Today, we restart the Past Album Review (PARs) segment. I know I said I would restart it in June. But my assignments got extended, exams were demanding and the catch-up reviews was quite intensive (which is still ongoing). Starting off this re-launch of B1A4. There is no particular reason to why I am starting off with B1A4, other than they were the next group to complete a PARs for before I dropped the segment. I did pick Sweet Girl (released in August of 2015), as it contained 2 of their b-side tracks that I most familiar with. So before I somehow end up delaying it a third time, this is my review of B1A4’s Sweet Girl mini-album.
1..Sweet Girl (Title Track) – Click here to read the full review for Sweet Girl. (7/10)
2. You Are A Girl I Am A Boy – ‘Girls and Boys cannot be friends’. While my opinion doesn’t matter regarding this statement, B1A4 made a whole song about how the validity of this statement. With the meaning of the lyrics out of the way, let’s turn to the actual music. It earns a big tick from me. It takes a pop-rock form and I thought the energy they put into it (and what we got out) made it memorable. It is definitely a Summer tune, with a very upbeat instrumental and B1A4’s well-known youthful charms making it into the track. I think the vocal and rapping work in this track is pretty good. It isn’t the strongest display of technique. But the balance they managed to strike to compliment the upbeat nature of the song was spot on. (8/10)
3. After 10 Years (10년 후) – Somewhere on this site, within the many posts from the last 8 years or so that I have been writing on this blog, I have stated my praises for After 10 Years. And it is definitely worth revisiting as it is my most favourite b-side track from B1A4. Firstly, it is the vocals and rapping. Each member brings a very different dynamic to the track but they managed to fuse together so nicely. The harmonies make this track sound so heartbreaking. The way Jinyoung started off the track was amazing. Baro’s rapping was so striking. Secondly, the melody stayed in my mind and helped make it memorable. And finally, I found the instrumental to be just perfect. It leant more to the ballad side but there were some rock elements in there, which I fondly enjoyed. And after all these years, as soon as this track finishes, I wanted to press replay to listen to it all over again. (10/10)
4. Wait – We don’t often get to hear Baro sing, as far as I know. So, to hear him open up Wait was a genuine surprise back then (and it still does). But it makes absolute sense, given the song is a ballad. The entire track is quite slow and paced nicely. So, there isn’t really any room for any rap tempo. And with such a ballad, we get to hear the purest form of their vocals (without listening to them live in concert). The other four members each sounded spectacular alongside a beautiful melody, showing off their vocal talents once again. It is another heartbreaking song, with a harmonica centrepiece. This time around, however, they are waiting for their lover to appear once again. (8/10)
5. Love Is Magic – Love Is Magic is a jazzy R&B number that sounds quite pleasant. Once again, it is a nice display of vocals and rapping, which I think might be a recurring theme in this album. And while the vocals do sound amazing, with the members managing to go an extra step with falsettos, harmonies and other techniques, I must point out that the song contains a fair amount of rapping. I am not complaining as I found the rapping to fit in nicely with the jazzy side of the track. An odd combination but it manages to work. But while the elements were good, it didn’t necessarily make the track memorable. It isn’t my style, so I think I glossed over the track back when it was released, and I still want to gloss over it now. (7/10)
Overall Album Rating – 8/10