I’ve always been an avid follower of JYP’s international kpop group, Wonder Girls, so you can only imagine how much I’ve been anticipating their return with some new music. However, I’m just not feeling the lead song, “Be My Baby”. The music video is actually well choreographed and as always the ladies look stunning, but I would much rather “Me, in,” the track from their first teaser. Even the bad ass beat from “Be My Baby’s” teaser was much more deserving to be a lead single than the actual song itself. Check it out and continue on with my review:
Like most of their prior releases, “Wonder World” is embedded with pop, dance, r&b, retro, and 80’s club elements. In my opinion, from beginning to end the entire album was up and down. The opening track, “G.N.O (Girls Night Out)” sounds kind of weird during the verses, like it wasn’t sensibly arranged, but I guess that’s what makes it so unique. The chorus has the song sounding like any other eurodance track though. The track is about having fun and basically hanging out with your girls. I’m not captivated by the vocal effects though.
“Be My Baby” jumps right in and it just seems like an odd ball between the first and the next two tracks. However, I like how different they are from each other, it’s just that this song doesn’t cut it as a powerful first single. The song’s about liking every little thing about someone and wanting them to be with you. Hence, the title.
“Girls Girls” is more mellow and groovy but I can assure you even after 100 listens I still won’t remember this song. It’s like a tribute to each member of the group as well as to all the girls around the world. It’s a track showing appreciation; that’s great an all, but it barely grabbed my attention or kept it. “Me, in” on the other hand is just sexy, popping, rocking, jamming, and overall memorable. The girls are sounding fierce and unstoppable; I love the electro sound incorporated with a little pop rock. It’s more aggressive than the others.
Here comes another proof of their retro influences. “Sweet Dreams” is straight off the disco collection and fresh on the roller-skate ring. That’s exactly how I feel when I listen to this song, like I’m pulled in the 70’s. The track sounds like space filler with nothing significant about its existence on the album. But with every song that’s a bit blah, comes a track that’s popping afterwards, and that goes both ways.
“Stop!” literally made me stop. This track is hot, even though it’s another dance number. You can hear some 80’s club elements but its also modern pop. The song’s about being tired of someone’s suffocating love towards you, and also if you believe you’re undeserving of their feelings. Their singing on this track sounds so smooth and tasteful, almost like Blondie. It’s another number that will be blasting on my stereo for the coming weeks.
“Dear Boy” has such a hypnotic and sensual r&b/pop beat that I quickly became hooked. The ladies are sounding more sensual and breathy on this one, not to mention more passionate. Their harmonies are very appealing and that’s something that has always captured attention. The song is a dedication to the guy who keeps hurting the one who loves him. I actually felt their emotions in every line and that’s what I’ve been anticipating all this time.
For some reason I thought of Deniece Williams’ “Silly” when I heard “두고두고.” This track is completely r&b influenced. The music is swaying along with the words, while the voices are as sweet and tasty as any contemporary r&b singer. It’s one of the more, if not only, intense tracks on the album and I love it.
“SuperB” is another oldies inspired track but I’m feeling it. The beat sounds like its high on ecstasy but that’s what makes it so catchy. I like their tones and how provocative their singing sounds. The track is druggy in a sense, and with only one listen you get addicted.
Whoa! Lim made all the haters shut up with “Act Cool.” The track features the controversial and could-care-less rapper San E, and I absolutely loves it. I didn’t know she could get it, but Yubin is still the baddest. This is Lim’s solo effort showing people that she has talent and isn’t just filling a spot. She goes hard in both Korean and English lyrics, and she made it a point to emphasize on the fact that she is intelligent so “stop talking s**t.”
“Nu Shoes” is probably going to appear on the group’s upcoming English album because this track is completely in English. I like that it’s included here because it portrays how improved their vocals are in terms of singing and pronunciation. The track is all about excitement; living a fun life all while wearing new pair of shoes (go figure). The electro pop beat makes it even more fun and spicy. My favorite part of the track is Yubin’s rap; it’s the best she’s sounded on this album because this is the more fitting song for her flow I think. But that’s just me.
So there you have it, I went through the entire album and out of the 13 tracks, I love only 6. It didn’t quite live up to MY expectations and I just know that a Wonderful is gonna come at me for this. But, I think it’s great that the girls got to express themselves more on the new album, in terms of composing and writing. However, I feel that in being away for so long they should’ve returned with something more banging. JYP did state that Wonder Girls would loose the retro/disco vibe for the new album, “Wonder World,” but to be honest, there’s nothing really different from their previous sound when you listen to “Be My Baby” and a few of the other tracks, other than the fact that their voices sound much more mature and stronger. The second album gets a rating of 4.7/5
Track listing:01. G.N.O (Girls Night Out) 02. Be My Baby 03. Girls Girls 04. Me, in 05. Sweet Dreams 06. Stop! 07. Dear Boy 08. 두고두고 (My List) 09. SuperB 10. Act Cool ft. San E 11. Be My Baby (Ra.D Mix) 12. Nu Shoes 13. Be My Baby (Eng. Ver) ===
(Purchase “Wonder World” now on iTunes)
Images courtesy of Wonder Girls facebook