Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Top K-pop Albums {Pink Tape by f(x)}

Released: July 2013
Tracklist: 1. Rum Pum Pum Pum 2. Shadow 3. Pretty Girl 4. Kick 5. Signal 6. Step 7. Goodbye Summer 8. Airplane 9. Toy 10. No More 11. Snapshot 12. Ending Page

F(x) are known to take big musical risks. So much so, that they've pulled away from 'typical' K-pop and developed their own style. Their discography has a wide range of genres and 'Pink Tape', the group's 2nd full album, is no different. 'Pink Tape' is like lollipops and high heels- in other words, it has a balance of frivolousness and maturity. Any listener of f(x)'s music should keep an open mind! Their strange sound makes them barely mainstream or radio-friendly. However, someway,somehow these girls pull it off. My five favorites of this album are:

1. Rum Pum Pum Pum
The title track 'Rum Pum Pum Pum' reflects the noise of a beating heart. It's chaotic - layered with many hand drums and synths, but surprisingly, it doesn't leave your head spinning. The song builds up tension and breaks nicely into vocal harmonies. Normally, the lyrics of a love song portray falling in love as a pleasant experience. But f(x), just being f(x), make falling in love (painful?) and sudden. 'Ouch! Your head will hurt, you won't be able to sleep, you won't forget me easily, your true first love has appeared.'
If the song isn't quirky enough, the music video surely is. The girls keep an asymmetrical concept: different colored eyes, items and ideas with no correlation (floating flowers?) and even Amber's mismatching eyebrows. Genius.

2. Ending Page
'Ending Page' is the final track, and rightfully so, because it closes the album wonderfully. Somehow it surpassed some of the crazy, fun songs and became my second favorite. It's mid-tempo soft rock/electronic and is a tame contrast to the majority of 'Pink Tape'. There's no gimmicks or crazy synths, so the member's vocals are what make it shine.  

3. Pretty Girl
I love how catchy 'Pretty Girl' is. But the highlight for me, is the meaning of the song. It takes a jab at beauty standards and also gives the perspective of "that jealous girl in the corner." The lyrics seem to express some resentment towards the pretty girl. She rely's on her face, and has no real character. F(x) point out that if she was plain-looking, then she wouldn't be so special.

4. Shadow
'Shadow' opens with notes from an xylophone that reminds me of a music box. The girls sing with a little more force that a whisper. At first, I wished that f(x)'s vocals were better in this, but the lacking vocals were probably intended. Anything too strong would overpower the delicate instrumental.
As sweet and lovely as it sounds, the lyrics are creepy. The title 'Shadow' refers to a person who closely follows another. Shadow's lyrics are from the point of view of a girl stalking a boy that she likes and she deludes herself into thinking that they are dating. The fact that the song is sung in such a calm and innocent way makes it even more creepy. Once again, f(x) give us an atypical love song.

5. Toy
'Toy' is a high-energy song with child-like verses. The musical path is unexpected and makes no sense, but it comes together! In the song, f(x) bust out of his 'toy-box' per say. They break up with a controlling boyfriend and show him that they can live their life by themselves.

Images: 1,2,3,4

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