20150515_seoulbeats_boa8After 15 years in the business, BoA’s finally released her 8th Album, “Kiss My Lips” on May 12th. She has taken the next big step in her career with this album being completely self composed, written and produced. She has never been one to shy away from a challenge, so let’s just see if this risk paid off.

She has made quite a name for herself in composition, penningOnly One” and “Disturbance“, and she has reinforced this with “Kiss My Lips” turning out to be a strong release, proving that BoA deserves her spot at the top of the K-pop world. On first listen, it can be hard to find one song that stands out but the more you listen, the more the differences start to make themselves clear. There is a chance that you will even become addicted.

“Kiss My Lips” is the much awaited title track of the album. It combines waves of synths and seductive lyrics to create a song that easily enchants listeners into kissing BoA’s lips – as if any of us could get that close. Though it is the title track, personally it didn’t stand out as much as other songs did on this album. The energy stays constant throughout the song, yet the beat seems like it’s anticipating something; something that isn’t delivered, unfortunately. Though this doesn’t mean it isn’t enjoyable, other songs were just much better.

20150515_seoulbeats_boa6Who Are You” was used to increase the hype for this album as the pre-release track. About the intrigue felt at the beginnings of romance, it is an upbeat song that will have you singing along easily. It features Dynamic Duo’s Gaeko, allowing the song to portray both points-of-view in a relationship.  BoA’s vocals suit this song perfectly, singing us through the highs and lows. Though the song slows down awkwardly when Gaeko comes in, he wins the listener back with his verse. It was the perfect song to draw interest to the album and is still stuck in my head even now.

 

Things become brighter in “Fox” as BoA dives headfirst into her next romance with a positive attitude. The intro to “Fox” had me thinking ‘elevator music’ but it quickly switches things up by adding more layers to the composition. This creates a catchy tune instead of one that is annoying. Though “Fox” is definitely a contender for the song that most suits spring, I think the next track is my favorite spring: BoA’s collaboration with Eddy Kim.

In “Double Jack”, it’s like these two artists have met in the middle to create something magical. Eddy Kim’s smooth vocals are paired with BoA’s sweet ones in this acoustic guitar meets pop duet. While the vocals push the song forward, the stop and start of the guitar line creates an addictive push and pull effect. Also, I assumed that “Double Jack” makes reference to the alcohol, using it as a metaphor for the euphoria and weightlessness felt when in love. This song definitely captures the refreshing atmosphere of spring.

20150515_seoulbeats_boa2“Home” is the song that slows down the album, presumably creating space to breathe in an album filled with upbeat tracks, but slightly missing its mark. Minimalistic and vocal-centric, it feels like it needs a corresponding dance performance to become a fully realized piece. Without one, it seems like there is something missing and the song almost treads into boring territory.

The next track, “Clockwork”, saves the album from boring, proving to be an intriguing addition to this album. Tango influenced, it embodies the theatrics and emotions of the genre as it projects a story of confusion and desperation. The high stakes are mirrored in the layers of strings that flow through this composition. While the song is intriguing on it’s own, if it was paired with a dance performance of equal fervor, it could become brilliant.

 

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Knowing BoA as the performer she is, a lot of the songs feel like they are waiting to be paired with dance performances that will pull them out of great category into brilliant. Who is looking forward to her live performances?

Overall, this album is a treat to the ears to listen to as every song has been put to together with precision and care. BoA’s vocals flow seamlessly with whatever composition she creates, bringing the final touch to each song. This can only be a testament to her performing, composing and producing ability. After 15 years, she is sure to know what is right for her and has been able to show this off in this album. She is an ever-evolving musician, constantly setting new challenges for herself, and even after such a long time, I can honestly say I can’t wait to hear more from her.

Album Rating: 4.25/5

So what were your favorite tracks from the album? Are you impressed with BoA’s self composed effort?

(YouTube, Images via SM Entertainment)