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.
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