Jul 6, 2014

Beast's New Album Is a True "Good Luck" Charm

I always look forward to Beast's comebacks for one main reason: the music. More than anything, I enjoy this group because they always put out solid material and manage to impress with their skills and talent over and over again. Being arguably the most well-rounded K-pop group out there at the moment, I can always count on Beast to show everyone it's possible to both sing, dance, rap and perform well at all times and that not every team has to have a so called "black hole". 

The album opens with "We Up", and I can only thank the heavens (or maybe just Junhyung) for having a full song as an opener instead of an amazing intro that ends after only a minute or two and leaves you craving for more. Beast have had their fair share of intros that I dearly wish had been made into full songs, and I'm truly happy that this one isn't one of them. "We Up" is a fun, lively and funky song that makes you want to move your body and bop your head along to the beat. The heavy bass line along with the drums and guitar strumming works magically together and provides a strong first track on the album. Moving on to the title track, "Good Luck" is a lot heavier on the electronic synthesizers and drums, and is overall a fuller, more compact song than its predecessor. Of course, the lyrics are also heavily emotional and the message comes across very clearly within just mere seconds when you hear Yoseob belt out: "Why, why do leave me alone, baby?". I think it's a strong tune and a solid title track too. It has a memorable hook and melody and it's powerful approach surely makes you pay attention to it. 

Following the emotional whirlwind that was "Good Luck", "Dance With U" seems much lighter and more similar to the first song in that sense, but don't be fooled. Behind that groovy sound lies a sense of regret and heartbreak. The song is clever in that way, because it's not nearly as obvious and straightforward as "Good Luck", but more subtle and intimate. This is definitely my favorite song off of this album, even though it has many competitors. One of them is pre-release track "No More", and with that is seems this group has created a tradition of putting out slower songs ahead of the more energetic title track. It also has become a familiar sight to see them actually winning with a pre-release track, and that's not something a lot of idol groups can pull off. To be honest, the song is actually nothing special, but it's great nonetheless. Beast do these kind of mid-tempo ballads so well, and it appears the public feels the same way too. 

The slow tempo continues on with "History", a song in which member Kikwang had a role in putting together. This is the clear sexy bedroom jam of the album, with lyrics such as "I'm prepared so give your love to me. Entrust with me your body and share our scents". Although they are still pretty children-friendly the message is obvious and frank. I know a lot of people like this song the most and I can see why, but I think it could have been even more exciting that what it is. There's just something missing, but I can't quite put my finger on it. Following song "Tonight I'll Be By Your Side" is another mid-tempo ballad that could have easily been a bit boring but is saved by all the members' vocal performances. I'm actually surprised by how much I like this song, as by my standard I really shouldn't. I suppose that says a lot though, just how skilled this group is and how talented each member is because I truly enjoy hearing their voices and how they convey the song's emotions. When I first heard "Sad Movie" I could have sworn I had heard it somewhere else. A quick search online and I found out that I had indeed heard it before, but in another language. Originally a Japanese track, it has somehow found it's way onto Beast's Korean album release, but it sure fits right in. The sorrowful melody and chord structure based in minor sets the gloomy, almost bitter tone of the track. Along with a lonely piano line, the atmosphere is heavy and dreary and absolutely wonderful to listen to along with the infectious melody.

Should I even be surprised at this point at how consistently solid Beast are with their musical releases? I was even prepared to be let down because I was afraid my expectations were to high. I can't say that they were succeeded, but I am absolutely not disappointed. Is it as good as my favorite Beast release "Midnight Sun"? (that mini was flawless, admit it). No, but then again nothing will ever top that. However, Beast continue to showcase themselves as one of the better groups in the entire industry and with all their recent wins on music shows prove I'm not the only one feeling the are deserving of that title.

Highlights: We Up, Dance With U, Sad Movie
Least Favorite: None
Total Score: 4,2/5

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