Absolute First Album is T-ara’s 1st album and it was released on November 27th, 2009.
1. One And One♠♠
2. Like The First Time♠
3. Bo Peep Bo Peep♠♠♠♠♠
4. Tic Tic Toc
5. Bye Bye
6. Apple Is A
7. Falling U
8. Say Goodbye
9. Lies (Dance Ver.)
10. TTL (Time To Love) w/ Supernova♠♠♠
11. Lies (Slow Ver.)
12. TTL Listen 2 w/ Supernova♠♠♠♠
13. Good Person
14. Wanna Play?
It’s not very frequent that you get to see actual full length albums released in the K-Pop scene these days. Most of the releases are plagued by mini-albums and digital singles. Fortunately this year, what few actual albums have been released have been overall great, and T-ara’s first album is no exception.
What surprised me most from the album was the sheer amount of upbeat, danceable tracks and how they managed to all full under that “T-ara” sound(the which was only made upon listening to this album) without sounding stale and similar. The only songs not fitting under this category include Falling U, a slower R&B based song but, as all other tracks on the album, has a very memorable melody and hook, the Slow Ver. of Lies which just slows down the tempo of the original and fixing the arrangement to contrast this and Good Person, the only real full-blown ballad that unfortunately suffers from an uninspired verse but makes up with an impressively strong chorus and the best use of the groups vocals in the entire album.
everything and anything else in the album is absolute pop-dance music, with Apple Is A as the “different” of the bunch due to it’s less electronic sound and is instead full of elegant, tea-party instrumentals and a ton of mispronunciation. Still catchy though. Even One And One, a track less than three minutes long that I would doubt as an album intro if it weren’t for its high potential of sounding like a perfectly passable full track(which if it were, would probably be my favorite track from the album).
The high points of the album definitely come in form of the new songs. Bo Peep Bo Peep is an excellent example of the sound T-ara went for this album and while being cute, it maintains a certain sensuality to it in form of its deep synth, plus, that hook is brilliant. Like The First Time, which was put head to head with the former track as to see which would get promoted, floats on the same boat but shows off the groups more serious side and features that chorus-dependent arrangement. Don’t forget that T-ara are also vocoder users(but never nearly as much as 4minute) though you won’t find it too often, and it really isn’t necessary as the producers are fully aware as to who are the better singers and who needs more layering than others.
Featured are two remixes of their debut digital single, Lies. The Dance Ver. only makes the original blend in better with the other content and features a nice new instrumental, though I’m still not that fond of the song in general. Their releases with Supernova are also included and continue to be some of their strongest releases ever. Upon first listening to TTL (Time To Love), I can say I wasn’t very impressed. Than I learned to valor the song for what it is. One of those typical K-Pop heartbreak songs with lots of synth but that isn’t particularly a ballad(the sound of rain somewhere in the song is also a common trait as well) but produced in such an organized and genius matter that it makes it so incredibly enjoyable. Listen 2 only makes it that much better, seeming like a remix but it’s actually a whole different song, only keeping the original chorus(but even then changing the lyrics). It features totally new verses and a bigger role by Supernova.
If your not a fan of Supernova’s part in the song, than Say Good Bye is your answer. It’s almost a carbon-copy of TTL arrangement-wise(both had the same producer) but isn’t quite as great as the former since it’s missing that original inspiration.
T-ara really released one heck of a package. The album is a fun listen, beginning to end and while it does have it’s small problems, their less than a hands-worth of counting and really shouldn’t back you away from this marvelous release. They’ve found a really solid, while overused but original sound that they’ve managed to make their own and along with their vocals(that beat a lot of other girl groups out there), their bound for more success.