Sunday, March 18, 2012

Miss A: "Touch" EP/Album Review

In Miss A's newest extended play "Touch", the rising girl group further proves their talent and finds a balance between being mainstream yet maintaining their own unique style.  From their beginning, they've possessed an air of simplicity, femininity, and maturity that set them apart from other girl groups.  For "Touch", they kick things up a notch by building on the image that they've created and millions have fallen for.

Perhaps it is because of the shorter length of extended plays (EP's), but "Touch" manages to be a very consistent and solid album.  Each track is distinctive. There are no fillers here.

The album starts with the title track "Touch", which was met with mixed reception. I admit, I wasn't crazy about it at first.  However, it didn't take long for it to grow on me.  "Touch" offers something very different from usual mainstream K-Pop.  It's not groundbreaking, but slightly unconventional and a break from the typical upbeat songs K-Pop is known for.  Becoming an instant success, it proved you don't have to be a fast dance song to be catchy and a hit.  "Touch" is mysterious, slightly haunting, and different. I was surprised Jia's rapping was featured here, but liked it and it still fit the song. The choreography for the single is also something I haven't seen before.

Next on the album is "Lips", which is hands down my favorite track on the EP. It is ridiculous how catchy this song is. The verses are edgy and the chorus is incredibly infectious. It just makes you want to get up, move, and sing along. Despite the amazing musical production of the song, it never overshadows or drowns out the girl's vocals, which remain the anchor and what makes the chorus so stunning. Whenever I listen to the song, I always end up with it stuck in my head. It is extremely addictive.

After "Lips" comes "Rock N Rule", which is a club friendly track that takes a much more lighter approach than "Lips". The girl's vocals are sweeter and show some high notes. The chorus is just upbeat and fun, as is the dance breakdown portion.

"No Mercy" is probably the most distinctive song on the album with the unique beats and slight edginess. Somehow, it has this vintage feel and feels like a throwback to older music, yet still feels very fresh.

"Over U", which has already become popular from live performances, brings a twist to the song about getting over someone. The concept has been done to death, yet they make it their own. The verses tell of the pain they've experienced from getting hurt, then flows into a catchy chorus with a great hook that simply says "I'm so over you". Jia is a crazy good rapper, which isn't as prominently shown on this album. However, her rapping skills get to shine here. From the verse, to the chorus, to Jia's rap, the whole song says "in your face"! This is such a fun song to see Miss A perform live!

The album closes with the Newport remix of "Touch", which offers a R&B alternative to the single. I love both versions, but can see why some would like this remix better.

Although still relatively new to the music scene, Miss A proves they're not amateurs and have what it takes to be a huge success. They're feminine, sexy, and edgy, which is showcased here more than anything they've released yet. They know what they're doing and have their own style, which is fresh yet mature. "Touch" is an album that shows off all their strengths by themselves and as a group, as well as a preview of what's to come of Miss A's sure to be hot future. The vocals, beats, and musical production on this EP are just superb. Everything ties together well. Highly recommended, I don't know how many times I've listened to this album!

Rating: 4.25 stars

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