One of the most charming female groups is back with a new and stronger image. Miss A released their second mini album “Independent Women Part III” with the intentions of paying respect to their idol Destiny’s Child. This EP consists of five songs that attempt to holistically work together in order to express and glorify women as powerfully capable individuals who can stand on their own. Aside from JYP, Phil Thornally, who composed Pixie Lott’s “Mama Do”, participated the composition of the album as well.
The first track is the title song “I Don’t Need a Man”, composed and written by JYP and filled with a Hip Hop and R&B flare. You’ll immediately be hooked to the song as soon as the first few seconds play out. The unusually interesting and, though I hate using the word, oriental sounding stringed rhythmic beat is extremely appealing. the song also has a colorful and fun melody that automatically makes listeners dance and sing to the song. At first, I thought I wouldn’t like this track because I figured it would be too similar to its Destiny’s Child counterpart. However, “I Don’t Need a Man” has its own distinct sound and as I kept listening to the song, I found myself humming and tapping my feet to it. While singing about being young, hardworking, and survivors, the girls were all able to fully display their own unique character into the song. Everyone was able to grab my attention in the music video. Min and Jia were pumped with swag as they danced through the routine while Fei flawlessly showcased her confidence and charisma, making her very sexy. Although I found Suzy to be a bit awkward with her movements, I guess that’s her appeal and it was cute watching her play her part.
“Ma Style” follows up with another R&B based rhythm though it’s a bit more traditional and heavier at times compared to “I Don’t Need a Man”. This song is also very catchy especially when it comes to the lines “Hello, Hello…Follow, Follow…L.O., L.O.” since the girls use light vocals to quickly sing it in a playful manner. The only thing I d didn’t like about the song was the rap; it just came out of nowhere and was not cohesively in synch with the rest of the song. Lyrically, the song depicts a girl who is confidently pursuing the man that her style and up to her standards instead of settling for what is left.
The next song slows down a bit as the meter stayed at a one two pace beat. Although the musical piece for this track was well made, I found “If I Were a Boy” a bit awkward to listen to. Maybe I was expecting something similar to Beyonce’s version since people tend to compare renovations to the original. It’s just that the way they sung “If I were a boy…” made that line sounded like it was unnecessarily prolonged. All in all, the song revolves around the same topic that Beyonce’s had, comparing the difference between how men and women deal with relationships and separation.
Taecyeon of 2PM is featured in this next track called “Madness”. It’s funny how the song with a 2PM feature opens with a timer like sound. Anyway this song is the only song that seems out of place since it is about a girl who isn’t able to come to terms with the separation between her and her boyfriend. Either way, I actually like this song because it reminds me of some Pop ballads that were sung by Spice Girls. It definitely brought me back to the early and mid nineties; those were the good old days before music started getting overly abstract.
The last song is called “Time’s Up” and takes a completely different route compared to the previous tracks due to its Latin House/Trance music arrangement. I honestly don’t like this type of music; it’s just not my cup of tea so I found this song annoying and boring. However, it’s good that the closing song falls back into the original theme that was presented at the start of the album. “Time’s Up” essentially depicts someone who is fed up and tired of wasting time on someone who is worthless to her.
Overall, I think that this album was pretty good though it could have been a lot better. It’s not perfect but the image of positive and secure women that was illustrated through this album is wonderful because it speaks to many young women who don’t have the confidence to stand on their own two feet. By listening to the songs in this album, they may be able to boldly walk down the street, still humble but with their heads held high. I feel that Miss A is seriously overshadowed by their seniors and should be taken more seriously. They can be just as great as the Wonder Girls if JYP took the time to work more thoroughly with them, and cultivate them to rise as even bigger stars instead of spending all his efforts on idols that are already big. I guess Say As will just have to patiently wait for that day to come. Until then, check out this album!
This is the music video for “I Don’t Need a Man”.
Review By: Samantha Her
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