The lovely (doesn’t seem like a) rookie quintet, Spica, has made their fourth comeback for 2012 on November 20th with a new mini-album titled Lonely. Spica had stolen my heart with their second release, “Russian Roulette” and their follow-up “Painkiller.” They were such a fierce and soulful-sounding group that I instantly fell in love with them and were a top contender for best female, if not rookie group of the year for me.
But after their fourth release, and second single “I’ll Be There,” left me feeling very disappointed. The song itself was not up to par with my expectations for Spica and made them seem like a watered-down version of themselves.It felt way too cutesy and didn’t match up with the mature feel their other songs emitted. It was a complete 180 and the sudden change didn’t bode well with me at all. But even if there had been a more gradual transition towards cuter concepts for Spica ,it would have felt like they had regressed and that they could do so much more than those kinds of concepts.
So as a result of “I’ll Be There,” my attention drifted away from Spica; but I still kept hope and was excited for their return with Lonely. My excitement increased when I learned that Sweetune would be producing “Lonely” and after listening to “Russian Roulette,” having Sweetune and Spica in the same sentence can only mean a great comeback song, and perhaps mini-album.
“Lonely” is the title track off of this mini and it’s very much a Sweetune song. It has your usual suspects of a Sweetune track with the fun ’80s synths and the dramatic flair of the overall song, and Spica carries the song well, as expected. I enjoy most of Sweetune’s work with Spica, as it’s complicated enough to test Spica’s vocals and demonstrate how much of a vocal powerhouse this group is. Although not as great as “Russian Roulette” was, it has an addictive beat and their voices are absolutely delight on the ears. I’m glad that Joo-hyun’s raps actually flow with the song, rather than feeling as though it were inserted as an afterthought. It’s catchiness leads me to believe that it’s a good promotional track, but I was still expecting it to sound a little darker with sensual undertones coming from a song called “Lonely.”
“With You” is next and it’s a great old-school R&B track, written and composed by member Kim Boa. It has an overall feel-good vibe which makes it a fun listen, but at the same time it doesn’t lose any of Spica’s soulfulness. It’s the track that “I’ll Be There” should have been, but which had fallen flat because of the song’s brand of ’90s pop. Although it might feel repetitive at times, it’s a strong song for their vocals and the R&B instrumental alone.
“That Night” is a very disco-themed track, with some cool-sounding synths and even some guitar riffs thrown in there. The song itself feels very layered and complex as each style sounds to build upon the other, and it generally seems to be mimicking the sound of a telephone, until the guitar riff sequence.
It sounds a little confusing in certain points because of the variety of styles used in the song, but overall it’s a solid song, just without a distinct hook that might make it stand out or be particularly memorable.
“Since You’re Out Of My Life” is the final track, and it’s my absolute favourite song off the mini–possibly off of their entire discography thus far. It’s down to the nitty-gritty of soul and R&B, and the girls kill it.
I’m crossing my fingers in hope that they actually promote this song alongside “Lonely” or at least hold a stage for it. It’s slow, but the way they croon through the song and the soft acoustic instrumental just makes it as powerful and soothing as you can possibly make it. It’s making me wait for the day that Spica and Brown Eyed Girls ever meet, and perhaps collaborate, because I’m sure that song is sure to be full of raw soul and explosive.
All in all, this mini was a solid comeback and although some songs were better than others, it was a lot more cohesive and rife with songs that showcase the vocal powerhouse that Spica definitely is. It’s not as game-changing or experimental as their initial mini-album was, but it’s still a treat for the ears and the soul with the full-bodied and powerful vocals of the girls.
Overall Rating: 4.5/5