Jul 14, 2015

AOA's New Mini "Heart Attack" Is A Surprise Treat

AOA - Heart Attack
AOA has slowly been climbing up my bias list for some time now, and I thought it was about time that they got a proper review of one of their mini albums.

I suppose my affection for them officially started with the release of "Short Hair" last spring, because it was at that time where I truly fell for the group. However it was with their most previous comeback last year, "Like A Cat", that I realized that they actually have some decent songs as well. My love remained as such when they came back with "Heart Attack" only a month ago, and when I listened to the mini album I was actually quite taken back by how solid it was.

The mini opens up with the title track, also called "Heart Attack", and it is definitely a new type of song for this group. Their most recent releases have been more sultry and simple in terms of music production and vocals, but for this comeback they've leveled up quite a bit. "Heart Attack" is fast-paced and energetic from start to finish, and definitely leans more on the cuter side of things considering the high-pitched vocals and juvenile lyrics. It's a pretty good song, in my opinion, and I don't think I could've been able to tell that Brave Brothers was behind it if I didn't already now. For a summer jam it fits perfectly, and I'm happy that they're trying out some new styles.

AOA - Heart AttackI do think however, that the production felt quite messy the first times I listened to it, before I had gotten used to how it sounded. The vocals are, especially in the chorus, basically drowned in noise and I definitely think that Brave Brothers got a bit too excited and added slightly too many layers. The pitch of the entire song also seems kind of off, because it gets so high at points that the vocals sound strained and weak. Even Choa, who is arguably the best singer out of them, sounds like she has a hard time hitting the notes and that's not what you want your main vocalist to sound like.

"Luv Me" is the second track and it's basically as bubblegum as pop-music can get. It's sweet, harmless and extremely easy to listen to. The melody is pretty catchy and the musical production is bubbly and cute, and although the lyrics are nothing special they are much, much better than the former track's. I honestly don't have much else to say about this track because it's not very remarkable in that sense. I guess, however, that that's what makes a pop-tune.

Next up is "Come To Me", which is in my opinion one of this album's stand-outs. The concept is more classic AOA, which basically means sexy and seducing with a hint of sass to top it off. There is also a sense of drama and seriousness with the track, highlighted mainly with the use of piano and strings, and I have to say that I like this type of AOA much better. The entire composition is much maturer and grown-up, and the lyrics as well are definitely more interesting.

AOA - Heart Attack
The album's third track is "One Thing" and it does a great job of being a pop song without going too much into the overly sweet territory. The use of electric guitars during the chorus definitely help giving the track a sharper edge and I particularly love the dynamics of the track. The verses are very minimalistic and  low-key, but as the vocals grow so does the music and the chorus follows along very nicely. I do like that while the music is at it's fullest Choa's vocals provide a great contrast by being entirely in her falsetto register. Another contrast is between the sad, heartbroken lyrics and the up-tempo vibe of the actual song, but that in my opinion only makes it better.

"Really Really" is another sad song, but with this one it's quite obvious right from the start. It's your typical mid-tempo ballad about the feeling of wanting someone back so bad and missing them like crazy. This staple track could have been pretty boring, as songs in this specific category have a tendency to be, but it's not at all. The vocals are great, the melody is wonderful and the level of sadness is the right amount too, because sometimes the usage of dramatic features just takes the upper hand and we don't want that. I'm also happy that this wasn't a straight-up ballad, because this group does not have the vocal capacity to pull one of those off.

AOA - Heart AttackThe only song I'm really not feeling on this mini is the closer "Chocolate". My problem is that I can definitely see where it's heading, but I'm not buying it at all. Supposedly the ultimate slow and sensual song it actually fails to be both, and I happen to find it a bore to get through. The melody is very vague and the vocals are not up to par either. I was waiting and waiting for something exciting to happen but the song never really went anywhere, neither up or down, and remained quite monotone all the way through. I would have liked it much better if this song wasn't on the album and instead it finished with "Really Really", because this one truly sticks out like a sore thumb.

Still though, I have to say that I was more than pleasantly surprised by this album. It's not a snippet of musical geniality in any way but it's a great pop-album and my favorite of theirs so far.

Highlights: "Heart Attack", "Come To Me"
Least Favorite: "Chocolate"

Total Score: 3,7/5

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