BoA is BoA’s debut English album and it was released on March 17, 2009. It reached #2 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and has sold 132,570 copies.
1. I Did It For Love (feat. Sean Garrett)
3. Did Ya♠♠♠
4. Look Who’s Talking
5. Eat You Up♠
9. Girls On Top
10. Dress Off
11. Hypnotic Dancefloor♠♠♠♠
BoA starts off her debut English album with I Did It For Love, a duet with Sean Garrett. One thing to say before I get off into reviewing all the songs. BoA took a very American sound with this album(obviously) so the general genre of all the songs would be said to be synthpop. I think this track was the perfect opener as it just leaves you wanting more. I’m not a fan of rappers in songs, but Sean’s presence isn’t that noticeable, so it’s fine with me. BoA’s vocals are under vocoder so they don’t really allow her to show off her vocal skills but then again, without vocoder the entire album’s sound wouldn’t mix with the vocals. An upbeat, almost dark album opener that I really enjoy.
Energetic most definitely lives up to its name. As soon as you get through the droopy intro, your welcomed to an upbeat, exciting synth heavy song with a heavy club feeling. I’m not surprised this was chosen as a single cause. The chorus is especially fulfilling but what I think I like the most is just the overall mood of the song. Clubby, and literally energetic.
Up next is Did Ya, another fast track with tons of attitude and a rebellious feeling. Now this song isn’t as synthy as the others, instead taking up more natural sounds like acoustic guitar and clapping. Even though it’s a bit short at three minutes long(like most of the album) it’s awesome enough to not need any more length.
Things finally calm down a bit for Look Who’s Talking. I swear it’s Britney Spears singing in this song cause BoA is just really vocoded. Oh, and if anyone is wondering how her Engrish is well, I didn’t notice hardly any moments in which she sounded totally Asian. This song’s main focus is the focus as the rest of it is pretty chill even though in a way it possess it sort of hidden energy(if that makes sense).
Eat You Up starts up and I’m sure we’re all aware of this song. Unlike the rest of this songs, it’s a lot more R&B than the rest instead of being pop(think Synth-R&B). It didn’t really give us the right image of what the album was going to consist of, but either way it’s an insanely catchy track albeit the semi-cheesy lyrics. That synth line is to die for.
Half way through the album is the darker Obsessed. Still synthpop but it makes use of rockier sounds with lower pitched synth and BoA’s obsessive lyrics. I think the bridge did a great job of flowing to the chorus the which is also insanely good. The song isn’t as initially catchy as the rest but only after a few listens did it really stick on me.
The fancy yet fierce Touched is next and I’m so in love with it. I love the way BoA sings the verses in this song and the way they were layered. While this song isn’t as strong musically as the rest(it features a simpler synth line), the melody just makes up for it in any way possible. Another short yet sweet song.
The darkest song award easily goes to Scream. It’s similar to Obsessed in a way but this song not only has a darker mood in the music, but also in the lyrics. The bridge does a great job of bringing up the creepy factor for the chorus. In a way, the synth in here freshens up the album a bit from everything that came before it.
Girls On Top is actually a remake of the title track on her 2005 Korean album “Girls On Top”. Honestly, I’m not a big fan of the song. I think if I listened to the original, I would enjoy it but seeing it here on the album, it’s just slightly out-of-place. It’s still synthpop(poppier than anything else on the album) but just missing that American style that the other songs possess. Also, her Engrish is more noticeable.
Next is Dress Off, another song that I’m not really a big fan of. I don’t know if it’s BoA’s higher pitched vocals or the messy instrumental but the song just doesn’t draw me in. The verses are forgettable and the chorus is just obnoxious and loud.
The best for last eh? Hypnotic Dancefloor manages to save the ending of the album from what was the mess of the last two tracks. The music is perfect for a club song as it let’s it all go on the marvelous chorus. This is probably the most electronic song on the album and hey, if they all sound this good, I wouldn’t mind her going more electro.
I was really surprised with this release from BoA. First of all, almost every song had a very high production quality. Usually when listening to American albums, I can only love about 3-5 songs before considering everything else filler material. This isn’t the case with BoA as each song up to Scream and the final track are either catchy, danceable or just overall great. She kept the synthpop style constant in the songs almost to the point that they sound too alike but catchy choruses and well placed synth make them all different from each other. Her vocals were no problem for me either, vocoded or not, Engrish or not. She should be proud of releasing a collection of just plain awesome music the which is perfect for clubs and radio play.