Review: BoA – BoA (The First Album)
Taking a short look into the formula that has brought star after star into the forefront makes breaking into the American market seem childish in complexity. All an artist has to do is get in with the best producers and get their label to actually care about promoting them, two very simple tasks. However they are undeniably hard to execute. Luckily for BoA, both seemed to be within her grasp, allowing her to get the likes of Sean Garrett and Bloodshy & Avant interested in working with her. The strange thing is while BoA managed to score the aid of some top producers, she didn’t exactly leave the studio with top songs- BoA is a painfully average debut, featuring inconsistent production quality, cheap lyrics, and a voice that sometimes sounds out of place.
When BoA‘s production is on, it’s on. With pulsing beats and distinctive arrangements, tracks like “Hypnotic Dancefloor“, “I Did It For Love“, and “Eat You Up” are bound to appear on playlists across the country. In fact, these tracks are so sexy, they’re too sexy for BoA herself. Her bright, pure, crystal clear voice sounds like the call of a lost fifteen year old girl when placed over the record’s onslaught of sweeping basslines and hard-hitting drums. Not sultry in the slightest, her voice was clearly destined for something more innocent.
This is why more cutesy numbers like “Look Who’s Talking“, “Did Ya“, and “Girls On Top“, sound natural and comfortable for her. Unfortunately, these tracks are severely lacking from head to toe. The lyrics are cheap, aching to immaturely sassy licks that Britney Spears might have been willing to sing back in ’00, but now even she has evolved beyond lines such as “This song is all about me / Damn right, it’s all about me.” And if only to compliment the lyrics, the beats they are placed over are just as dull. “Did Ya” is a mere recycling of “Buddha’s Delight” from the Music & Lyrics Soundtrack– sadly, the original is better.
BoA is a purely average record from start to finish- It provides some obvious potential hits and some obvious immediate failures. It is passable and would leave BoA to be long forgotten if it weren’t for her success in other countries. In fact, instead of even previewing this record, listen to The Face instead. It doesn’t take a familiarity with the Japanese language to recognize that it is a better album.
KEEPERS: “I Did It For Love”, “Energetic”, “Eat You Up”, “Obsessed”, “Hypnotic Dancefloor”