[#45] BoA - "Masayume Chasing"

From: "Who's Back?"
Released: September
Territory: Japan
Previous Best of Entries: 2010: [#5] "Bump Bump", [#30] "Ordinary Day" / 2012: [#15] "Not Over You" / 2013: [#43] "Call My Name"
Other notable song(s) from 2014: "FUN"

The K-Pop foray into Japan has pretty much stopped save for the acts who really saw massive success (KARA, SNSD) and of course, the K-Pop acts who were around before the Hallyu boom -- DBSK (both divisions of) and BoA. And while BoA has had her rocky periods these past few years, there's always the reassurance that she'll come up with solid Japanese releases. This year's LP is no "Identity" (that's in a league of its own in terms of artistry), but it's competent and considering that BoA is a senior act already it's a really refreshing addition to her repertoire.

What I've always liked about BoA's material, whether in Japan or Korea, is the fun side of it. BoA is outstanding not so much because of her vocals (which are competent but not jaw-droppingly unique), but because she's so well-rounded a performer -- the BoA songs I like are the songs that show off that performer side. "Bump Bump," for example, or even older material like "Milky Way," are all songs you can put on a show with. After all the more "adult" material she'd had out, "Masayume Chasing" is a return to that fun performance-ready track.

"Masayume Chasing" isn't pretentious, which makes me like it even more. It's ever to slightly cheesy, yes, but when you listen to it you're too preoccupied with having fun to care about the cheese. But like I said, it's not like the track tries to hide it -- what you hear is what you get, and it makes no claims of being "avant-garde." The choice of instruments are standard, with a thumping bass line providing the oomph, but as expected from a Japanese release the production is ridiculously strong -- clean, tight, with an arrangement that packs just the right punch.

"Masayume Chasing" is pure, unadulterated fun executed effortlessly by a seasoned pro like BoA.


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