We here at Seoulbeats have been buzzing a lot about MBLAQ lately — and why wouldn’t we be? The comeback photo for their mini-album 100% Ver. had Gil saying WTF, and the It’s War MV gave Patricia plenty of opinions. MBLAQ’s comeback is the first big name comeback for the new year, and all of us, quite frankly, didn’t know what to expect.
“Run” is a very interesting song. The first couple seconds of theatric sound affects do well to introduce the dark theme of the song and to jump start the album. The ringing chorus is both interesting and catchy, and I always appreciate hearing a little more G.O. and Seungho. The use of synthesizers as well as the sound effects blended together surprisingly well with the melody of the song, which is noteworthy considering the wealth of variety in the musical components, as well as the song’s potential to be complete disaster.
What I absolutely love about “It’s War” is the use of the harsh, cutting lyrics set to orchestrated and instrumental music (versus synthetic beats). The music functions well to illuminate the agression in the lyrics, and the lyrics do a good job in conveying the emotion of the music. I really don’t care much for the music video — it doesn’t do the song any justice because the music video was just too cliche for me. Since Patricia already gave her two cents of the song, I’ll leave this one short.
A lot of people sometimes ask why it is as that MBLAQ isn’t as popular as other groups who debuted around the same time they did or even later. I think of the reasons that may be is because MBLAQ’s music is not predictable pop. While it still is very much pop, a lot of their music also has European influences and instruments that makes the melodies sound very unique. I happen to love the European influences in MBLAQ’s music, while others — especially fans who are used to mainstream pop and know exactly what it sounds like –may not care for the unique details of MBLAQ’s songs. But in reality, these unique details are what make MBLAQ’s material.
“Scribble” opens with the harmonies of the French accordion, and then continues on with wonderful composition of acoustics. I love the chorus of this song especially because the rhythm is slow and simple and catchy. I also love that this song features a lot of Mir rapping in all the right places and G.O. keeping the vocals to a higher pitch. If you are going to listen to anything off this album, listen to “Scribble.”
4. Giddy Girl
This song is okay. Mir’s talking bits throughout the song are unnecessary, but I like the chorus and the happy feeling this song has, relative to the other tracks on this album. But still, this song is nothing too special.
5. Hello My Ex
This song may seem a bit nonsensical, but I liked it more than I thought I would. It’s very cute and the repetition in the chorus is mad catchy. Again, nothing daringly original here, but it’s a nice melody and an easy listen when you’re not in the mood for the agression of the other songs on this album. For this song, its a couple pop beats and some strings on an electric guitar, but it came together nicely.
As a package deal, 100% Ver. is a nice mini-album for MBLAQ to come back to the mainstream scene with. Given the current state of the scene, MBLAQ even looks like they’ve got a solid chance of pulling through at the top of the charts as major competitors seem to be elsewhere. I really love these boys, and it would be nice to see this comeback be one that boosts their popularity. We’ll just have to see if their stage performances this week of It’s War can shore up in to the song’s intensity and popularity. If all goes well, we may find ourselves asking: Could this be the year MBLAQ steals the mainstream love and limelight?