Review: MBLAQ’s 100% Ver. Mini-Album

MBLAQ is BACK. And so am I πŸ˜€ Everyone ready for my oh-so-accurate review of these boys’ latest musical endeavor? Again, I apologize for the delay and hope to make it up to you with my review, though not overly long-winded I like to think I make up for it with my precise unbiased analysis.

Ok, so maybe not totally unbiased because truthfully they have become one of my favorite boy bands and I resent that they are generally disregarded (compared to other more manufactured pop acts) in the K-Pop world for their almost forceful refusal of mainstream sounds.

I honestly think Mona Lisa was the best mini-album by an idol group in 2011. Yep, I’m claiming that and nothing will ever make me take it back. Hopefully, in time I can do a review of that mini-album on this site? Let me know if you’re interested in my outdated opinions!!

So, I was expecting almost near perfection for 100% Ver. I know it’s wrong to think, but I couldn’t help the hope I felt well inside my chest for this new mini-album. Naturally, I was a little crestfallen, but I still enjoy and have much to say about the album.

Run – Run, the first song on the album undoubtedly sets the pace for the rest of the album and it works very well as an intro song: it’s fast-paced and strong, with a hook chorus meant to suck in the listener. Even though this is their first album since their debut single where they don’t have a minute long intro song to set the tone of the album, I feel that Run is very appropriate for the album, but I can’t help but feel a little disappointed by the song itself. Though the hook chorus was designed to make the listeners get sucked into the song, I feel it was a little too grating with the auto-tune. So it was not done right. You know the ‘ohh ohh ohhh moves like Jagger’ lyrics from Maroon 5’s hit single Moves Like Jagger? That’s a hook chorus done right, its smooth and has just the right amount of nuances in vocals to not become grating or annoying to soon; however, MBLAQ’s Run is grating and just a tad annoying. Things done right? The eerie beginning and those electro-hip-pop beats accompanying Mir and Cheundung’s rap and the verses supplied by Seungho and Joon. I don’t know what they were thinking when they auto-tuned G.O.

3/5

μ „μŸμ΄μ•Ό/This Is WarThis Is War is an enjoyable song, is it just me or was Mona Lisa simply better though? But luckily in my opinion it’s their second best lead single. It holds together two very different elements that Mona Lisa held though, dramatic yet upbeat. Because in some way I can see how This Is War could easily be transformed into a ballad if slowed down just a little and it would still work. And oh my gawd, that pinao throughout the song is just beautiful, and while the boys give some amazing vocals here I haven’t been able to fall in love with the song. I can appreciate the song for its technicalities and production but aside from that it just didn’t click. Did anyone else who’s a big fan of MBLAQ have this problem?

4/5

λ‚™μ„œ/Scribble – And this is exactly the song where most criticism and comparisons end. Because beginning with Scribble, I’m in love with the rest of the mini-album (even though there are only two more songs left, but whatever I’ll take what I can get!). Ugh, Mir’s rap is absolutely perfect and Seugnho did super good as well! And that instrumental, no, I can’t even get into it. MBLAQ with string guitar and low-key beats in the background?? THIS IS WHY I LOVE THIS BAND. Excuse me while I take a moment to spazz….They have such smooth voices and the perfect amount of emotion to make it work, because as many people know you need EMOTION to make songs like this work and these boys have that in spades. Special shout-out to Joon who’s falsetto reduces me to a pile of goo.

5/5

μ•„μ°”ν•œ κ·Έλ…€/Jittery Girl – AH this song. SO CUTE and so personable and likeable. It has a funky vibe to it that makes it a lot of fun to listen to. Mir let me love you please? He is absolutely adorable in this song, so are the rest of the boys actually. I can’t get over how good MBLAQ is doing at this genre, the only way I could describe it is old-school jitterbug, maybe that’s why the name of the song is Jittery Girl?? LE GASP EPIPHANY. Can I just take a moment to truly appreciate this from MBLAQ? They debuted on the scene with Oh Yeah a kinda fail attempt at Latin Hip-Pop (though there are days when I feel very justified and awesome where I just wanna belt out the chorus to that song…), followed by Y which in my opinion was just their producers conforming into the electro-pop auto-tune sound of the moment in K-Pop. But at least on that mini-album they were able to form an identity in their music (What U Want being a prime example). Then that step forward was shot in the face with the release of their very main-stream sounding album BLAQ Style, although they seemed to have figured out how to make very catchy electro-pop and hook chorus (which I really do love). And then Mona Lisa (oh my gawd please ignore my drool and if you want you can skip this part because all I will do is gush) and they found their perfect in-between, while not too mainstream they remained true to their instrumental low-production soul. Each and every song was near perfect because all though there were a variety of genre’s on that mini-album they did them all in a way that merged them all so cohesively. In a way only MBLAQ could because they had adopted a certain style and sound to them, and I can hear their sound on this song SO clearly, even though it is in no way like anything they’ve ever done before. And for that I congratulate MBLAQ for having discovered and fostered that sound and letting it develop naturally, something that certain idol bands who have been a lot longer have no managed to accomplish (cough cough).

5/5

Hello My EX – Is it wrong that I was extremely skeptical on this song simply because of the title? Because any song addressed to any ex in my eyes would simply go something along the lines of ‘WTF was I doing with you’ and then proceeding to promptly ignore his presence. So I imagined this song would be like F**k You a la Ceelo Green. But no, this song took me for a complete curve-ball. It’s smooth and sweet and very R&B. I’m kinda obsessed with it, when I looked up the lyrics I understood it was because in the song they’re trying to get their ex back! And here I give a big thumbs-up to Seungho and G.O. who are PERFECT for this song, and ugh again the string guitar, it kills me with happiness in the beginning and end of the song. I just love it.

5/5

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5

Agree or disagree? Tell me what you think πŸ™‚ I don’t bite, until next time!

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Published in: on January 21, 2012 at 9:47 PM  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Great review!! and i totally agree with you on “Run”– works as an intro track, but not a contestant for dimensional music. I wish it took itself a bit further.

  2. I”d marry again if I found a man who had fifteen million dollars, would sign over half to me, and guarantee that he”d be dead within a year….

    Language is not only the vehicle of thought, it is a great and efficient instrument in thinking….


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