Apologies for all the late reviews, I'm sure you guys know how stressful school can be!
Before any material from either of the new boybands - MBLAQ or Beast (formerly B2ST) had been released, I bet that MBLAQ would reign the new boybands of 2009. I was wrong - Beast will. Although their debut single is a bit generic and not extremely good, it's a lot better than the crappy Oh Yeah that MBLAQ actaully think will be a hit. So now, I've put all my bets behind Beast.
This release is not pop heaven or the most musically outstanding album in the entire world - it's what it's supposed to be and that's a standard, competently executed K-pop release. No one's saying this is genius but no one can say these guys didn't try to make a decent album.
Bad Girl, the aforementioned debut single, is not the best thing in the world but it's not the worse either. It's what sells in Korea right now and it's what will eventually lead them to music supremacy one of these days. They'll look back at this song and not say anything exceptionally good musically but won't insult it and call it crap either - it's what sells right now and what these boys want is to sell, right? Right. Compared to the MBLAQ single, the one thing that's musically good about this is the fact that it actually has a melody you can actually SING and/or HUM along to. It's not a bunch of random words thrown together and made into a chant put on top of a loop. Bad Girl is a SONG, it may not be technically or musically outstanding but judging by the fact that hardly anyone puts out actual songs right now, I gotta commend these guys.
My one problem with the song though is in the music video and when they do it live, the dance break chops the song up. The transition from song to dance break is not cohesive with the instrumentation or the melody when it should be because it's still a part of the song. It's the dead air. But otherwise, good job guys, you have pulverized MBLAQ and sent them running back to Rain.
Mystery is one of those Korean tehcno/R&B songs I just don't like no matter how hard I try. It's not that bad though. The next track 아직은 is one of those R&B pseudo-ballads. It's nice and sweet, the melody's verging on beautiful and the instrumentation actually goes somewhere and doesn't just stay in the same place going on and on and on throughout the whole song! That's a relief.
The last track, Oasis, is gorgeous. I like the real drums even if you can only really clearly hear them at the start and I like the piano - you guys know I'm a sucker for beautiful piano and/or string sections on a pop song (sort of as a homage to my childhood since I grew up surrounded by pop music and orchestras at the same time.. hahah.), right? The instrumentation pretty much stays where it is from start to finish but it's the melody that really steals you away on this number, it will make you fall at your feet. The vocals are competent, nothing to scream about and sometimes they can get really nasal but at least these guys can hold more than a few notes. They also happen to know how to sing together, unlike some of the newer girl groups (*AHEM* Ham *AHEM*) - hurrah! The only things terribly wrong with this song are the crap English lines throughout the chorus but otherwise, be prepared to at least acknowledge the guys for a job pretty well done.
3.8/5 Good but nothing special musically - does the trick and sells the group though.