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.
1. I Did It for Love (featuring Sean Garrett)
3. Did Ya
4. Look Who’s Talking
5. Eat You Up
9. Girls On Top
10. Dress Off
11. Hypnotic Dancefloor
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+