BoA

BoA was the self-titled English debut album of BoA. It was released on March 17, 2009 and reached no. 127 on the Billboard 200 (United States). This album was also released on March 28, 2009 alongside her BEST & USA compilation album as the 2nd disc, in this case it debuted at no. 2 with 81,627 copies sold.

BoA - BoA

Tracks:
1. I Did It for Love (featuring Sean Garrett)
2. Energetic
3. Did Ya
4. Look Who’s Talking
5. Eat You Up
6. Obsessed
7. Touched
8. Scream
9. Girls On Top
10. Dress Off
11. Hypnotic Dancefloor

Review:
Now perhaps her most famous song in the US was well as the opening for her debut English album is I Did It for Love. This song also features its producer Sean Garrett, who actually makes the song sound fantastic. Like the majority of the songs on the album, the vocals are distorted to a degree with the vocoder. The music is a smooth mixture of electronic beats & music that’s actually catchy believe it or not. It’s a bit repetitive but it is really catchy, the blaring electronic beats did a great job. BoA’s vocals were distorted, and you could tell that she was from another country to some extent, but I still have to say that this is one great song.

While the first song was smooth and pretty electronic, Energetic is slightly more aggressive as well as dance oriented. The music definitely reminds me of a more dance oriented version of Driving, just not as up-beat or rhythmic. This time the background vocals are actually more annoying than good, seriously this guy should be banned. And I wasn’t all that crazy about the repeating vocals and the background vocals. I wasn’t all that thrilled with BoA’s vocals either, there were so monotone, well there wasn’t much variety.

The beginning of Did Ya really diverges from BoA’s style, well on this album. The cheery up-beat nature of the beginning was so unexpected. Yet the great acoustics, castanets, and light beats really made this song stand out. The brass section just does so much from this song. The music is up-beat and fast paced, more energetic than the previous song. What I really loved though was the fact that BoA’s vocals weren’t so distorted, much more variety and diversity. It reminded me a little of a record during some parts but overall this song is outstanding.

Originally this album was supposedly entitled Look Who’s Talking. That being said I was really looking forward to this song, but now that I’ve heard it I can honestly say that it’s a bit disappointing. The opening wasn’t all that catchy or memorable to say the least, and I really didn’t enjoy the melody, especially during the beginning. The vocals were distorted yet again and the music is mostly electronic and synth. This song is nothing special for the most part, it’s purely filler material. The only thing that remotely made this song memorable was the chorus, which sounded mediocre at best.

And now onto the song that really gave us a taste of this album. Eat You Up was released back in November of 08. It gave us just a small taste of her new style, vocoder and all. The music is mostly a mixture of rhythmic electronic beats and a Hip-Hop vibe. The vocals again her distorted and synthesized but that didn’t bother me too much. The main thing that bothered me was just how slow this song was. The remixes were faster which made it a heck of a lot more enjoyable, the tempo just needs to pick up. Other than that it was astounding.

A little more dance oriented and up-tempo is Obsessed. Honestly at the beginning it’s starting to sound just like every single song on this album. The vocals do sound a lot better, the vocoder did a much better job this time. This time though to my surprise the music is a lot better, even as far as electronica goes. The rhythm is infectious and intense, much better than expected. And the catchiest part by far is the chorus, it’s so good it’s a crime.

Alright the music box intro really confused me, but then the siren beeps entered and then I got really lost. Seriously Touched is a mess, not a hot mess like Dr. either. The music isn’t all that memorable, it gets lost with all the other electronic songs on the album. However lyrical content and vocal strength make this song standout. She actually sounds like an American singer during the chorus, which shocked me. It actually sounds like something an American R&B artist would sing, so I have to hand it to BoA for that. I think the music just needs some more variety.

Now onto the first of two cover songs, the first is Scream. Apparently it’s a cover of the German girl group Monrose song of the same name. Again there are a lot of electronic and techno beats, with the occasional synth riffs and infectious beats. As far as melody and rhythm goes, it sounds great, but I don’t think it’s the most memorable thing. It’s forgettable to say the least.

