Music Releases, Special Features, Original Features

[Album & MV Review] B.A.P - 'Noir'

By eric_r_wirsing   29 days ago   17,162   2,336   25
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B.A.P - NOIR


Tracklist:

1. Le Noir
2. Skydive
3. Ribbon in the Sky
4. Killer
5. Fermata
6. Pray
7. I Guess I Need You
8. Chiquita
9. Walking
10. Now
11. Kingdom (Kor ver.)
12. Skydive (Inst.)
13. Fermata (Inst.)



B.A.P is done keeping you in the dark, and unleashed their new album 'Noir.' They've got a concept album this time around, with the members in search of the mysterious killer "X". This is their second full album with 13 new tracks, two of them instrumentals and a Korean remake of their single "Kingdom." Best wishes go out to leader Bang Yong Guk; he crafted this album and is sitting out promotions due to health issues.  


The album kicks off with "Le Noir," a simple, unassuming jazz piece. I realize it was put here to set a mood, but I'm also not a huge fan of retro for the sake of retro. To be clearer, just because it's retro doesn't mean it sets the mood unless it's a period piece. It's fairly well-performed but lacks the stylistic flourishes that raise it from mere ambiance. I think if they were going for a mood, maybe the sounds of pounding rain outside might have been a better choice.  




"Skydive" is almost a more fitting intro to the album. It has a rather epic intro, and the tune is utterly intense. The synth slams and the soaring vocals really help to make this song awesome, not to mention the absolutely fierce raps and the blistering pace. After the somewhat bland "Le Noir," I was blown away by this one. It's got much of what I'm looking for in a song.


I though "Skydive" was intense, and "Ribbon in the Sky" doesn't really let up on that intensity. It's a different song, though, and has some strings that make it fairly dark. I love the rapping here -- it just makes the mood a bit gloomier. The subject matter is more intense than just a re-purposed love song and lets us know more about the world that B.A.P is trying to create, rife with corruption and misinformation. Whether or not you think that's going on today (and probably depends on where you live), it sets the scene admirably.




"Killer" is the black sheep here, not fitting in with the overall dark tone despite its name. It's a holdover from 'Carnival,' apparently, and it shows. It's not bad, but it shows up right after we have a couple songs that are dark and is misplaced. It's closer to pop than the other songs, and I would have messed with the arrangement some to give a darker cast to it, but I think they felt that the title, plus the hooky "bang bang," would go right along with the theme. It does, however, set up the love affair, the femme fatale that snares their hearts.


If there was a song that exemplified the dangerous attitude they're going for, it's "Pray."  I'm no expert on chants but it sounds Gregorian, and it gives me shivers. It's the same kind of music used in horror movies to indicate something otherworldly (usually demonic), and here it's truly epic. B.A.P's trademark fierceness comes through on the raps on this track. In this song they want her to forgive them and get past everything. With its non-traditional structure and its vivid, threatening mood, "Pray" has to be one of my favorites on the album.





The final two songs on the album (not counting the Korean remake of "Kingdom") are "Walking" and "Now." These two final tunes sort of connect the dots, but leave us with some more questions. They're very reflective. "Walking" sees them walking alone and missing the girl that I think they were trying to protect. "Now" is the denoument; they want to be with her. We're not sure they're together in the end, and they may have left that part open (but they let us know in the MV). These are more traditional pop songs, a little more upbeat in their execution, not my favorites, but it does help leave things on a hopeful note.   

When I read the press materials, I was not sure what to expect. I remember the epicness of 'Young, Wild, and Free' and I was sort of hoping they'd recapture that mood on this one. I thought that anything less would be a disservice to the genre that they're trying to emulate -- the noir detective tale, that reveals the ugliness of human nature as the story unfolds. While I'm not sure they exactly succeeded, they did present a wonderfully evocative album, and a suitable narrative can be found here. Hats off -- these boys have done an excellent job on this one. If you were missing B.A.P, have no fear; they are back and dressed to kill.  

MV REVIEW



Watch the boys star in their own mini-action movie in "Skydive!"
And my description is far from hyperbole, this 10-minute vignette is hyper-violent, filled with blood spray, guns, and plenty of danger. This MV oozes danger from beginning to end -- and the gun battle was pretty convincing.

The different songs on the album come into play here, so in a way, we get teasers for some of the other tracks on the LP. The way it sets the scene is appropriate, so the mood of the tunes meshes nicely with the images we see on the screen.



And make no mistake: if you're an action movie aficionado, you won't want to miss this. The boys are pretty villainous here, though, and meet violent ends -- I want to make sure you're prepared. And we find out exactly who X is. It's also not at all a happily-ever-after ending, so don't say I didn't warn you.

This was absolutely intense, and I don't know if this presages some acting careers, but they did a great job with the expressions. It definitely crosses the line between MV and cinema and does so with gusto. This MV was superb all the way around.

Score


MV Relevance..........9
MV Production.........8
MV Concept.............8


Album Production...7
Album Concept........8
Tracklisting...............6


OVERALL...............7.7


SEE ALSO: B.A.P fans raise money to build a school in Africa

 

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Tags:

  1. B.A.P
  2. noir


MissSass98 19 days ago

Ooooh that six killed me! Went straight through the heart 💔

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lu83977 27 days ago

Oh my god. The website this writer works for is collarborating with B.A.P to sell merch and they can't even be bothered to talk about all the songs on this album! They MISSED two! Incredibly unprofessional, surely even allkpop proofreads things before posting? Who let this slide? A few adjectives doesn't make a good review, you can dislike songs that's fine there's a decent amount of B.A.P song I don't like (none, on this album though) but it's painfully obvious the writer did ZERO research on the album, meaning, lyrics etc. I know this is merely a Kpop website, but for a business making profit you can't be lazy and let this absolute shit get posted. Especially when you're making money of selling B.A.P merch! There's so many '!' Because I'm just struggling to comprehend the stupidity and it's all just so laughable. I wonder if the writer has ever listened to B.A.P before, considering that every album has songs with different tones (but still complement each other). They wanted to recapture the MATRIX albums dark mood, but half the songs on the album were fun? Be happy? Take you there? Delete this drivel and the lazy writer should be embarrassed. Sorry not sorry.

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rinchee 27 days ago

This comment has been removed due to violation of our TOS. (Reason: spammer)

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