With the recent summer comeback of the Brown Eyed Girls, I thought that now would be a great time to take a look back at some of the groups older, but under-appreciated works.
Since the girls have been involved in the K-pop scene long enough to be considered as veterans, there is a considerable amount of discography for us listeners to wade through. For this weeks installment of Side B, well be taking a fast-track all the way back to the very beginning, although I do want to throw in a quick side-mention of My Style and Sign, two of my favorite oft-forgotten songs that were largely overshadowed by the Abracadabra boom. (I highly encourage you to check out the respective acoustic versions of the aforementioned songs, here and here).
With that being said, lets now take a look back at their roots.
The Brown Eyed Girls was formed in 2006 by leader JeA, who hand-picked the members she wanted in the group. Miryo, the first to be picked, was already relatively well-known in the rapping community, as she had formerly been a member of the hip-hop group Honey Family, alongside fellow rappers including Leessangs Gary and Gil. Narsha, whom JeA had admired as a talented singer from her high school days, was added next to the roster. The last member to round out the group, Gain, was selected through an audition she was invited to after her elimination from Mnets Battle Shinhwa.
The four of them initially went on tours under the name Crescendo before officially debuting under the name Brown Eyed Girls. With that being said, lets now check out a couple of selected gems from their very first album, Your Story.
Come Closer is the lead single (and second track) off of Your Story. What is interesting is that the Brown Eyed Girls debuted as a faceless groupthe reason being that they wanted to showcase their vocal talent first and foremost (Narsha also conveniently had some facial work done during this time). They did not show up in their debut music video, nor did they make any visual broadcast appearances at the beginning of their career. In addition, their album cover consisted of drawings, and did not reveal their faces. Come Closer is an emotional ballad centered around a conflict of emotion between still loving yet wanting to hate a man that you have lost.
Second is the first track off of Your Story, and is about someone who cant let go of their lover, despite the fact that their relationship is one-sided. Additional versions of this song (hip-hop as well as rock) were released in the repackage of the album later that year.
Far Away feat. MC Mong
Far Away is the third track off of Your Story, and features the now-unfortunate but then-hotshot MC Mong. The song features a dialogue describing difficult but determined emotions during a break-up.
Everybody feat. Big Tone
The fifth track off the album, a collaboration with artist and producer Big Tone, trades in the girls normal RB sound for a funky disco beat, bringing some fun and spice to the mix.
오늘은 그대와 하늘 위로 (Into The Sky With You) feat. Bobby Kim
The seventh track off of the album is an upbeat sensual RB number that features the amazing Bobby Kim. What strikes me the most about this song is how ahead-of-its-time it sounds and how it would fit right in with the modern-day RB landscape.
The ninth track on the album is a slower funk-infused song that essentially says good riddance to a cheater in a relationship.
The twelfth track on the album is a woman vengeance song that experiments with infusing a bit of Bollywood-inspired sound into their music.
Thats it for my selection of favorite underexposed songs from the Brown Eyed Girls first album (and its only a fraction of their discography)! If youre liking what youre hearing, I highly suggest that you check out the rest of the album, as all of the songs are quality and you wont be disappointed.
Although the Brown Eyed Girls earlier albums did not experience as much commercial success as their subsequent albums, they still contain music that deserves way more recognition by the public than they have been given up until now. What are your thoughts, Seoulmates?
(Nega Network, Singles Magazine, nutkonbong, Wavega Narshmallow)