The second cover song is the English version of her very own Girls On Top. The original version was the title track of her 5th Korean Studio album released back in 2005. But seriously even though the music and background vocals are the same, this song just plain flops. The original was so edgy and one of my favorite songs. The edgy R&B music with a few electronic beats was incredible, but with these cheesy and corny lyrics it just ruins the song. I mean you can’t go from hot and sexy to dull and goody-goody. If the lyrics were a little more aggressive. Don’t get me wrong it’s nice to be true to yourself, but it’s so typical and corny. And I thought she was all grown up.

More aggressive and edgy by far, lyrics and music, is Dress Off. There’s still that electronic music with those vocoder vocals. It’s different as far as sound and music goes, but then again it’s mostly the same. The melody though is so different and really bad to but it nicely. There’s nothing all that exciting about this song.

Now despite the more than mediocre electronic songs, Hypnotic Dancefloor does make up for them all. It’s by far more aggressive and the most dance oriented song. Seriously even the distorted vocals don’t bother me. The melody is astounding and fantastic while the music is still heavy electronic and dance, and the claps don’t hurt either. The chorus is absolutely infectious and hypnotic. Out of all the electronic songs on the album, this sticks out the most.

Overall Review: BoA was electronic & tehcno Bliss! I’m honestly a little shocked that BoA released an album like this. I mean Hikki did R&B but BoA doing electronic / dance??? It’s unexpected to say the least, I mean after Eat You Up I though it’d be more hip-hop than anything. That brings me to my next issue with this album. It’s way to repetitive. I mean it’s one thing if the album is electronic and techno but give it some variety. GOT, EYU, and IDIFL were the only memorable songs on the album, and that’s because they sounded unique. The last song on the album was memorable, but even now I can’t remember the lyrics. I can’t say that I was expecting much from this album so I’m not as disappointed but it’s lackluster and not worth much effort and time. I don’t think I’d ever actually buy this album sadly, it’s just too repetitive. And the vocoder thing didn’t work for her all that much, except for maybe one or two songs. And now I get why she’s compared to Brittney Spears, she can dance well and her image is great, but I really don’t think her vocal talent is all that good, well except for when it comes to Japanese music. This is really a mediocre lackluster mess, perhaps I’m being to critical but that’s what I think.

Final Grade: 85C+

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Comments
15 Responses to “BoA”
  1. Moi says:

    Uhh yeah, your being too critical with BoA on this one >_>

    Been reading your blog since the beginning.

    Seriously, I read your reviews all the time and you give like 95A+ ratings on sugary pop stars with lyrics talking about make up or clothes, and you rate this one 85C+?

  2. Die says:

    well the main reason is mostly because it’s so repetitive and mundane. I mean some of the songs are great but the majority are just forgettable, the only ones i know are eat you up, i did it for love, and maybe did ya. if there was some more variety and I think it would’ve been a lot better, I mean even a ballad wouldn’t hurt. then again i’m not used to this side of BoA. But I can honestly say that I don’t think i’d give this album the time or day, which sounds harsh but it’s the truth. maybe i just need some time before it grows on me.

  3. Moi says:

    I understand ~

    Well, this album is targeted towards the more dance/club/techno pop oriented people.

    Utada listeners probably won’t listen to this album because it’s all about dancing with little lyrical value.

    Though coming from someone who listens to Namie I thought you would like it, since most Namie fans seem to like it . . .

  4. Selryam says:

    Well, of course she’s going to be compared to Britney. I mean, she co-wrote Look Who’s Talking, which is the biggest piece of Britney out of the whole damn thing.

    I can definitely see why you (and a bunch of other people) don’t like the album though… I only like it as much as I do because I’m into Techno and Electronica and all that. If I wasn’t, I’d definitely agree that it was a disappointment, because it IS really repetitive.

  5. Ironic Clown says:

    wow, that was a different perspective on the album. Personally I think that it was a great album, but I respect your opinion and can see where you’re coming from. . . excellent review!

