Nothing like good ol’ Brown Eyed Girls to ease the pain of mainstream K-pop. You all should know that BEG is one of my all-time favorite girl groups. This group embodies everything great that K-pop has to offer. None of the hard dance tracks, flashy lights, or ridiculous get-ups can challenge the talent that oozes out of the pores of each member of this group. Guess what, guys!? K-pop songs can have meaning and they can feel like you’re listening to an actual song rather than a mish-mash of electro beats & beeps. Brown Eyed Girls prove that no matter the age, any hard-working, talented artist can make it for as long as they want in the Korean music business. Black Box is BEG’s 5th studio album and was released on July 29th, 2013. My favorite tracks are italicized.
01. After Club – Ooh, what a great album opener! An upbeat, flavorful funk song is exactly what Brown Eyed Girls is great at. BEG’s awesome vocals and harmonized sound is perfectly emphasized in this one. Clearly influenced by disco and funk, the song explores the not so happy ending of a night of partying. Just remember to party hard with people you’ll never see again, folks. This one will definitely have your head bobbing.
02. Naragallae (I Want to Fly) – A light-hearted R&B song follows the upbeat opener, but it isn’t a let down of any sort. BEG flawlessly pair up their softer vocals with the sweet melody. A solid beat with a pretty harmony produces a great, soothing song. Insanely easy to sway and snap to, the girls work their magic here.
03. KILL BILL – I was extremely excited to see that Brown Eyed Girls paid some serious homage to one of the greatest movies ever, Kill Bill. I was hoping for an insanely hardcore Western-inspired song to rock my ears, but I was definitely let down. The song has a slight Western sound with the whistle throughout, but it’s incredibly annoying. It feels unnecessary and lazy. I find the song to be extremely lackluster, failing to have a real build-up or anything remotely similar to that. It feels generic, so it’s not sailing well with me.
04. Boy – Another fun R&B-inspired song rocks my ears. Brown Eyed girls show off their sensual side expressing how much they want to lick this sexy boy. I’m completely feeling this brassy, solid beat coupled with the Latin-sounding guitar. It’s fun & upbeat while still sounding mature & sexy. Quite honestly, I would have preferred them to promote this song as opposed to KILL BILL. Boy lies in BEG’s strength. I would enjoyed another sexy and powerful MV, considering our last one was Sixth Sense about two years ago.
05. Satisfaction – Satisfaction starts off rather quiet with a slight beachy tune sound, but quickly picks up momentum in the loud chorus. It continues with the rather poppy beat, but still maintains a rough sound. Although it isn’t a half bad song, I can’t quite fully devote myself to it. It feels a bit incomplete, frankly. Besides, the soft vocal songs are getting a bit boring at this point in the album.
06. Mystery Survivor – To me, the oddball of the album, Mystery Survivor has a very obvious electronic/dance influence, however, still fairly quiet. I also can’t like this one very much. Again, it sounds a bit incomplete and unfinished. I feel as though more could have been done with it. Not to mention, the lyrics feel repetitive and lacking effort.
07. Geojismariya (That’s a Lie) – Okay, this one scares me a little bit with that demonic moan every so often… It adds a little edge to the song, but seriously, it’s a little creepy… Regarding the song, it looks like we’re in lacking song territory. Yet again, this song isn’t used to its full potential. It’s sweet and cute(you know, disregarding that demonic moan…), but thrown in with quite a few flawed songs, I can’t seem to find it’s charm. Additionally, the song ends with me questioning why it felt so short…
08. Recipe – Aw man, finally we’re back to the Brown Eyed Girls I know and love! This is definitely the jamming song of the album. Need something to relax you while giving you a bit of energy? Here it is! Sticking to the soothing feel of the album, the R&B flavor gives it the flair it needs. Harmonizing and soft vocals are at its best here. That chorus is surely the key point of this one. I’m also loving Miryo’s parts here. An overall great, modern song.
09. Good fellas – The album ending is rightfully a ballad. Surely with a group like Brown Eyed Girls, you’d expect something powerful and moving, right? Please say yes so I’m not the only one! Unfortunately, I can’t say I think this song matches up to those adjectives. Sure, it’s pretty at best, but Brown Eyed Girls have definitely had better. Remember their single last summer? Han Yeorum Bamui Kkum & Come With Me? They were gorgeous songs with fantastic vocals. Good fellas just doesn’t par well.
I almost feel traitorous for giving my girls such a low score! Unfortunately, majority of the songs just weren’t my cup of tea. Not to say that they were out of Brown Eyed Girls’ comfort zone, but they just could have been better–especially when I’ve heard better from them. I also have to say there was not one song that emphasized the group’s extremely powerhouse vocals. Almost every song involved soft vocals; although that’s not a bad thing, it still doesn’t prove how insanely talented these girls are. For any incoming fans, this album is a bit misleading. I should also add that quite a few songs, including my favorites, seemed to end a bit abruptly. The songs I didn’t enjoy much aren’t songs that are so terrible that they can’t be liked–I just didn’t like the back-to-back-to-back wasted potential. However, my favorite songs keep the rating from going any lower. They’re powerful and modern while still staying true to BEG’s overall style.