjoyable and a tight collection of six well-produced tracks that makes for good music. ‘Only You’ shot straight up the charts the moment it was released despite stiff competition (EXO, anyone?), so it looks like their position in K-pop is rock solid despite their long hiatus. Personal thoughts? I’m disappointed that there aren’t any stellar, stand-out rap bits from Jia because her singing voice doesn’t sit that well with me (although yes, she’s decent on the tracks, it’s just a personal preference), so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that she gets something that suits her more ASAP.