This is one of my favorite kpop albums, and an album where I liked almost every single song immediately. I downloaded almost the entire album at once, and after several screenings of my music library I still have three fourths of this album on my phone, and that’s rare. So, this is a good album, and it’s worth being reviewed!
Track 1 – Rum Pum Pum Pum
This song works as a single, but it didn’t blow me away when it first came out, and it doesn’t blow me away now. I definitely appreciate the quirkiness that is prevalent in both the sound of the music and the lyrics. f(x) is definitely one of kpop’s quirkier girl groups, not just in style but in sound too. The lyrics are very creative, with them comparing them being a guy’s troublesome first love, to them being his wisdom tooth. It was something I didn’t expect, and it was a metaphor I’ve never heard anywhere else.
The video is very classic SM, and not very interesting at all. I am very pleased with the styling though. I wasn’t fond of Amber’s outfits or hair, but besides that I really don’t have much to complain about. The fashion was a very f(x) kind of quirky, and Sulli, Krystal and Luna all looked better than I’ve ever seen them look. And Sulli even had somewhat of an edge there for a few seconds!
Track 2 – Shadow
This is a definite fan favorite off of this album, and I like it as well, though I’m nowhere near as infatuated with it as I was when I first heard it. I love the mix of quirky and creepy in the melody, it feels very fresh. I also really like that the lyrics can both be interpreted as very stalkery and as a literal depiction of a shadow being in love with it’s “owner”. I approve of both interpretations, but I find the one about the shadow a lot more interesting. Especially since it seems like there’s some jealousy that the shadow feels towards the reflection… It’s very quirky and interesting, and I like it a lot.
This was the song that first made me notice Amber as a singer, and I really like her voice here. There’s a haunted feel to her voice in this song, that works excellently with the song, and that the other girls don’t have.
Track 3 – Pretty Girl
This is definitely one of my favorite tracks off of the album. This isn’t something that’s that commonly expressed in kpop, and it’s therefore a somewhat breath of fresh air. But it does sound a little hollow coming from f(x). Yes, they might be a little different from the classic kpop girl groups, but most of them are still for sure “pretty girls”. But that contradiction aside, this is definitely a song that I can relate to. I’m not saying I’m completely unattractive, but I’m for sure not a stereotypical “pretty girl”.
Track 4 – Kick
This is the song that I really didn’t like when I first listened through this album, and I still don’t like it. This was f(x) pushing their quirky concept way too far, and ending up with instrumentals and a song composition that weren’t cool nor interesting, just wacky.
Track 5 – Signal
This is, besides Kick, a song that I don’t have on my phone. I don’t have anything against it in particular, it just screams filler to me. It’s not interesting, and I do get bored quite quickly while listening to it. I really like the way it’s sung though, all the girls sound very good. I especially like Sulli’s singing here, but Amber did great as well.
Track 6 – Step
This is my favorite track of the entire album. This kind of fun and catchy music is exactly what I want from f(x), and this song gives me all that, plus a message I can really relate to! This song is about more than choosing sneakers over heels, it’s about being smart, and getting ahead, instead of being overly obsessed with how you look, and that’s for sure my kind of message!
Track 7 – Goodbye Summer (feat. D.O)
(Co-written and co-composed by Amber)
This might be shocking to some, but this is the third and final song off of this album that I don’t have on my phone. I did, for a long time, but I realized that I never felt like listening to it. It’s a very sweet song, and it’s sung very well. Luna and D.O (especially D.O) both kill it, Krystal does well too, and I love it when Amber raps in English! I’m not sure why this song doesn’t work for me, but it doesn’t. If I don’t have the lyrics in front of me, it just doesn’t move me enough.
Track 8 – Airplane
This is another one of my favorites. It’s such a cute, quirky and catchy song! I really like Sulli’s and Amber’s singing here, and I love the weird build-up to the chorus by Amber and Krystal. The instrumentals in the chorus are the right amount of weird, and doesn’t take it way over the top like Kick did.
Track 9 – Toy
This is a song I really feel like I should listen to more. It’s a song I normally skip, but if you ignore the quite jarring dubstep breakdown, it’s really a very nice song. I love that Sulli and Krystal does a bit of rapping, and Luna nailed that chorus. It’s just a very solidly performed song! And also:
This speaks to me on a spiritual level.
Track 10 – No More
Another song I should be listening to more! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a kpop song with lyrics quite like this one. I love how they in the end just kind of accept the friend for what she is, it’s really nice. A couple of the lines in this song sounds vaguely like things people have said to me in the past, so it makes me happy that f(x) (my hypothetical friends) didn’t abandon me!
Track 11 – Snapshot
Another song that I really like! I adore Amber’s intro, and I really like the way my girls sing the verses. The lyrics aren’t outstanding or anything, but I don’t need them to be. This album holds some very creative pieces of lyrics, so it’s absolutely fine if some songs are more standard kpop.
Track 12 – Ending Page
While I really like f(x)’s electronic sound, I definitely wouldn’t mind if they did more songs in this style. This is the mandatory ballad of the album (although Goodbye Summer is pretty much a ballad too) and it’s the most mature track on the album. It’s a rock ballad, which isn’t a style we’re used to seeing from f(x). But they pulled it off very well! While ballads in general aren’t really my style, this is definitely one I’d listen to when I get into my “ballad mood”.
This is a very solid album. Is every song a flawless masterpiece? No. But it’s a fairly cohesive album where I like almost all the songs to some degree, and my favorite f(x) tracks are on here. Since this was the quality we got from f(x) last time, I’m extremely excited to see what they’ll bring this year!
If you have any suggestions, comments or requests for Friday’s list of the week, Sunday’s random post or next Tuesday’s review then leave a comment, send me an ask on tumblr, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
– Admin A