Monday, June 3, 2013

A Pink - Une Annee review

What would you get if the current pop artists in America lost their citizenship, spoke Korean, and started writing good songs? Well, in this reviewer's opinion, you would get K-Pop music. Now, some might say that I'm pushing it when I say that K-Pop artists release good songs, especially since one can, without a doubt, draw some clear similarities between those Korean Pop groups and the current American pop artists littering the radio waves. However, I can say with a fair amount of certainty that K-Pop music enjoys  a level songwriting that is far more developed and skillful than its American counterpart, employing melodies that are far more musical, and certainly more well-written. The song structures and arrangements, too, achieve a balance that it is foreign to the aforementioned American pop music (for the most part). The power in each song is not concentrated in the chorus and bridge, leaving the other sections of the track weaker, as if the chorus of the track was a parasite feeding and becoming healthy at the expense of its host. More often in K-Pop, the strong sense of melody and clever songwriting are spread fairly evenly throughout the song, ensuring that every section is memorable and infectious, enforcing my belief that K-Pop is far more well-thought out and well-executed.

All of these traits are evident in K-Pop girlgroup A Pink's "Une Annee."As is the case with any good K-Pop album, what makes this release a real winner are the melodies and the songwriting. For A Pink, it's not enough to have just an insanely catchy vocal melody. Songs like the electronic, synth-driven  "Boy" exemplify the group's proclivity for a sound based around an almost chaotic myriad of electronic and synth-powered melodies playing simultaneously, hitting you with a barrage of infectious songwriting and making every section of every track immediately irresistible.

Seriously, this album just hits you with one catchy melody after the other: the sultry bridge to the pre-chorus on "Cat," the main synth line in "Boy," and many more. Songs like "Up to the Sky" affirm the fact that on this album, everything is catchy. I mean literally everything, not just the choruses, but the verses, bridges, pre-choruses, instrumental sections, everything. However, though there is a very impressive balance in terms every section of the tracks being competent and catchy, the choruses are truly the aspect of this album that is totally jaw-dropping. Every single chorus soars, lifted by meteoric melodies from the impressive vocalists and the instrumentation. Choruses in "I Got You" and "Hush" leave me completely floored every time I hear them. I'm not sure who writes these ladies' songs, but whoever they are, they sure can write a melody, to say the very least.

This attention to the development of clear, soaring melodies ensures that each and every song is distinguishable from the others. Sameness is no problem here, and though most tracks are naturally of the typical upbeat, high-energy K-Pop style, there is definitely some notable variation to be heard here in the slower, more smooth R&B Pop style of "Step," the fluctuating speeds and dynamics of "Bubibu," the rapping and rhythmic vocals in "Up to the Sky," and the almost Latin flavor in "Cat."

From start to finish, "Une Annee" is utterly enjoyable. Sure, it's no musical masterpiece, but when it comes to modern pop music, you'd be hard-pressed to find better.
-Andrew Oliver

No comments:

Post a Comment