But, just alright.
Brown Eyed Girls is chock-full of talent it’s bubbling to the brim with, and it explodes during their promotions. Not only do they posses three amazing vocalists, but they also have at their disposal a phenomenal rapper in Miryo. A rapper who also happens to be my favourite member in the band, and one who unfortunately is limited to the most minimum exposure in a lot of their material. Totally understandable, rappers are usually allotted the smallest parts in songs, and the Brown Eyed Girls are no exception. Still, being a Miryo fan, I can’t help but want more. Which is why I almost died from joy at her then-impending solo release.
From the beginning of her teasers, Miryo had me intrigued. I feel like Miryo is different from the rest of her bandmates. Whilst Narsha, Ga-in, and even Jea manage to pull off being classy, sensual, and slightly crazy perfectly, Miryo doesn’t seem to emanate the same feeling. Whilst Miryo is still pretty awesome, I can’t pinpoint exactly what it is that is different about her, and I’m not sure what to expect from her.
My confusion/curiosity/fangirl-senses only piqued with her teasers, especially after she released a slew of teasers all so different from each other. The upbeat, electronica, club-born, first teaser; and then suddenly it was followed by two horror-themed teaser videos. It left me in a state of shock. And to think, Nega Network was the one company which I thought I could trust to not troll me with teaser videos.
To be fair, no matter what Miryo released, I would not have expected it. But at the same time, I was waiting for Miryo to show me who she was musically, but I’m not sure if this is who she really is, and who I want her to be.
Now, before I am assaulted with sticks and stones and all sort of assortments of sharp objects — let me just say Miryo’s mini album is fine. There’s nothing wrong with it, and I enjoyed almost every song on it to an extent (except one, which I will elaborate on later). So, it’s probably best to evaluate the good parts of this release first, which is thankfully 80% of it.
Party Rock (featuring LeeSSang’s Gary and The KOXX) is a lot of things at once, kind of messy, but the production is stellar. And hey, am I hearing house? There’s some really quirky and up-beat video game music happening during the chorus, a flurry of dubstep also manages to squeeze its way through, and is that an electric guitar? I honestly did not hear that part coming, and I want more of it. Why was I not given more of it? Electro-house, electric guitar, with great production, what’s there not to like?
I Love You, I Love You (featuring SNSD’s Sunny), is very pretty. That’s the first thing that came to mind upon first listen. It’s very soft, very pretty, and the piano riff is not only eerily familiar, but has a melancholy child-like innocence about it. It’s sad, it’s pretty, it’s quite generic, but it gets the job done. And holy cow, SNSD’s Sunny (oh Miryo, even your taste in women is perfect) sounds amazing. I almost forgot how fantastic she can sound when she’s singing like a human. And doesn’t my Sunshine sound absolutely AMAZING when she’s not at the wrath of SM’s Producers/A&R Team?
Revenger (featuring Rude Paper) is arguably my favourite song on the album. Rude Paper’s part sounds lazy, but that’s just how the guy rolls, and honestly I really like his style of genre. Unlike a lot of this EP, this song is a lot less poppy and as a result lacks the same wide-spread appeal a lot of the songs on this album has, but going back to it, it is still my favourite song on the album. I feel like “Revenger” is the closest Miryo has gotten to finding her own sound, one that doesn’t sound like her trying to do pop but losing herself along the way. I mean, I still want more of that electric guitar I heard in “Party Rock”, but I’d like it with a bit more of a “Revenger” attitude.
Leggo (featuring Narsha) has Miryo heading back into her electropop territory (which she does an awesome job at, just saying). Not only has Miryo won my
money heart by featuring my favourite chickabee in K-pop, but she also won my ears by featuring one of my favourite female vocals in K-pop — because I absolutely love Narsha’s voice. Leggo is minimalistic, but catchy, Miryo’s rap is brilliant, and Narsha’s voice is charming. Second favourite song on the mini-album? Possibly.
