[#13] MBLAQ - "It's War"

From: "100% Ver"
Format: EP
Released: January
Territory: South Korea
Previous Best of Appearances: #18 -"Mona Lisa" (2011)

MBLAQ's debut was a memorable one for me because it was one of the first debuts I really followed (mainly because of their rivalry with BEAST), and because looking back now, so much has changed since then. I didn't really like them when they were starting out because they were too focused on looking good for the cameras and showing off that they weren't really doing anything else well. Their movements were very arrogant, and they forgot what they were doing on stage in the first place.

For a long time that has been my problem with MBLAQ -- they're too much on stage. "Mona Lisa" was a really good song, but that excessiveness was still there. But I like how J Tune handled that issue (if they even know it's an issue) in "It's War".

As a whole, "It's War" is a very epic, very heavy song. It's got all these big strings and heavy drums and haunting piano lines throughout, and it's such a concentrated song. There's so much of it, but then because there's so much of it, there are times when the instrumental flattens out. I mean there are explosions, but

This is where MBLAQ's forcefulness comes in -- the intensity of everything really needs vocals that can match it, and at the same time because it's a pretty flat song, those personalities need to be strong enough to carry it. MBLAQ do, and they do it well, because the song was really made for them.

They're not spectacular vocalists, and so it's good that the lines are short, making it easier to hide flaws. The range is comfortable, and the nature of the melody is more on the speaking side than the singing, so they have an even easier time. Even then, I like how when the melody is less melodic, the instrumental picks up the slack with these very graceful instruments like the piano line and the string section.

"It's War" is an example of well-done A&R. You get a good song, and you fit it to the strengths and weaknesses of the act -- sometimes (like here), you even take advantage of weaknesses for the better. This is how you do A&R.

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