[#9] Brown Eyed Girls - "Recipe"

From: "Black Box"
Released: August
Territory: South Korea
Previous Best of Entries: 2009: "잘할게요" / 2011: [#11] "Sixth Sense" and "Sixth Sense" (album) / 2012: [#38] "Come With Me"
Other notable song(s) from 2013: "Kill Bill"

The Brown Eyed Girls are one of the girl groups I respect the most -- I like around half of their repertoire, but that doesn't mean that I don't think the other half isn't any good. They have a clear musical direction, they don't have any useless members, and each of them can clearly hold their own.

This year's "Black Box" was proof of that, and a reinforcement of the respect I have for them. Apart from "Kill Bill" the other song that I both like and see as a strong package is "Recipe" -- it was the first song from the album that was released. It was the right choice for a pre-release single, because it set the motif for the rest of the album, with guns blazing to boot.

"Recipe" is extremely well-done subtlety. There are other songs on this countdown that tried, and they wouldn't have gotten on the countdown if they weren't good -- but while others only succeed, "Recipe" goes one step further and wins. Because the subtlety is the gutsy, fierce kind. Its subtlety doesn't hinder it from being sharp and packing a punch. And that's mostly because of the very prominent drum and guitar lines -- they're practically all you hear for most of the song. The drum line gives it kick, and the mischievous guitar line supplies the character. Amidst all this, the bass line doesn't sound prominent, but its presence is definitely felt throughout the song, adding to the subtlety. As light as everything sounds, the instrumentation, aided by the production, is actually very tight.

The song itself doesn't sound cluttered per se, but upon closer inspection you see all the layers that went into the "simplicity" of everything. The instrumentation is one, the girls' performance is another. The melodic lines sound light but are in fact pretty layered -- that's because it's really the nature of the falsetto-heavy melody. The rap parts, like the guitar line, are what give the vocals the kick. Miryo's rapping matches the playful mischief of the guitar line while the vocals offset the stiff drum line with some grace.

"Recipe" has proven that subtlety is more of a medium/means than it is an actual description -- while other subtle pop songs on this list are subtly pretty or whatever else, "Recipe" is subtly fierce. And because that was done so well on "Recipe", the Brown Eyed Girls definitely deserve to be on this year's top 10.

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