After two years since her last solo activities, Son Ga In returns with her second solo EP “Talk About S”, thrilling her fans as they excitingly anticipate what she has in store for them this time around. The mini album contains five interesting tracks with “Bloom” as its title song; achieving an all kill on many real time charts just within a few hours after its release. Ga In sure has something up her sleeve for being able to accomplish such a feat but are her songs really that good? Her previous album “Step 2/4” did an amazing job showcasing her talent and distinct persona that I question whether or not “Talk About S” will be able to live up to our standards.
“Tinkerbell” opens with a Spanish inspired acoustic guitar strum. It has quite an interesting arrangement to it. There are a lot of shifts and prolonged gaps present within the breaks that can work either against or aid in the overall appeal of the song. I personally find it very intriguing to listen to because it acts as a doorway to this dream-like fantasy that is being delivered to the listeners through Ga In’s lightly sensual voice. Similar to Narsha’s “Bbi Ri Bba Bba” in its ‘Wonderland-like’ effects, “Tinkerbell” sort of reminds me of an eerie garden party filled with cryptic and mischievous fairies creepily lurking about, causing “innocent” havoc upon the guests. Lyrically, the song plays with the idea of attraction, fascination, and the childlike possessiveness that one holds towards their target.
“Tiredness” actually sounds similar to many of the songs that T-ara had sung and so it’s exciting to hear how Ga In is able to morph this song into something that is totally her own. Compared to the playfully sensual whispers that Ga In presented in the previous song, her voice in this track is heavier and more mature. Her ability to switch between her vocal register is amazing and blends in perfectly with the lively swing house arrangement. This is a song that gradually pulls you in and hooks you on the first listen. Although I do admit that I like this song, I also believe that it is definitely missing something, something that can make this song so much better.
The title track “Bloom” opens with a 80s pop sounding piano piece that is eventually accompanied by guitar and bass. The song actually reminds me of American Pop divas from the late 80s and early 90s like Mariah Carey and Madonna. What must be noted is that Ga In’s voice in here is softer and even a bit weaker than what most people are used to. She sounds quite similar to IU even which seems to frustrate some fans however I think that it is to the song’s advantage for her to sing in this kind of manner. The song depicts a young and love-obsessed girl who is intrigued with the new experiences that are unfolding between her and her new found love interest. In order to portray this well, Ga In transformed her voice into something stunningly innocent yet erotic. Just by simply singing, you can feel the essence of the song through her voice; she perfectly illustrates the passion and emotion ignited through his kind of lust filled first love.
“Gaze” is the fourth song in the mini album and features vocalist Yoon Jong Shin. Again, Ga In amazes me with an extraordinary vocal performance, perfectly set in a lower tone to better deliver the feel of the song, which sets up a slower and more intimate mood. Her voice melts into and is greatly compliments by Yoon Jong Shin’s vocals. The composition for this song was superb with a laid back R&B based instrumental for the background. There was more thought put into this track compared to the other songs as it is better developed and even finalizes with layers that considerably echoes the end of the song.
The beginning of “Catch Me If You Can” is significantly livelier compared to the other songs and sets up a totally new tone to end the album with, leaving me rather confused. There are obvious Jazz influences in this song with trumpets blowing away in the background but the song is more Pop than anything else. It’s very cheesy and almost seems like the breaks are prolonged just to drag out the song. It’s sort of a letdown for the album to end on this song. I guess the producers were trying to go out with a bang by putting gout this vigorously energetic tune but in actuality, the song is generic and over played.
I wouldn’t call this a masterpiece, because it’s far from it, but “Talk About S” is an alright album. I don’t think it was a bad as what others made it seem out to be. Ga In’s previous album set such a high standard that when people compare the two albums; it’s rather pathetic to even think that they’re from the same artist. However, I believe that the tracks in this album were relatively well put together but that can only be asserted if one does not compare. Although both albums were sexy, the songs in “Step 2/4” were spirited, striking, and mature while “Talk About S” consists of tracks that are pristine, coy, and mischievous. Therefore, it’s clear that Ga In had to take a different approach in portraying the right image for the theme of this album. So even though it does not live up to the fans’ expectations, “Talk About S” is still good enough to be kept. Let’s hope that her future releases will be able to impress more.
This is the music video for “Bloom”.
Review By: Samantha Her & Alona
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