GA IN - END AGAIN
2. Carnival (The Last Day)
3. Forest of Fireflies
5. Begin Again (Inst.)
Brown Eyed Girls' maknae Ga In molds herself into a flower fairy for her new album 'End Again.' This is the first half of a two-album project which will be her first full album when the second part is out. Featuring five brand new tunes, BEG producer Jo Young Cheol composed the title track while Ga In penned "Forest of Fireflies" herself.
The first song is "Carrie (The First Day)," a sort of jazzy, swingy tune. There's a sort of childlike joy suffusing this tune, along with a distinct sense of innocence. Her voice goes higher and softer on this track, contributing to the lighter mood. It's pretty enough and soothing, even if it isn't my style.
I think "Forest of Fireflies" is one of the best songs on the album. It's quiet and unassuming and hews closer to the comeback concept, IMHO. There's a certain majesty and magic in the bridge that conjures images of mist-shrouded forests. However, it lacks the badassery of some of her earlier work -- those looking for that won't find it here. But I find this song to be better composed and arranged than the previous two. It gains something from its simplicity.
"Begin Again (Instrumental)" is probably the weakest song on here. Likely because of its length, but also the lack of anything interesting about it. There's a melancholy horn in here that just brings it down even more. It's at odds with the lighter tone of the other songs. If I were composing this piece, I'd probably toss this one and 'begin again.'
So probably the first question to ask about a concept album is "does it succeed?" Yes and no. Concept-wise, it hews close to it mostly, but musically it's less catchy than we'd expect from an album in this genre. There's no song on this disc that really got stuck in my head, and the lack of memorable music is a deal-breaker for some. As an audacious move, it works, as it's different musically. There's no "Bloom" or "Fxxk U" on here, and I miss the reckless, break-the-rules Ga In. We only get a taste of that on here, and I was hoping for more of a meal.
The MV starts with the maudlin "Begin Again" tacked on, which was not to my liking. It's appropriate, though, as it accompanies a funeral procession. When "Carnival" kicks up, it then proceeds to primarily dance and performance scenes, which Ga In is good in.
The dances and costuming remind me of cabaret shows, and the scenery is vaguely French. But this is a case of almosts -- nothing is fully committed, so you get hints of atmosphere but nothing concrete. By far the best parts of this MV are the fireworks. Those are adroitly filmed, exploding as Ga In flits and whirls like a giddy schoolgirl.
At the end, we're back to the funeral, where Ga In is longer sitting atop the table, vanished.
I'm not sure what to think. There are parts that are really good, but other bits are so-so. She's beautiful here, but it takes more than that to impress me. Truth be told, it's average, with flashes of brilliance. There's not a lot to see here.