Friday, June 15, 2012

Review: Electric Shock : Smitten with f(x)

f(x) finally surprised me with "Electric Shock" (the album). Although I have always liked the group I had never had the heart to actually love it. Something, usually the music, was pushing me away. To me their music used to sound a little too messy for my liking. It seemed like f(x) was trying to represent youth but usually came up as childish. I kept wishing someone would come in and help them polish their act and they finally seem to be getting there with this new mini.

The title track "Electric Shock" is not as catchy as some of their previous singles, but there was something less messy about it. It seemed to have become a more polished version of "Nu ABO". Although "Chu~♡" remains as my favorite f(x) tittle track, I really like "Electric Shock" specially those slower moments when their voices truly shine and build up for the real action. The MV is average, the set is pretty and the solo shots are nice. The dance has a lot of cool parts in it but I specially like the beginning where Krystal grabs Amber and Sulli, as well as when they couple up.

I'm usually fond of f(x)'s tittle tracks so I was expecting to like "Electric Shock" but what I was not expecting was to like the majority of the songs on the album. Before "Electric Shock" only a few of their non-tittle songs where on my i-pod. Now I'm practically in love with three of the songs on the album.

The first song is "Beautiful Stranger", is a collaboration between Krystal, Amber,and Luna, with a very pop-ish feel to it. Their voices compliment well together making the song a great listen.

Next comes "Love Hate", a song that speaks about the idea of not knowing if what you feel is love or hate, similarly themed to SHINee's "Up and Down".  I tried to explain the feeling it gave to me to a friend and she did not get what I mean, so I will try again : "the song seems like their yodeling...." yeah ... I really like that it's young and fresh but not childish.

The last spot goes to "Let's Try", a slower song with an upbeat and catchy chorus, and a lot of actual singing from the members. This is a perfect time to point out that we get to hear a lot of Amber on this album, most of which is actual singing (thank you SM). Amber has a really nice voice that contrast with that of the other members, making songs much more interesting. This is why I constantly hope for Minho to have longer parts in SHINee songs, there are so many possibilities.

I really like the dynamic of f(x) although it sometimes seems that SM placed very different people together, not giving the group a sort of coherence most of the other SM groups posses. Further magnified by the lack of recognition f(x) has as a group and not only as individual entertainers. On the other hand one thing SM has done right with f(x) since the beginning is defining their music style. Although there are many areas where the need for  improvement is clearly visible, f(x) has kept their style while progressing and polishing it, clearly evident in this album.

Rating 3.6/5 
Most of the album seems to be an upgrade of their previous work, keeping their style but showing growth. There is still room for improvement but f(x) is getting there. 


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