BOLBBALGAN4 – RED DIARY PAGE.2
1. Wind *Title
2. Travel *Title
4. DEAR. TEDDY BEAR
7. Travel (Inst.) (CD Only)
The duo Bolbbalgan4 is back after a short hiatus with their new mini-album 'Red Diary Page.2.' This EP, which is burning up the charts, contains twin title tracks and three (count 'em: three) MVs for your viewing pleasure. This comeback is definitely not halfway.
The mini-album starts out on a mellow note with "Wind." It's a ballad, and somewhat of a curious choice to start an album with. It's pretty, though, an iconic singer-songwriter tune, and it fades nicely. Their voices are sugar sweet, which helps the song a lot. The next track "Travel" picks up the tempo and is a jaunty track. You get a bit of the tropical house that suffuses pop these days, but there's more of a pop-rock feel to the chorus. Going to Korean restaurants, I hear Bolbbalgan4 songs all the time and I'm sure this song will be played a lot. All in all, it's a fun jam. The beautiful "Starlight" is a ballad that avoids the ballad trap I've discussed before, and the duo manages to really give you the feels without screaming to be heard even over a crashing orchestral score. Kudos to them.
"DEAR. TEDDY BEAR" has some softer vibes in the main verses, but turns into a pop-rock score. There are some great breaks in the tune, and it's a good feel-good track to boot. I really like this one. "Clip" starts out quietly, but it eventually picks up steam after more than a minute. This is one of those perfect little pop numbers with easy, very singable hooks and angelic vocals. They close the EP with the ballad "Lonely." It's a stripped-down affair, with only a piano to accompany it, giving the effect of isolation. These girls know how to hold a note, and are quite good at expressing themselves, particularly here.
This duo knows how to hit all the right notes, and craft a pretty killer sounding disc. I can easily hear this being played at Starbucks, and that's not a bad thing. The compositions that flow from Jiyoung's pen are fully realized here, and they sound really good. If you're into a bit of folk with your K-pop, then give these guys a spin. You won't regret it.
MV REVIEW – "WIND"
This is a cute MV, a classic love story between a guy and a gal (member Jiyoung) who meet in a laundromat. Their eyes meet, and we are transported to a beautiful island with green fields and treated to some wondrous silhouette shots on the beach, slo-mo cinematography, and glorious sunsets. They appear to date, dance all night on the shore, and then morning catches up with them once again, but there is a catch...
I love the twist ending. Yes, it's been done before but it still caught me a bit by surprise. It shouldn't have, given the way time bends in the MV, but it still did. It was a very cute video and had me smiling all the way around.
The location shots and the way they used them were great. Plus, I'm a sucker for a good love story, so...thumbs up.
MV REVIEW – "TRAVEL"
The girls hitchhike out to the beach in the MV for "Travel" which was filmed in beautiful Saipan. They must like beach scenes because so far they're milking them for all they're worth. But that's okay, because it's summer, and most people in the northern hemisphere are seeing the sun peek out from behind the clouds and bathe our part of the world in light. They have their beach outfits, and they are definitely ready for fun in the sun.
Ultimately, there's not much to this one. They're at the pool, they hitch a ride, and then they head out. The driver gets more than he bargained for because a whole gaggle of people are suddenly in the back of his truck. They go to the store to get supplies, are hanging out by the pool, etc. Some of the scenes seem a bit CGI-y. There's enough contrast between the girls and the beach to make you say "fake!"
Whatever, it's still kind of fun to watch. I like the tune a lot, so that might have helped my enthusiasm for this one.
MV REVIEW – "STARLIGHT"
Drizzled in CGI, but that just makes it all the better. It's filmed in the evening -- all the better to get silhouette shots and dynamic colors. It also sets it up for a beautiful night sky displaying parts of the normally barely visible Milky Way galaxy. But that shot was so supernaturally clear that it was obvious it was added by computer.
But the dazzling shots they use are purposeful, like when they're playing piano and guitar on the beach while to the tide rolls in, colored by an orange sky. They also just have an amazing orange sky at times that the girls are set against. They intersperse scenes of them laying on the cliffs above, coloring.
The use of bright colors raises the bar on this MV. While the shots aren't particularly original, the use of color and the dynamic shots I think make this one. And you've got a beautiful song to play along with it. This one more than earned its score.
MV scores are averaged along all 3.
MV SCORE: 8.7
ALBUM SCORE: 8.3