[#36] B1A4 - "Baby"

From: "Who Am I"
Released: January
Territory: South Korea
Previous Best of Entries: 2012: [#43] "Baby I'm Sorry"
Other notable song(s) from 2014: "Amazing", "예뻐", "Oh My God"

It's good to see B1A4 settling into a sound that works for them -- they had a strong debut but during their "Beautiful Target" days I thought they were going to go downhill. Thankfully they've not only turned that around, but have also started composing and taking control over their material. I always have immense respect for K-Pop acts who write their own songs, because in an industry as controlling and artistically-ignorant as this it's hard to stand your ground.

That said, for me respect doesn't always equate to being blown away by the act. B1A4 are good, yes, but will have to settle at #39. I enjoyed "Who Am I" as a whole, but listening to it I felt like the whole album just went through me -- it's so cohesive that songs just kind of melt into each other. There's not enough dynamics or flexibility in terms of sound when you listen to the LP from start to finish. But I can't deny that "Who Am I" is well-composed, well-arranged and well-produced -- it's an LP I'd put in the background while studying or when I need ambient music that won't get in the way.

I like "Baby" in particular because it's a very B1A4 interpretation of the "slow jam." It has its sexy moments in terms of the melody and the over-all sound especially with a tempo like that and the "ooh ooh ooh"'s. But it also has quirk -- what B1A4 lack in terms of that sultry, deep timbre you need on "the Yoo Young Jin slow jam" they make up for by bringing character to the arrangement and execution. The vocals are thin but come off as a stylistic choice rather because the melody has an edgy side to it -- the "ooh ooh ooh"'s are both sultry and snappy. The choice of instrumental hook is an unpredictable one -- usually arrangements will go for synths or thumping bass -- but "Baby" uses an electric guitar, of all instruments.

And surprisingly, everything works. "Baby" is creative because it's unexpected, with intelligent risks taken that clearly paid off.


  1. What did you think of their song "Lonely?"


Want to share any of your thoughts on the above post? Drop a comment here! I read all comments and reply occasionally, especially if you have specific questions for me. :D

Note that comments are moderated. Spam, self-advertising (K-Pop-related and otherwise) and overly vulgar submissions will NOT be accepted. If you want me to promote/endorse/follow/link to your site, please e-mail me at popreviewsnow@gmail.com instead.


Recent Tweets

Like Pop Reviews Now on Facebook!

Statistics (Since May 2009)

Music - Top Blogs Philippines Follow on Bloglovin

Blog Archive

You're reading an award-winning blog

The K-Pop Writers' Workshop

A workshop for writers of critical pieces on Korean entertainment -- formal reviews, expository essays/Op-eds, and personal essays/Creative Non-Fiction.
Learn from the best in K-Ent writing