July 13th, 2012 by Oh! Kpop
[Review] T-ara ‘Day by Day’
- T-ara’s Eunjung highly praises Busker Busker’s debut album
- T-ara’s Eunjung loves Busker Busker’s new album
- T-ara releases new mini-album, "Day By Day"
- JYP Highly Praises Busker Busker’s New Album
- T-ara's "Day By Day" jacket cover + tracklist released
With infectious hits like “Bo Peep Bo Peep”, “Lovey-Dovey”, and “Roly Poly”, T-ara has gained a reputation for releasing the kind of addictive popconfections that are impossible to get out of your head, but they’reunfairly overlooked as a group capable of making impressive albums.
Their 2009 full-length debut, Absolute First Album, is still one of the best girl group albums to come out of the pop world in years, while 2010′s Temptastic (and its two unofficial repackages) remains totally underrated. Even last year’s Black Eyes was a good effort in all of its odd, cheap-ish glory.
For their most recent comeback, T-ara was gracious enough not to pull a Temptastic and drop another repackaged album, instead returning with an all-new original EP, Day by Day.
The album’s lead single and title track, “Day by Day”,is by far the album’s finest moment. More “Cry Cry” than “Lovey-Dovey”,the song sees T-ara going against the current trend of releasing upbeatsongs to tie-in with the Korean summer season, instead opting to godown a much darker route with a song that sounds more suited to a chillywinter than the warm summer months.
Produced by Cho Young-soo (“Lies”, “Cry Cry”), thepoetic “Day by Day” stands as T-ara’s most organic-sounding single todate, as well as their most hip-hop-leaning since “TTL (Time to Love)”.With extensive rapping from the long-underrated Hwayoung and productionbuilt around warm acoustics, percussion, and an enchanting flute riff,“Day by Day” plays like an obvious attempt to cash-in on the enormoussuccess of K-indie acts like Busker Busker and LeeSsang, while stillmaintaining enough K-Pop flavor to appeal to the group’s usualdemographic.
There’s been a lot of controversy surrounding the flute usage in “Dayby Day”, with people calling it a knock-off of Britney Spears’“Criminal”. This certainly wouldn’t be the first time that T-ara were‘inspired’ by Britney, but the flute in “Day by Day” sounds closer to asped-up version of the flute intro from the Led Zeppelin classic“Stairway to Heaven” than it does to Britney’s hit, which is probablywhere the Pop Princess originally got the idea from, anyway. Still, the two songs do have a lot of similarities, but since they’re both so good in their own right, it doesn’t feel like it should be viewed as a negative thing.
The next track, “Holiday”, is a melancholy pop jamwith depressing lyrics and a boppy beat, giving it a similar vibe to thegroup’s debut single, “Lies”. The girls sing about being sad and aloneon the holidays, trying to rhyme, “holi, holi, day” with “lonely,lonely, day” on the chorus, which would probably sound ridiculous comingfrom anyone else but T-ara.
One of the few consistent aspects of the ever-evolving T-ara is thatthey never do those typical K-Pop ballads that are so often used asfiller tracks on a lot of idol albums.The group almost comes close to that style on the powerful “Don’t Leave”,but producer Cho Young-soo keeps the composition mature andunpredictable enough to stop it from sounding syrupy or generic, opening with a synthy, electronic intro, before dropping into a darkhip-hop beat backed by a dramatic orchestra. Hwayoung, Eunjung, and newmember Areum provide rapping throughout various points in the song, whilethe talented Soyeon delivers some of her strongest vocals to date.
The final two songs on the album, “HUE” and “Love Game”, both appeared on T-ara’s recent Japanese album under the titles of “T-ARATiC MAGiC MUSiC” and “Keep Out”.
“Love Game” combines sixties girl rock with dubstep wobbles andsynths, making it a nice fit for the album, but “HUE” sticks out like asore thumb with its cheap techno-pop production. Despite a repetitive“whoa oh oh oh” moment on the post-chorus that gets lodged in yourbrain, it probably should’ve just been left on Jewelry Box.
Speaking of unneeded things on Day by Day: um, Areum? Now that CCM has finally decided to actually utilize Hwayoung by having her rap on all three of Day by Day‘snew tracks, T-ara feels more complete than ever before, making Areum seem like anunnecessary addition to the group. She may be able to sing slightlybetter than the non-Soyeon members of T-ara, but she isn’t really doinganything that Eunjung can’t handle. I mean, it’s not like being a bettersinger than Jiyeon, Qri, and Boram makes Areum the next Hyorin or IU.Right?
“Day by Day” easily ranks up there as one T-ara’s best singles, butthe album itself isn’t quite as strong as we’ve heard from the group inthe past. It definitely doesn’t come close to Absolute First Album, Temptastic, John Travolta Wannabe, or Funky Town, but it sits comfortably on the level of Black Eyes, and serves as another solid effort in T-ara’s sometimes stellar discography.
You can check out more music over at the author’s website www.theprophetblog.net, catch him on Facebook, or follow him on Twitter at @TheProphetBlog.
Note: this article does not reflect the opinions of allkpop, only the author.
Reviewer’s Rating: [PIC] [PIC] [PIC] [PIC] (3.25 / 5)Tags : As One, debut, Drama, Eric, GaIn, Japan, Jewelry, Korean, Leessang, official, past, T-Ara, Thor, usa, Vibesnsd yoona touching jessica, watch two wives korean drama, biggest kpop scandals, what does gangnum style mean, song ji hyos boyfriend, jackal is coming dramawiki, reply 1997 ep 16 eng sub, jung yong hwa abs, choi seung hyun before plastic surgery, kwang hee without makeup, b2st midnight sun, yoon eun hye latest boyfriend, sinopsis city conquest eps 1, jessica jung parents, latest news on hyun bin, hangeng 2012, hyuna before and after surgery, park ye jin boyfriend 2012, seven and park han byul, kim ha neul healing camp eng sub