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Review [Minialbum] “Beautiful” by f(x)’s [Amber]

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I’m back! And as always I’m drowning in so many awesome songs, I hardly know where to start. So today I brought along a review of my favourite Korean female singer~

Besides 2NE1 the Korean female idol section is mostly just too fluffy and girly for my taste. You agree with me? Well, then Amber might be your hero. Or your lama, seeing as that’s her nickname.
Let’s take a look at the first solo album of f(x)’s rapper and SM’s representative tomboy – Amber!

Amber - Beautiful - Cover

Artist: Amber
Title: Beautiful
Year: 2015
Language: Korean/English

Tracklist:
01. Beautiful  – 6.5/10
02. Shake that Brass (feat. SNSD’s Taeyeon) – 8.5/10
03. Love Run – 9/10
04. Heights – 8/10
05. Just wanna (feat. Eric Nam) – 10/10




01. Beautiful 6.5/10


We start out kinda calm and emotional. Actually this was throwing me off at first since I hadn’t expect this sensitive song from the known-to-be-a-tough-cookie-Amber (Zico quote intended? Probably).
The simple guitar hardly stands out, only slightly supporting her vocals.
Which are very beautiful, actually. It’s nice to hear her singing the background harmonies as well as the rap-like parts.
She’s telling an obviously rather personal story about the hardships she faces on a daily basis. Adding to the hardships most idols have, Amber also constantly struggles with people judging her image, and that’s what she talks about here, as well.
A very beautiful line would be:

Any kind of scar is beautiful to me
I’m just happy, I’m happy to be myself

And let’s hope she can continue to be proud of herself!
The song didn’t click with me just yet, but let’s see what the future brings. Besides that it has emotional value to her and I respect that.

02. Shake that Brass (feat. SNSD’s Taeyeon) 8.5/10


Ah, the title song. This is one of those “Give it 10 seconds, you’ll either love or hate it”-type of songs.
Personally, I’m in the former category. The unusual use of brass instruments is really attention-seeking, giving the song a bold yet kind of silly feeling. I don’t know about other people, but I’m absolutely digging it.
The song itself is full of different hooks that repeat itself. Actually I was even wondering in the beginning if there was such a thing as a regular verse in this song. It’s definitely a party song, not even aiming to pretend to be deep. It’s supposed to be fun and if you ask me, it is. Taeyeon’s voice gives a nice and soft contrast to Amber’s powerful voice.
The music video is as dorky as the song is with Amber either making a fool out of herself or being awesome. Or both. My favourite scene is the one in the washroom – it’s really cute and hilarious at the same time.
I’m not even going to elaborate on her gorgeous looks, since most people already know about her trademark tomboy-image. I’d just hope for more people to appreciate that look since I think it’s really attractive if you carry yourself well.
Overall I’d not hesitate to state that Amber is bolder and has more balls than mooost male idols. And that’s also pretty much the message of the song. Oh, and that she’s forever the dorky lama.
Still, I’m not giving it a full score, because it is kind of repetetive and I’m not sure whether that’s going to go on my nerves in the far future.

03. Love Run 9/10


This is a song with a slight Trance/Retro-feel to it.
(I guess I’m the only one who likes to listen to Trance? People rarely seem to like it.)
Actually this track has been playing quite frequently on my laptop but I would always only notice it towards the end. It starts out rather weakly before it goes into a strong refrain with memorable English parts.
The “Here I am”-part involuntarily reminded me of a the movie “Spirit”, but I guess that’s just me, haha.
I guess you are obliged to have at least one love ballad on your album, and if that’s her take on it I’m more than fine with that. I’m almost scared of Korean love ballads since they know how to take cheesiness and drama to a whole new level.
There’s no telling whether I’m actually getting the lyrics right, but that’s making them a little more intriguing.

I remember what you used to call me
I loved it even after listening to it hundreds of times a day
So much that I couldn’t even express it

It tells the sad but typical story of a female protagonist that couldn’t properly express her love and was then left. Now she’s running after her lost love with all her might, but it’s a vain attempt.
At the same time she’s talking about sitting in an empty street, waiting to see him – which she doesn’t. And nearing the end it says:

Just wait a little more
That’s all you said to me
And I’m waiting a little more, waiting a little more
I’ll be right here, please will you come back some day?

