Time Machine: The Best of Asia, BoA

BoA_HurricaneVenus

Funny story, I actually came across BoA before I found out about K-pop, because I was sifting through Japanese music after I became obsessed with Mangas. I was browsing iTunes for Mai Kuraki and found BoA, Ayumi Hamazaki, and Utada Hikaru instead so I obviously made the connection that BoA is Japanese. She’s Japanese, right?

Wrong.

It turns out that BoA is actually Korean and part of SM Entertainment; a fact I didn’t know for nearly two years after the above event.  I actually found out who BoA was with her Hurricane Venus comeback. Yeah, I know, sad.

Boa, as a token to you for your forgiveness, I have made a compilation of your best music all the way from 2000.  To think you’ve actually been around that long.

My first song choice has to be “ID; Peace B” considering that it is her first single.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfslE2pbmCk]

It’s hard to believe she was barely twelve at the time. I’ve got to say, Lee Soo Man, you have an uncanny ability to pick up talent from the middle of nowhere. How in the world did you know she was destined to be a big female soloist?

I’m not  a huge fan of her Korean releases, but I do have some favorites here and there, some weird, some not. The first of these Korean songs is from her most recent album Only One, called “Not Over U,” a beautiful classic dance/electronic pop song that plays to all of BoA’s strengths as a singer. It’s a dance song, which is like walking for the dancing/singing machine, and it’s in lower register for the most part, which prevents her from sounding too thin as she often does.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IDlD1VG13Y]

This next song is one of her Korean releases as well, called “Adrenaline” from Hurricane Venus. It is kind of a weird pick from me because I tend to not feature this kind of music. Although, I think it’s worth showing the scope of music that she pursues, and who could let go of a song sung with such confidence?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_WJe4YYZ_A]

Since Hurricane Venus got such a bad rap overall, here’s proof that it wasn’t as terrible as you remember. This is “Implode,” featuring Nell‘s Kim Jong-wan

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GF3XXzYhp4E]

From day one, the one thing that BoA was definitely good at doing is dancing. I’ve loved so many of her stages just for the dance performance alone. “Bad Drive” is one of those songs that is unassuming at first glance and then turns out to have a killer choreography.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12FcZ8-QvlQ]

“Valenti” is one of her biggest Japanese hits, and is along the same lines as “Bad Drive.” The charm 0f each song really comes from the overall package: dance and song equally contribute to its success. Actually, that’s a bad comparison, because “Valenti” is such a classic song all by itself. You know what? Just stop listening to me, and listen to her rocking this song like no one’s businees.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpmQvqZ1MrM]

Another song that I love from her Japanese discography is “Bump! Bump! feat. Verbal (M-Flo).” This song is has great choreography as well, but I think that “Bump! Bump!” succeeds because of the effortlessness and conviction it has. BoA is so relaxed while singing this song, and she’s just having fun with it.  The jazzy elements are absolutely fantastic, and I just love how it runs through the whole song as a consistent and unifying embellishment.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tkc-niPsESE]

“Possibility” is a surprising duet that I actually ended up liking, because I actually hate duets, especially if it’s female/male duets because it usually ends up in the sappy territory (see the trainwreck of a duet called “Amor Mio” from Lee Hyori).  I have to admit that I was one of the few people that hated “Amor Mio,” but that was because I felt there was a clear imbalance between Hyori and her partner, and there was little that was musically passed between the two. The point of having a duet is to have two parallel lines that flow in and out of each other, to create hills and valleys, harmonies and dissonance. As a listener, I should be trying to follow the two singers around the song, finding all the minutiae of the song. This is what “Possibility” succeeded at doing, even if the two singers are not of the greatest caliber.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=LTOvmmzN5nM&feature=fvwp]

“White Wishes” is a great uptempo song that is reminiscent of original christmas music but much better. Much Better. It doesn’t try to sell itself by forcing us to be “emotional” or seeming fabricated in its feelings.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dHP3ikuJ_A]

My hands down favorite song from BoA ever is “Eien.” It is an I.N.C.R.E.D.I.B.L.E. song. I’m not kidding. I will love this song forever.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5bAGnohwig]

Hopefully this gave you a decent taste of BoA’s repertoire, and I know I certainly haven’t covered everything that I wanted to, such as “No. 1,” “Girls On Top,” “Atlantis Princess,” “GAME,” and who knows what else? If anything, this just a chance for you to go to Youtube and find out everything BoA has to offer. I promise you won’t regret it.

(Special thanks to all the Youtube Uploaders that I haven’t had the patience yet to go through and Credit Properly. I’ll  hopefully get to it soon.)

(Respective Youtube Channels, including Avex, SM Entertainment, High Cut)

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