Miss A - "Touch"

I guess you can say I have somewhat a love-hate relationship with Miss A, because they tend to only get certain things right at one given time, and the closest they've gotten to a really solid, well-done and well-executed, release was "Goodbye Baby", but almost half of "A Class" was sub-par. JYP, and Miss A, always find a way to get something wrong. During their debut they were always out of breath during performances, "Breathe" was interesting, to say the least, and like I said, "A Class" was all over the place.

And so is "Touch".

Okay, I'll give it to Miss A for sticking to one sound and all, but I really don't understand how you can be all over the place within a specific sound. Don't get me wrong, there are good songs on the EP, and the production is strong, but as a whole, "Touch" is neither interesting nor consistent. I have come to the conclusion that even when given okay material, JYP doesn't know how to choose lead singles. Just because "Touch" is the only song on the album that he wrote, doesn't automatically make it the best, and the best fit.

The lead single is so flat. I get that they're trying to channel the Brown Eyed Girls, and to a certain extent the blend of BEG and Miss A did work, because technically, the song is fine. Nothing's badly out of place, the structure is perfectly normal, and the dynamics are all in check. The problem lies in the execution. Either the girls are doing something wrong, or they're not really cut out for these kinds of songs. The delivery is bland, boring and uninspired -- they sound like they hate the song. They're probably going for that emo/sad sound, but there's a difference between showing emotion and just singing softer. When you put together a "just okay" song and bad singing, "Touch" becomes really cheesy, wimpy, and corny, actually. That synth loop during the chorus and towards the end (not the one at the very beginning and end, the one after it) adds a lot to the cheese. The melody ends up sounding anything but easy on the ears, and that's a big turn-off, to be honest. It sounds better when you watch the video, but that's probably because I'm more focused on the pretty sets and clothes I will never be able to wear to bother noticing the song. And that's a very bad thing.

My first reaction when I heard the opening to "Lips" -- "NO NOT PARTY ROCK ANTHEM, ANYTHING BUT THAT". It's actually an okay song, the production is really clean, but we've heard this all before, and not necessarily recently either. Everything from the vocal treatment to the synth loops and arrangement -- it sounds like they just threw everything in, one minute it sounds like "Party Rock Anthem", the next it sounds like 2NE1's "Fire". The verses are bearable, and to a certain extent I actually like them, but the chorus is another story. The chorus (if you can even call that a chorus) reminds me of those 90's kids' birthday parties with all those unknown dance songs being played. Cheesy dance songs. Or all those local noon time shows with those scantily-clad girls "dancing" to these cheap club tracks. Not something I'd like to remember, honestly.

The first decent song on the album! "Rock N Rule" has GORGEOUS vocals, partially because of the really strong production, but partially because it has an actual melody that's actually made for singing. I always stress how important singability is, and this, compared to the rest of the EP, is proof of the importance of song choice and singability. It's a gorgeous song that works for them, and that's why it sounds so good. "Rock N Rule" is quaint, it sounds like something straight out of a DCOM (Disney Channel Original Movie) sound track or a summer iced tea commercial, and it has a hint of youth in it, but not to the point where they sound like 6 year-olds. It's fresh, well-sung, and gorgeous song.

If I had it my way, "No Mercy" would be the lead single. It's interesting and tasteful, it has conviction, it's well-sung, and it sounds like a Miss A song, despite the Duffy/British influence. The girls channel Duffy, not just in the title but in that drum line, the synth line, tambourine, and the hand claps throughout. And surprisingly, the song matches them really well -- it's also ever so slightly girly and graceful, but it has that undeniable Miss A attitude and kick. Sure, it sounds less "epic" (if "Touch" is even epic to begin with), but honestly, this would've been just as good a step, if not better, from "Goodbye Baby" as "Touch", and it would've been even more interesting. I bet they can pull this off live better than "Touch" too, seeing as the melody is more within the comfortable range, and it's a simple enough melody.

The last track before we meet "Touch" again, I initially thought "Over U" was some sort of ballad, seeing as there weren't any ballads yet, but I was wrong! Again, if I were doing the A&R on this, "Over U" would be that song they performed during their comeback stages, and the album track that would get that much more promo as opposed to the other tracks. It sounds like something from a 2000's Disney pop princess' follow-up album, I can imagine Lindsay Lohan, Hilary Duff, and even Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Tisdale, all fighting for this song. I think either Lindsay or Ashley will win, then Hilary will get the same songwriter to write something like it for "Dignity". But anyway, yes, that's what I get from "Over U". I adore the vocal treatment on this, which has been in use since "Rock N Rule", and it doesn't sound painful to the ears, despite the very edgy instrumentals and powerful vocals. See, these girls aren't talentless singers, they're just getting all the wrong songs!

My favorite: "No Mercy"
Song(s) I'd listen to again: "Rock N Rule", "Over U"
My least favorite: "Touch"
Last words: You screwed up the A&R, JYP. AGAIN.
The final verdict: 3.5/5

7 comments:

  1. You have to admit - there will be less breathlessness during live performances of "Touch".

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  2. miss A is a breathtaking group
    although the song touch may not seem to grab your attention at first the song is something that gets you keep replaying over and over again, and the other songs in their album i can imagine them doing really good with it

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  3. I really liked Touch. I think it was a well-constructed song, and it had a much quicker effect in making me singing along the lines them Goodbye Baby. Goodbye Baby took me a while, actually; I still think the lyrics and the MV are way better than the song itself. As for Touch, I look at this song as the ballad of the album, but with a heavy electronic dark feel about it.

    The other songs of the album sound like they don’t really belong that album except for, maybe, No Mercy. It’s not a fantastic song, but at least musically and vocally seems better arranjed and consistent than the others.
    I so agree with you about No Mercy. It should be the lead single, and Touch the second. I seem to be on the minority here though: I really enjoyed Touch (in fact, my first impressions of this song were better than Goodbye Baby).

    My favorite would be Over U though, but I wouldn’t release a MV of the song – it fits better as a ‘pleasant bonus surprise’ in the album. If there is one thing I hate is to buy an album where there rest of the songs are noticeably worst than the promoted singles.

    Lips was the worst for me. It looks completely out of place. And it also reminds me a mixture of LMFAO with 2ne1 and some Jennifer Lopez inserts and everything else the American music industry tried to explore in the last 10 years; overall it sounds like a messy experience and it doesn’t feel like a Miss A song. But I'd agree it’s different though.

    Really glad I found this blog. I like the way you word your opinion. Keep it up.

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  4. jyp really doesn't know what to do with his artists. something weird happens to their voices in post production where they sound flat. they never finish notes at the end of verses.

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  5. aahhhhhhhh, a bit off-topic (not really), but did you listen to the Chinese version of TOUCH? It's actually a lot better than the Korean version. ; v ; !

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z88hIyCYZHY

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  6. definitely, since the first time i listened to all of the songs in this album, NO MERCY is ma favourite song, sadly...THEY DON'T USE IT FOR THE LEAD SINGLE

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  7. hey you the reason they out of breathe because they really sing live and no lip sync at all and if you say other girl group sing live too look at the dance its not as powerful as miss A

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