f(x) – Pink Tape (2013). I love it.

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f(x) always have really strong releases, and listening to this album there are so many standout tracks, I’m really impressed. Usually in an album there are three ‘single’ worthy songs, but this album is just full of them. As always, this group is able to flirt with the line between sexy, cool, fun and cute without breaking a sweat. This is the first K-Pop Album this year that has managed to shift my attention away from Crayon Pop. Yeah, this is that good.

Track List:

01. 첫 사랑니 (Rum Pum Pum Pum) [YT]

Wow. Is all I can say about this song. Ever since it was released a few days ago I’ve had it on repeat. The chorus is so catchy as is the, ‘Rum Pum Pum Pum’ part. The lyrics are really clever too, comparing love to a toothache, sounds odd? Surprisingly it works! I’m a sucker for songs sung in a round and odd harmonies, this has all of that.

02. 미행 (그림자 Shadow)

Listen to this song sparingly, it’s so sweet it gave me like three cavities. Honestly, this song is just so adorable, strip the drums out and it could almost pass as a lullaby. Amber has this adorable sweet voice hiding under that tomboy styling that it’s almost a shock when you realise it’s her voice sounding so angelic. I’m glad they gave her a chance to shine instead of hiding her away under so-so rap sections.

03. Pretty Girl

From angelic singing the ladies switch to channelling their inner divas. This is a powerful track that reminds me of the amazing girl groups of the ’90s like En Vogue and Eternal.

04. Kick

From the get-go the song tells you to get up and by golly you’ll want to. This is the song that I can imagine would be played at a houseparty and people would be singing along to in the slow parts with their hands up in the air, and then going crazy once the beat picked up again. Very very very high energy and it has all these crazy sound effects going. Party song from start to finish.

05. 시그널 (Signal)

I get this really suave disco vibe from this song. Feels like, Get Lucky by Daft Punk ft Pharrell Williams. Yeah, totally get this chilled out disco vibe from it, like you want to lay on the floor with headphones on listening to the sounds. I like this song a lot. It also reminds me a little bit of Sexy, Free and Single by Super Junior.

06. Step 

Fun club track. It feels a little like a Let’s have a Kiki – by the Scissor Sister, which I love. It has such an upbeat hook that I dare anyone to sit still while listening to it. It has a very Western feel to it, I think it would do really well in the UK for sure. While some people don’t like ‘their’ idols to have such Western sounding songs I think it adds variety to the album.

07. Goodbye Summer (f(Amber+Luna+Krystal)) (Feat. D.O. of EXO-K)

A very cute ballad. Nothing overly standout-y about it, on a weaker album this might jump out as a fantastic song but amongst all these great songs it only gets to be okay. There’s a big English rap part in the middle, which is cute. D.O’s voice really goes well with f(x), it almost sounds like a duet. I would love to see a full EXO/f(x) collaboration.

08. Airplane

“Oh.. a very K-pop sounding song, neat, probably album filler.. WOAH dubstep break!” The wub wubs were pretty hilarious I have to admit. But the song is nice, album filler for sure. What’s actually really funny is that this is actually a lot stronger than a lot of songs that I’ve heard from girl groups recently, but for f(x) it’s probably just a third rate track. Which is a shame. I would actually really like to see a group like Stellar get a song like this. I think they would do well with it.

09. Toy

If dubstep was a thing when the novelty groups Aqua and the Cartoons were around then I have doubt their songs would sound something like this. That’s not to say that it is bad, everyone loved Barbie Girl at the time. It is a modern but dated track to me, I don’t know how I feel about this song. Maybe I have to give it a few more listens. This is the only song on the album that I could pass on.

10. 여우 같은 내 친구 (No More)

This sounds like a drama opener! I can see the cast of this fictional drama interacting now in the title screen as the credits roll. Something about a boy, who loves a girl, but they can’t be together because of a pact he made with his best friend who is dying who has secretly loved her since they were young and his parents disapproving. The girl knows this but she’s cruel, she doesn’t love anyone but herself and has to learn a hard lesson about the value of friendship.. Sorry, too many dramas. The chorus sounds like chorus from The Baddest Female by CL, probably because they use the same words. Ha! The harmonies and the ‘oohing’ are super cute.

11. Snapshot

Uh, did they just hit us with a swingpop track?! Yes. I would love to hear this song with a proper band.

12. Ending Page

Reminds me very much of the Michelle Branch/ Vanessa Carlton era of music, such a great time for music. A really nice track to listen to while going for a light run. Everyone’s voice really shines through. Overall a really solid closer.

Like I said before, this album has few weak tracks. What I love about this is that it doesn’t fall into the K-Pop trap of making the album tracks straight ballad or super upbeat songs, this has a mix of two and a mix of genres. f(x) are a really strong group, and I think this album was totally worth the wait.

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