BoA New World

BoA ST Cover
Artist: BoA
Album: BoA
Label: S.M. Entertainment
Release Date: 03/17/2009

When I first heard that BoA was releasing an album in North America I was pretty excited. Everything I love about her music was going to come to America and everyone would be able to hear why she is so great. But right before I got the album I thought to myself, “I hope she doesn’t sing in English that would be lame.” Well, once I got it and listened to it I was in for a surprise. The semi-cornrows on the side of BoA’s head on the cover should have been a dead give away. Not only was BoA singing in English she was doing a lot of things I had hoped to never hear a J-Pop artist do. On my list of things I never wanted to hear BoA do was speak English (for a full album), use Auto-tune (she has a great voice why use it?), use terms like “bling” and “Fiyah” and use those terms in some shallow pop song. Once I listened to the whole album the list of things I didn’t want to hear from BoA happened.

I was shocked, kind of turned off, and wasn’t too into the album. I mean this album is just a straight up dance-pop album. No song is over four minutes long and there aren’t any slow songs or ballads or anything of that nature. BoA hardly even sings (well in a way BoA sings on the rest of her albums). And her voice, doesn’t even sound like BoA, but it has to be her because it doesn’t sound like anyone else. But I let these things slide. I now knew what to expect and I was willing to accept it. As a result I started to really get into this album I started to enjoy it more and more. I still don’t like what happened but what’s done is done and I just have to enjoy what was given to us. I was somewhat impressed that she was able to acclimate herself to the English language relatively quickly though most of the songs are about dancing or sex or something like that so it’s not like there was anything deep going on.

I Did it for Love (feat. Sean Garrett) – When I first saw this track title I said, “Who the hell is Sean Garrett? He’s nobody.” Apparently he is some producer guy. He reminds me of one of those Japanese rapper dudes (Seamo, Ken (Da Pump)) who come on a J-Pop album and rap. I don’t really like when it happens but it doesn’t detract from the experience. The song is BoA’s heartbreak empowerment song. The tempo is pretty upbeat despite the subject matter. About half the song isn’t really a song really, mostly the chorus and beat. Nothing groundbreaking here but I enjoy it. (4/5)

Energetic – A pretty energetic song about dancing (I guess) Sean Garret returns as some background vocal musicy guy or something. BoA mentions that “the energy is fiyah!” The song has less lyrics than the first track and is more repetitive yet it is one of my favorites on the album, go figure. (5/5)

Did Ya – This song has a surfer kind of feel to it, musically. Lyrically she’s just owning her ex-boyfriend. This is probably the first true song on the album. It’s somewhat entertaining to hear BoA mention her “kicks and Gucci handbag,” Makes me wonder if she actually has one. Probably, yeah. (4/5)

Look Who’s Talking – This song starts off with a Knight Riderish synth beat. The song is about BoA, if you don’t believe me just listen to the song. (4/5)

Eat You Up – This was one of the first singles for the album, but I really don’t like it much. Something seems off about it. Like the cadence of her voice and the beat don’t go together. They work against each other. I wouldn’t mind BoA eating me up though, but this song I can’t swallow. (3/5)

Obsessed – This song is basically Eat You Up but better. (4/5)

Touched – This song begins with a twisted music box tune with a police siren wooping over the music. This song is “Obsessed“ if she met the guy, it’s almost like a concept album over these couple of tracks. One of my favorite tracks on the album though. (5/5)

Scream – This song begins with a Robert Frost quote so extra points for that I guess. I think BoA wants to cause bodily harm to an individual in this song. Makes me afraid like she notes in the song… (4/5)

Girls On Top – Apparently this is a remake of a song she had on another album. I’ve never heard it before in Korean but I don’t really like the song that much on this album in English. (3/5)

Dress Off – This song pretty much delivers on the song title. I think a continuation of that Eat You Up, Obsessed, Touched trio. She mentions the phrase “Blinged up” wut? But I enjoy the song regardless of that… somehow. (4/5)

Hypnotic Dancefloor – Not really a fan of this song. It starts off with the annoying sipping through a straw sound. The rest is kind of average. Despite popular opinion I don’t find it hypnotic at all. (3/5)

Overall: 75% – 3.5/5

So there you have it. I don’t know how to really recommend an album like this. If you’re a fan I’m sure you won’t stop being a fan. If you’ve never heard BoA maybe you’d like this album. I think if you expect less you’ll get more. There’s a reason it says, “The first album,” on the cover. This is her first USA album and a good starting point. Come back next year or two and I’m sure she’ll have the hang of things.

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