Album Review B1A4’s “Who Am I”


Who Am I

January 12, 2014

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(Now that we are poor college students we don’t really have the funds to buy every album, plus we kind of listen to more Western music. But we will still at least try to do reviews upon request.)

Music:

  1. “Intro- Prologue”
  2. “Lonely”
  3. “Love Then” feat. Harim
  4. “Amazing”
  5. “Baby”
  6. “Oh My God”
  7. “Too Much”
  8. “Pretty”
  9. “Who Am I”
  10. “Drunk With Music”
  11. “Road”
  12. “Seoul”

B1A4 proves to be one of my favorite groups for the sole fact that they are always in constant state of  metamorphosis.  They are always inventing a new sound without changing what makes them a sweet boy next door group. They maintain youth yet find the perfect balance with the maturity that they are currently being faced with while entering into adulthood.

Who Am I is not gratuitous or pretentious. This is an album that is a true reflection of B1A4 and it showcases their true talents. They constantly prove themselves to be a cut above the rest of the other groups in their age range. Not only do they create a large portion of their own music, that music has spirit and authenticity that most other K-Pop lacks.

Favorites:

Unexpectedly my hands down favorite song on the album is “Lonely”.  That song is the epitome of perfection, dare I even say it is my favorite B1A4 song ever?

“Lonely” embodies everything that makes K-Pop attractive, the fresh beats along with the fixating chorus. The music is in perfect ratio of volume to the singing, neither are overpowered they work in perfect harmony.  This song has rather simple music, mostly consisting of a rhythm  section but embellished with lovely hits of instruments like the trumpet. They are not very noticeable but give character to the background. With such a simple arrangement it makes sense that the members harmony’s and solos are what makes “Lonely” so lovely. No one member outshines any of the others but just utilize each members individual  sounds to fuse into a soft sweet impeccable collective.

 This song was not just well made but expertly produced and directed. The person who mixed this song deserves much praise.  If you listen carefully you will hear a faint echo to everything, normally that would be so annoying to the point of being unacceptable, but this effect added so much depth to the song it feels natural and almost like they are singing in a concert hall with perfect acoustics. The layering of all the parts is beyond perfect. The solo vocalization of Cnu and Sandeul is not lost in the background but mixed into the main vocal track and layered many times into the background. We know it would be difficult for B1A4 to become very popular due to  the fact they are from a small agency and are kind of a niche group. But their singing talent is seriously impressive, they are really not given enough props for having a really unique sound. Sandeul is as I have mentioned before one of the most breath taking singers, his soul is always the main component in his singing he holds absolutely nothing back and displays 100% of his ability in every song. Where Cnu and Jinyoung are competent enough, one thing I really appreciate in “Lonely” is the solo sections from Gongchan, there is something supremely attractive about people who are completely aware their singing is not the best in the group but still give allot of effort. The earnest nature and innocence is so revitalizing, he sings in such an ethereal unimposing manner that your heart just instantly softens. (Others we see with these characteristics are SuJu’s Eunhyuk and EXO-M’s Lay and Tao.)

Though this album may be home to my favorite B1A4 song, sadly it is not my favorite overall album. I like the individual aspects of the songs and can find positives in most all of the songs I cannot get super into the album.  Much to my surprise “Baby” a very sexy time TVXQ-esque ballad is snuck into this album, it is very grown up and sensual for B1A4. Predictably I personally like the most ballady song:  “Too Much”. “Am I” is also a nice little song in the middle of the album more reminiscent of the B1A4 of past years. It adds joy and hype to the middle of the album where attention would usually be fading. 

Cards of the table my number 1 weakness is disco and funk, despite this “Drunk with Music” is not my favorite Cnu doesn’t have the power to really work this kind of song.

“Road” is very uplifting yet without being too soft. It feels like it belongs like the final song in a cute Disney animated movie as the last song the cast sings in celebration. It belongs in a cute musical cartoon or Korean Disneyland Parade. The songs soft vocals are balanced out by the very dominant beat line, while the piano in the background adds depth this song is most definitely going to be a blast to see performed live. If I could guess this is going to be one of there last songs or the closing encore song, thee kind of happy songs are necessary after emotional ballads.

Overall : 8.4

~ P

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3 responses to “Album Review B1A4’s “Who Am I”

  1. Yeah, great! I love B1A4!!!! Yes you’re right, I really love the trumpet/saxophone part. Lonely is a song I played over and over the first time I hear it and when I introduced it to my siblings they like fall in love with it too, Jin Young has a unique voice you don’t hear often. Baro’s rap and voice character make the song stronger. Thanx!

  2. Fyi, Jinyoung is the one who wrote and co-produced Lonely. Add that to the list of talents that B1A4 has – they have creative control of their own songs.

  3. Thank you so much with this review!! I totally agree about LONELY–the amazing song that got me into B1A4! Also, your point about Gongchan’s quality when he sings was so mind blowing accurate because he is my bias in B1A4, and the two others that you mentioned–Lay and Eunhyuk–happen to be my biases in EXO and Super Junior! They all share that beautiful charm~ :)

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