…Which officially gives the whole story the image of an abandoned dog, left alone in the middle of a busy city. There’s this contrast of faithfully staying back and then running forward upon realizing the truth. The contradiction between “Here I am, Here I stay” and the desperate running is kind of interesting.
Overall the song is quite emotional and beautiful, if not for the rather non-committal opening.

04. Heights 8/10


In here the tune is rather on the Trance and electronic side as well, but has an overall different feel to it, making it more up-beat and less dreamy.
The instrumental is almost stuffed with effects and whatnot, giving it a modern take on the now rather uncommon music genre, I guess.
It feels very powerful and positive, with a few English catchphrases. I personally like the combination of the genre with her unique voice color.
The lyrics are as powerful as I had expected – They’re about self-fulfillment, about setting yourself free and moving forward.
Actually, songs that are NOT about love are getting rare these days and are especially treasured by me.

So remind me (remind me)
Remind me (remind me)
My past that was trapped in a complex maze
That was just to prepare for the future

Even though it addresses someone, this someone could be anyone, really. It could be a relative or a close friend or a lover. It just goes out to whoever gives you strength in difficult times and I like that.

It’s not a song that directly stood out to me but I think as soon as I’m feeling a little down this song will positively stick to me and cheer me up greatly. In fact, it kind of reminds me of Daesung’s song “Wings”, atmosphere-wise.

05. Just wanna (feat. Eric Nam) 10/10


You know Eric Nam? No? Me neither. Well, I did hear his name once in a while – I just never really stumbled across his music.
Maybe I should change that, though.
This is an equal duet with both singers getting the same amount of singing time and I highly appreciate those type of songs.
First things first: This song could be familiar for f(x)-fans! It’s actually almost identical to f(x)’s “Goodbye Summer” from their “Pink Tape”-album. Why is that? Well, actually the song has been written by Amber and we’re now getting to listen to the original version. I can already tell that I like it far more, seeing as I had never actually paid attention to “Goodbye Summer” before. Sorry girls.
We’re clearly stepping away from the previous Trance-like stuff. This is a pretty laidback, Rn’b like light-hearted song. The instrumental is guitar-focused and rather simple. And the song’s fully English, don’t we all appreciate that?
There was no moment where I thought: Oh my, that was an awkward sentence.
Or: That pronunciation was unrecognizable. They both did a pretty good job. Actually I found myself singing along the first time I heard it.
You could guess it – The song’s not overly deep or complex. Still, it has a soothing effect on me and to me it stood out almost more than the loud title song.
My favourite line might be the “Come on over, get to know me“-part. It adds a little more playfulness and depth at the same time.
Actually there’s nothing I’d have to complain about this track, absolutely nothing. And that’s why I’m gonna give a full score to this duet :)

 


Conclusion: 9/10

We have a cute Minialbum with five songs, including one funny hook, two Trance-like songs that are kind of up-beat in their respective ways, a sensitive and calm song and a light-hearted duet.
And we have three absolutely non love-related songs which deserves an extra mention!
I’d dare to say there might be something for most people.
Even though I had to give “Love Run” and “Heights” a second listen, they’re quite powerful and are sure to haunt me for a little longer.
In any case, this album has a huge singe-along-potential! The most important phrases are sung in simple English, animating (me) to (badly) sing-along.
Overall I really enjoyed this album so far and I feel like it’s only growing onto me more and more!
If you’re in for something a little different, you should give it a listen~!

Love,
Minnie~


*All lyrics are taken from popgasa whereas the subbed videos are from KpopSubs15 – Spread the love if you like their work 

 

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Author: Minnie

Hello! ♪ I'm a fashion student from Germany. My interests involve Music (videos), Asian Tv dramas, Games, and many other things. I can speak English, German and a very poor Japanese ;) Nice to meet you~ ♪

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