When it comes to B.A.P and subunits, fans have been clamoring for something new from TS Entertainment. While its not the Bang Zelo reunion some were hoping for, the surprising summer project album Party Baby derived from the name of their latest world concert features two of the groups vocalists, Daehyun and Jongup. The tracks on the special album are studio versions of the solos previously performed only live, Daehyuns Shadow and Jongups Try My Luck.
We start off with Daehyuns track Shadow. The song surprisingly leans more towards a dance track than the ballad that would be expected of the powerhouse vocal. But dont let that confuse you. Shadow allows Daehyun to show off a lower range instead of the typical high notes and falsetto weve been hearing from him of late. Thats not to say we dont get a few of those near the end of the song, but its nice that his vocal cords get a rest. Its unexpected though still fun, and comes with the perfect bit of personal touch that comes with writing your own song.
I can’t forget your special color
Your rouge that is on my shirt
Even if I erase and throw it all away,
I end up finding you again
Maybe theres been some heartbreak in Daehyuns life because hes obviously feeling hurt over a girl he cant get over. Her memory follows him like a shadow, hence the title. Its like shes always there with him and nothing he does can get rid of her.
The addition of member Zelo also adds an element to the storytelling. Its one thing to be wallowing and feeling down in your heartbreak; its another thing for another person to articulate how youre feeling in a different yet still similar way. Zelos rap also helps in breaking up the vocals. Daehyun does his own short rap during the breakdown, but Daehyun has a powerful voice. Even when hes not using it to the fullest extent, it can become too much. Bringing in the other artist keeps Daehyun from overpowering his own song.
Then we move on to the second track, Jongups Try My Luck. If you were lucky enough to see this live then this studio version was definitely a present. Try My Luck is heavily RB influenced, giving off both Trey Songz and Chris Brown vibes. We get to fully appreciate the Jongups growth with this song, as he not only has a solo after getting only two or three lines per song, but he also participated in writing the lyrics for the song.
While Daehyun lamented a broken heart, Jongup is on the prowl. The song is sensual, sexy, and quite frankly, theres no surprise that at least one of the broadcasting companies banned it for lyrical content. Try My Luck is exactly what you would expect, a bold declaration of attraction and seeing where the night will lead. He sees a girl he likes and hes taking a chance on pursuing her, the song expressing his feelings towards their flirtation. Its direct without being raunchy, sexy without being sexual, and all around encompasses a finesse of seduction that you wouldnt expect from Jongup of all the members.
From a group more known for hip-hop and even rock-inspired numbers, the two tracks on this project album help to showcase the range of not only the individuals involved, but also the potential for B.A.P as a collective as well. However, as much as it pains me to say, Party Baby is a bit of a disappointment. Having seen and heard both songs live, the anticipation for the studio versions was high. When the project album was announced, I was as excited as every other fan. B.A.P doesnt do solos or units very often so there was a lot of excitement surrounding this project, yet for it to only contain two tracks that are already pretty well known in the fandom is a bit of a letdown.
No, Party Baby isnt necessarily just for B.A.P fans. I understand that. But this was a huge missed opportunity. The two vocalists here show that they can produce and write. Their styles are diverse from each other and from their group. This was a chance to entice new people into the fandom and bolster the spirits of long time fans, yet TS didnt take that chance. Maybe they didnt want to gamble on self-produced tracks from first timers. Maybe there was a simple lack of material. Whatever the cause, Party Baby lacked substance. From the teasers to the album cover, everything was set up to be an epic start of summer comeback for a duo from B.A.P, and then we dont even get a duet out of the mix? At least with Bang Zelo there were proper interactions and promotions. For Daehyun and Jongup, they each get a week on music shows and hype themselves up on social media. The entire concept of the project unit and album just seems wasted.
That shouldnt deter you from enjoying the album though. Daehyun and Jongup put in a lot of effort to show us a new side to themselves and that work should be appreciated. Furthermore, the album is sold. Shadow gets stuck in your head and will have you singing tell me now all day, and if youre in the mood for a slow jam then Try My Luck is there for you. Who knows, maybe listening to the song will give you the confidence to approach someone new. All in all, while I cant give Party Baby a high rating simply because my fangirl heart wants to, its still an engaging album that is hopefully just a kick off to bigger and better things.
(Tumblr, Lyrics via OneHallyu, Images via TS Entertainment)
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