BOLBBALGAN4 – 'YOUTH DIARY I: FLOWER ENERGY'
3. Stars Over Me
4. Seattle Alone
It's been almost a year since we've heard anything from Bolbbalgan4, but now they're back with their newest EP, 'Youth Diary I: Flower Energy.' Their long-awaited comeback features 5 tracks, including three(!) title tracks. Every song is except the first was written and co-composed by vocalist Ahn Jiyoung.
The EP is fronted by "Picnic," which has the light, refreshing sound we've been treated to since debut. It's mostly guitar-oriented and why not? It was composed and written by guitarist Woo Jiyoon. Obviously, it's about enjoying food in a park with someone you love. One of the three title tracks on this EP is "Bom," which means "Spring" (and you're probably tired of hearing that by now, but there's always someone who doesn't' know). The song is a cute ode to a boy, and it's hard for her to tell him how she feels, so she defaults to talking about the weather. But it's not spring she wants -- it's him.
The second title track is "Stars Over Me," and this one features both piano and guitar. Like most of their title tracks, Jiyoon gets to sing during the chorus, and the effect is rather magical here. It's a pretty song about the feeling you get during a starry night. The track "Seattle Alon" has a darker, more serious feel, which is an accomplishment for a voice pitched so high. They manage it with more minor chords. It has a special place in my heart since that's close to my stomping grounds. Jiyoung sounds more passionate in this song than most of the others. "Mermaid" is the last of the three title tracks. Very simply put, it's about a lover who ghosted her. And it's a tender ballad, piano-driven, describing how lost she is. I like how Jiyoung sounds here, and she really drives the point home on this one.
Gotta love every song on here. Even if folk isn't your thing, these songs will have you bouncing as much as any traditional pop tune. And this is a diary of youth, and happy days, as the sun decides to wake from its long slumber and warm the planet again. These girls are amazing, and you shouldn't sleep on this one.
MV REVIEW -- "STARS OVER ME"
I think I figured out why Bol4 wait for nearly a year before releasing another album -- it's because they can film in really nice sunny weather.
And it does create a stunning backdrop for this MV. It's all about having fun under the stars, and they do so. Whether in tents, or under animated stars in a blue sky, these two show off how adorable they are. And while it doesn't really have much of a story, the scenes link together to detail a cute arc.
It's nicely shot, too, even if it follows along with the MVs we saw a year ago. Similar camera angles, the girls in blonde locks. But I figure their reasoning is that if the formula ain't broke don't fix it. And it does work quite well.
MV REVIEW -- "BOM"
The MV is super cute. The premise is that Jiyoung is a failed cupid, trying to hit the guy with an arrow to make him fall in love with her. It takes her several tries.
Then eventually they go out together, sharing fun times and laughter, just being around each other. Walking hand-in-hand, standing on a footbridge, walking close to the water, trying to put a pair of fairy wings on him, etc.
The kicker is she keeps having to fire arrows at him to keep him interested.
Blue sky and seaside, evening sunsets -- there are just some very striking parts of this, and I'm a sucker for great views. Cute and funny with gorgeous vistas gets my vote every time.
(averaged across both MVs)
MV SCORE: 8.6
ALBUM SCORE: 8.6