  6. Die says:

    it’s nice to know that we can all have different opinions without killing each other lol. I thought i was going to like it but after i heard it i felt disappointed. but i’m really psyched for namie’s new single / album and rie fu’s 😀

  7. noahfurlani says:

    Really like your review, partially because you’re one of the few who didn’t really like the album (I, for one, did). Happy to see there’s more than just one side to the opinion about “BoA”.

    Also thought I’d comment because it’s been… ages? since I commented.

  8. Die says:

    thanks lol, makes me feel better about not being the only one that thought it wasn’t all that great. actually my korean friend, born in korea and moved to the USA, loves boa’s work, but doesn’t like the english album lol, so it’s not just us.

  9. glassmask says:

    for some reason ppl keep comparing BoA with utada just because they are all releasing their albums now…

    and they kkep using the slogan “utada the japanese britney spears”

    i dont know how Utada can be related wif Britney …status wise?

    but I just come from another review site who said BoA’s album totally kicked hikki’s a** cuz it ranked higher on billboard, so I guess I feel little pissed now since I’m more of a hikki fan…..and loved her u.s album..

    lol why am i ranting here sorry!

  10. Die says:

    go ahead and rant lol. I see why they compare hikki to brittney status and popularity wise. but the reason why BoA did better is because they had physical sales and digital sales, which billboard took into accounting rank, hikki only have digital sales. and most fans has already bought the japanese version of This Is The One. Plus Hikki will probably outlast BoA, I mean her Japanese sales are going down the drain, her albums last what? 10 weeks at most? Hikki’s chart for about a year usually, and her singles have done so much better than BoA’s.

  11. Moi says:

    BoA’s still 22 years old, just keep that in mind. BoA still has a LONG way to go until she retires, she said herself she doesn’t want to retire.

    Utada’s 26 and Namie’s 31, while BoA’s still young, 22 with a lot of potential.

    BoA debuted her first album when she was 13 years old. At At 13 years old BoA sold a total of 200k copies from two albums.

    Promotion is the cause of lack of sales. VALENTI and Best of Soul was promoted like crazy, BEST&USA had like what, Buses with her name on it? xD

  12. Die says:

    well she’s had 10 years, and honestly if her sales keep plummeting she could end up like tamaki nami. but BoA will still remain popular in korea. i think she was too busy promoting her album in usa i mean if she went to japan a bit or had a few cms it would’ve been better, same with hikki.

  13. Jeri says:

    Personally, I had to agree with your review on the album. I mean, yeah, I love BoA and her music is good, but this was WAY too repetitive. I know she said that her producers wanted to “reach out” to the American market with American-style music, but I really don’t know that many people who listen to techno/electronic 24/7.

    The only songs that are worth listening to (even with repetition) for me are I did it for love, Look who’s talking, Eat You Up (although I loved it anyway), and Scream. I listened to GoT too much and now I hate it. They could have at least put more variety of styles on here instead of it ALL being techno. I’m sorry, but this album was a total flop.

    /END RANT. Wow that felt good aha.

  14. keitakey says:

    You think she only has vocal talents in the Japanese songs?
    Hm….odd…I think she does best in her Korean songs, since that’s native, the Japanese are good too.
    I think this album was a big step, and I think she did well with it although it may have been a little rushed and that’s why it’s got all the effects on her voice, to make it less noticeable that she’s got a bit of an accent left.
    As far as being repetitive, I think american pop is repetitive, and this fits right in to the market (but i hate american pop so i won’t say anything else about that.)
    She also said herself that she wanted to do a club/dance album, like an entire album like that.
    Scream is also a cover of Anyband’s Daydream. Well not really a cover but it’s one of those things where they sell it to more than one artist in more than one language.

  15. Die says:

    well i haven’t heard much of her korean work, i’ve only heard the original version of GOT which was great. but i really can’t comment on how good she is vocally in Korean, i’m sure she’s good though.

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