It’s no ‘SECRET’ that kpop is creating waves around the globe, so it’s more of a matter of keeping the sound fresh and interesting to its listeners. SECRET, yes that is really the name of the group, has unleashed their first full length album, “Moving In Secret,” and I’m sorta feeling the 60’s rock n' roll influence heard not only in the lead track but embedded in other songs on the record. I’m not used to hearing much about the group or even bothered to pay much attention to them and that’s probably because they’re somewhat underappreciated in the kpop scene. SECRET, in my opinion, is overshadowed by other top groups that never seem to get old to their fans. Their shining moment is often during the resting period of these groups but I’ve noticed that this time around, SECRET has decided to strike up some competition. Though the album is titled “Moving in Secret,” these bold ladies are doing the complete opposite when it comes to their music. The kpop charts are a strong proof of that.
What I like about this group, besides the fact that they have well toned bodies (especially thick legs), they seem to work exceptionally hard at being nothing less than themselves. So, let’s find out if they’ve delivered all the effort needed in making a ‘good’ album.
“사랑은 MOVE (Love is Move)” music video captured the essence of bandstand; not only did it portray groove and jive in the choreography, the ladies’ sex appeal was very tasteful and acceptable. The song kicks off an upbeat style for the album, luring listeners to the dance floor and doing the twist (well, that’s the feeling I get from it). It’s like the Beach Boys rock mixed with modern day pop and I think that’s an electrifying concept guaranteed to be a hit. The beat is catchy and hypnotic; I can’t possibly find anything negative to say about it at all. I’m in love with the colorful and edgy outfits, the lighting, the fashion-esque vibe, and SECRET looking extremely toned (I just can’t stress that enough).
The 60’s doowhop pop continues in the “Sexy.” Song title aside, I felt like the opening line flew right over my head because it was both cheesy and over exaggerated. Maybe the vocalist was trying a bit too hard there to be sexy but had her voice smoothed down a bit, it might’ve worked. Regardless, I liked the hook and how mellow the track sounds on the stereo. It definitely took me into the clouds and imagined I was dancing under a brightly lit night sky. Something else I have to point out is the shouts during the break down. That “hey ohh…” scared me a bit cause it didn’t come out the way it had the potential to. However, this track is as cheerful as the first, even if the pace is slowed down.
“Don’t Laugh” starts out with sultry smooth acoustic guitar melodies and some lovely harmonies by the ladies. On this track, we’re taken away from the past and into some sensual new age r&b/pop beats. Zinger stunned me with her rhymes; with a face so pure and innocent looking I’d never think of her as a rapper so she definitely blew me away on this track. I like how passionate their singing sounds and more toned down, filling the atmosphere with emotion and depth. The song’s about a love confession, at least that’s what I’ve interpreted. The girl’s pouring her heart out to the guy and she’s hoping he won’t find her naïve and silly after confessing her feelings to him. This is my second favorite after “Love is Move.”
When “Movie Star” came in, my mind instantly ran on The Sims. The beat just has that vibe to it, kind of like elevator music. That doesn’t mean it’s boring, it’s only depicting the concept of old Hollywood; jazz influenced orchestras and black and white themed films. Again, the rapping is off the chain, and the vocal arrangement is like a masterpiece. This is certainly a classic and there’s something quite mesmerizing about it. The producers did wonders on this track in intertwining the music with the lyrics, and song title.
Woot! Zinger can get down. “AMAZINGER” is a complete takeover by the slick rapper. The beat is a derivation of old school rap and hip hop, mixed with some skillful beatboxing and Zinger going hard on the rhyming. This chick can certainly spit. Her flow reminds me a little of TLC’s Left Eye, with the swag and all. The song’s evidently about her confidence in music and oneself; kind of obnoxious but in a positive way. The fact that they gave her a solo track was a beautiful idea. She killed it. Zinger had me bobbing my head and jamming to this. It felt like rolling down the street in a low rider with Snoop Dogg in the passenger seat (I think I’m getting carried away now). But I’m sure ya’ll will get my point after listening to the track. Then you’ll realize it’s all that and a bag a chips.
“Together” has this dramatic piano melody you can’t help but feel captivated by. This is more on the r&b/pop side but a little different from “Don’t Laugh,” in terms of musical arrangement. The sound is more soothing and breathtaking. I like how sweet the vocals are, especially their English segments. The song’s about preserving the happy memories and believing in the love they have, and knowing it’ll last forever and always. The words are much deeper than how I’ve described them but I’m sure that without even understanding the language your heart can feel what they’re trying to convey.
“Hope” is a completely pop driven track that sounds like the soundtrack of a television drama. It has a cheery beat but bittersweet lyrics. Despite being separated from each other, both are still wishing each other well and hoping for the best. Instead of dwelling on the pain and hurtful times, they’ve both decided to move on in peace. It’s sad but positive in some sense. The line “please keep your heart for the next love that finds you” just grabbed my heart. This is precisely written for couples who have broken up in a mutual way I assume.
At first I thought Gaga was about to burst out singing “po-po-po-po-pokerface” when “BASTARD” rolled in, but I guess it’s the similarity with the electro beat at the beginning. However, leave that distinction aside and get down to business when the rest of the song comes in. The different instruments in the background are clear to the ear, particularly, the organ, strings, and hip drum beat. The song’s about a guy abusing the love he obviously has right in his face. She gave him her heart and time, but all he does is disappoints her. She’s now over all the betrayal and pain and is telling him to get out of her life, but in an aggressive tone apparently. He’s no good so she can’t wait for him to leave her alone. I love how powerful and intense their singing is on this track. Their singing about how sick they are of the bad guys and you can feel that they mean every single word in the song. This is the track you listen when you’ve dumped a good for nothing out of your life.
What’s up with all these kpop artists and “Neverland?”Anyways, I love this mellow track and their highly concentrated vocals. The chorus is beyond subtle; sweet is not the word. I get chills each time after a playback. The song is just otherworldly. It’s about having an endless love; we all feel this way at some point in our lives when we think we’ve found the right one. The instruments are very dramatic and mix well with the words. There’s nothing suffocating, everything just jells. This is a beautiful way to conclude a flawless album. The next track is merely an instrumental of the lead song “Love is Move,” why they’d include it on an album I just don’t get, but it’s a nice little bonus I guess.
What can I say? Am I satisfied? Somewhat. I wish there were more songs to enjoy and had they spent some more time in the studio working with more producers and songwriters there probably would’ve been, well, MORE. Overall, “Moving In Secret” is a fun, fresh, cute, candy sweet, interesting album. I liked all the songs but loved three. In the end, there’s nothing really bad to say about SECRET’s first full length record, except that there wasn’t any wow factor for me. Still, it was good enough. The album gets a rating of 4.7/5
Track listing:01. 사랑은 (Love is Move) 02. 섹시하게 (Sexy) 03. 웃지 좀 마 (Don’t Laugh) 04. Movie Star 05. AMAZINGER (Zinger solo) 06. Together 07. 바래 (Hope) 08. BASTARD 09. Neverland 10. Love is Move (Instrumental)
(Purchase this album now on yesasia or ebay)
This review is dedicated to Stephy. Thanks for the recommendation.
* You can send in your requests to me (embraceme10@yahoo) with ‘requesting a review’ in the subject line.
Images credit: secretime