I was introduced to B.A.P last summer by a friend who knew I love hip hop. She told me to listen to the song Warrior and so after heading over to YouTube – such a fabulous place for discovering new music and staying up-to-date with the Korean music you already love – I was hooked.
And because I’m me, I immediately did some research and was even more impressed with B.A.P after learning how young they are – all the members are between 16 and 22 in age. I didn’t expect them to be old of course, but their powerful vocals and strong dance moves, combined with the lack of “pretty boy” style that often dominates boy bands in K-pop, made me think they were in their 20s at least. Nope. Okay, two are but you get my drift.
Warrior hooked me so well that I have been looking forward to their One Shot EP for a while and was happy when it was finally released on iTunes (my go-to place to buy Korean music because then I don’t have to wait on shipping) on February 12, 2013. Turns out I wasn’t the only one eagerly awaiting the EP as it quickly topped the iTunes Hip Hop charts in the U.S. and Canada as well as placing in the top 10 in several other countries including the U.K. and Australia. Who says the “West” doesn’t like K-pop?
But enough of the background info, keep reading for my thoughts on their music.
Songs from One Shot EP
A solid first song on the EP, Punch starts off strong. I know others have said that it feels recycled from No Mercy (2012) but for me, it feels more like a way to continue their musical journey, and as such it’s a good first song. While I’m partial to Yongguk’s rapping generally, I found that Daehyun’s vocals stood out more for me in Punch.
The title track and a fabulous music video, this is the best song on the EP. It immediately had me bopping my head and moving along with the music, always a good sign. It’s such a strong, powerful song – skip to the bottom for my reaction to the MV – that you totally forget how young this group is. Fabulous! Go. Listen. Now! I dare you to listen to it without moving your body.
빗소리 (Rain Sound)
I have to say, this is the weakest song for me. It’s not a bad song, in fact it’s a decent ballad and has a much softer vibe but it doesn’t stand out. Best way to describe it – I won’t skip it but neither will I add it to a playlist. Great vocals, as we’re coming to expect from B.A.P, but not memorable.
I loved the slightly melodramatic start to this song and it’s definitely my second favourite song on the EP. Fabulous vocals, especially Yongguk’s rapping (I love his deep voice). You can just hear the emotions pouring from the song. Seriously, even if you can’t understand a word of Korean, you can feel the sorrow in this song.
This song has the most R&B feel of all the songs on the EP. And I’m definitely enjoying it as it’s the third song – along with One Shot and Coma – from the EP that I’ve added to my commute playlist. But I will agree with others, the English is odd. I want to sing along but it just doesn’t make sense.
All in all, it’s a good – but not great – EP, especially given their ages and the fact that they only debuted a year ago. If you like hip hop, give B.A.P a chance. I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us next.
Bonus Review: One Shot MV
*Warning: spoiler alert* If you haven’t watched the video, watch it now or stop reading. ^^
I love the song and… I love the music video. It’s a fabulous mini-movie with a shocking ending. In fact, there’s been quite a bit of talk about the violence in it. Here’s my take on it. If all the members were over 18, I’d have no problems with it as it’s well-acted and surprising. I never would have guessed what happened and I loved it. In fact, I immediately re-watched it. Music videos don’t normally have you on the edge of your seat with the action. Alright, I’m exaggerating a little but not by much. It’s a great video. I really did gasp in surprise when Youngjae was shot and then again, when it turned out the shootout didn’t happen and he was an undercover cop (hey, I told you there would be spoilers).
However, and this is a fairly minor however, Zico is only 16 (all other members are 18+) so I have a teensy tiny problem with the violence knowing that. But… otherwise, the video rocked.