So we have some pretty decent stuff on this album it seems. Quirky, pretty, and electropop-tastic. And that leaves me raising my eyebrows at “Dirty,” possibly my least favourite song of the album. On one hand, I like that Miryo, a credible rapper, decided to go pop, because I actually do love it when pop is innovative. On the other hand, Miryo failed at making this any kind of innovative. It’s pop, but it’s a very typical and safe pop song, and definitely not the kind of title track I’d expect from a Brown Eyed Girl. I stated previously that I went into this not knowing what to expect, and as a result when I was met with something so average, it really made my head spin. Yes, Miryo tried to do pop, but instead of adjusting the genre to fit her, she fit herself into the genre, something which a lot of this mini-album is guilty of, but “Dirty” the worst so.
Let’s face it, by being a part of BEG, Miryo has already raised the bar. Unfair? Maybe. But that’s how it is, by being part of a band who are known for taking pop and twisting it until it’s something out of this world, “Dirty” just falls below the bar completely. Her rapping is good, it really is, as expected. But the song isn’t anything that deserves a second listen, and the lyrics generally carry the same meaning as every
2NE1 ‘men suck’ song.
And then there’s the music video.
So basically, Miryo is paralyzed and is watched over by a female nurse and a doctor. A girl who seems very close to Miryo (sister? friend?), and a guy who Miryo so obviously digs, visit her on a regular basis. Sad right? Nah. With a song like “Dirty:, a sad MV just wouldn’t cut it.
All is not well in the house of sexual tension and romantic hijinks. The doctor and the nurse violate each other regularly, and Miryo’s love interest’s attention turns towards Miryo’s close friend. There’s is a lot of kissing happening, and there is also some groping happening on the health professionals’ side. As this continues, Miryo becomes increasingly annoyed and frustrated. Understandable, because please, get a room. It all probably becomes to much for her when her love-interest and her close friend are about to get to second base right in front of her, oh my. They even have the audacity to fling a bra at her face so nonchalantly.
The MV climaxes when Miryo strategically holds up the injection that is usually administered to her (morphine?), and pricks her ex-love interest’s butt with it. What follows is chaos, with people tripping over each other, electrical fires, spilt tea (no, not the tea!), until the whole room is on fire and Miryo is in the middle of it all.
Basically, it’s just a flurry of black humor. And if the music video is anything, it’s creative, a bit too dark and nonchalant for my own comfort at times, but still very creative. Though that strange hole-y woolen dress thing has appeared in K-Pop too much the past year or so (this is essentially why I’m not a fashion writer).
The creative music video is really all there is to notify me that the artist of the song is meant to be several notches above everyone else. Which is wrong, because I should not get that kind of feeling from the music video and not the song. The song is what’s the emphasis here. And tracks relying on show/visuals over quality balance on the dangerous line between ‘artistry’ and ‘gimmick.’
But as said, that’s one track out of five, and the rest of the album is fine. But that’s really it. I wrote down individual reviews for each of the songs, and they all have more positives than negatives. They’re all good, and pretty, and fun. But put them in my iPod, and suddenly good isn’t good enough to escape the wrath of my indecisive mind when my player is on shuffle. Heck, put the songs next to Se7en‘s mini-album, and suddenly any special-ness Miryo’s work carried is non-existent. You know how sometimes there are those songs that on paper are horrendous, but you still find yourself enjoying it (for me that’s anything by T-ara)? Well, the opposite is what’s happening on Miryo’s EP. On paper it’s good, but as a friend of mine once said, music is half-heard and half-felt, and thinking about how much I anticipated this. About how much I wasn’t, but was expecting. And thinking about Miryo’s stunning roots (HoneyJoo, anyone?), I haven’t stopped dead in my tracks. And this is Miryo! I was ready to dig a hole in the middle of my tracks and bury myself in it for her. But alas, that’s not happening. I like this mini album, I do. But there is nothing about it that I adore. Any other rapper could have rapped the same songs on this album, and I wouldn’t think it out of place or blink an eye. Heck, someone like Taecyeon could give some of these songs a whirl and the sun wouldn’t combust. Because unlike her band mates Narsha and Ga-in’s solos, nothing about any of these songs really tell me anything about Miryo.