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Posted by eric_r_wirsing AKP STAFF Monday, December 16, 2019

[MV and Album Review] BoA – 'Starry Night'

AKP STAFF

BOA – 'STARRY NIGHT'


Track List:

1. Starry Night (Feat. Crush) *Title

2. Black

3. Butterfly

4. I Don’t Mind

5. Think About You

6. Dry Flower

BoA has just dropped her latest EP, 'Starry Night.' It's her second-ever mini-album, with six brand new tracks. The title track is a duet with Crush, who's resurfaced under PSY's label P Nation (and is now a guest artist on every other new release, it seems). She wrote the album, particularly the first track, with winter in mind, hoping to make the end of the year warmer for her fans.

Crush starts out the title track "Starry Night." So he gets a full verse to himself before we get to hear, well, BoA. Other than a little humming at the start. I'm not the biggest fan of duets, to begin with, but this isn't bad. It's just not great like I was expecting a title track to be. "Black" is the next song and one that's much more my speed. It's a stripped-down tune, and shows of BoA's range so well. And I like how this song develops and ends up as a low-key dance track. It's anthemic and seductive. "Butterfly" is some bass-heavy R&B. And as such, it's one of those tunes where BoA feels right at home. It's got the billowy chorus, but enticing main verses. She has an emotional voice and uses it quite well without going off the rails. A top-notch tune.

For a change of pace, crank up "I Don't Mind." It's funkier than the other tunes, with a guitar and piano keeping time on the song. And it keeps surprising me with a rapid-fire repetitive hook and even a horn section. This has to be one of my favorites on this EP. She dials it back a bit for "Think About You." This one's more playful, having a lighter backing track than the other tunes, with the ever-present bass. She even raps on this tune and does a halfway decent job, frankly. Fortunately, she's smart enough not do that all the time, just giving us snippets here and there. "Dry Flower" surprised me. From the title, I fully expected an emotional ballad. But instead, we got some soft R&B. I'll take that over a maudlin ballad any day. It's a pretty good ending song, with some jazzy flourishes that help it pop.

I like this one a lot. I've raved before about the mini-album format. With a full album, you run the risk of a lot of filler tunes. Here, not so much. Heck, I like the B-sides better than the title track (which isn't so unusual). And there's nary a ballad to be found. Maybe she felt that the first track was enough. Regardless, BoA usually cranks out quality stuff, and this EP is no exception. Looking forward to what she does for her 20th anniversary next year!

MV REVIEW

There are two narratives running through this MV. One is a series of unfortunate events. Unlike the movie (or the books), there's no particular sinister aspect, no villain to blame. Just a run of rotten luck for these guys.

A man's dog escapes, a guy can't start his motorcycle, another gent locks himself out, one girl gets sandwiched into a parking spot and can't escape, and another gets stiffed at the vending machine. As the MV progresses, it doesn't seem like there's any hope for these luckless folks.

Eventually, they get through it, because it's that kind of video. When things go right for them, they seem joyous, dancing, raising their arms, grinning from ear to ear.

The other story is a tale of two BoAs -- one is performing, the other is going through her day, planning, writing, mixing. In an interesting reversal, there are actually two of them, not just BoA at different times. The two meet in the end and share a breathtaking view of New York City at night.

Because that's where they're at -- New York City. BoA wanted to film someplace cold, so when the wind whipped up and she froze her tootsies off, she had no one to blame but herself. Still, I can't deny the big city can be gorgeous at times.

The video is, too. Rather than just chronicle BoA's life, the MV shows a day in the life for other people, and I like how they set it up. Different folks just doing their own thing. That way you don't get bored with just one person.

For making me snicker, and letting me see some absolutely stunning shots, I give this one my seal of approval.

Score


MV Relevance...........8

MV Production..........8

MV Concept..............8

MV SCORE: 8.0

Album Production.....9

Album Concept.........8

Tracklisting...............9

ALBUM SCORE: 8.6

OVERALL................8.3

  1. BoA
  2. STARRY NIGHT
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