Wonder Girls – The Wonder Year

(Don’t be cheapskates! ORDER YOUR COPY ONLINE!)

This is the first album brought to you by JYP’s very first girl group, the Wonder Girls. Now here’s my take on this 13 track album:

1. I Wanna – Ok, this song was like WTF for me. It made me wanna put on a sweatband, wrist brands, and spandex. It sounded like a workout track with some funky 80s synth beats running in the background. Of course, it doesn’t help that I can’t understand what they’re singing about, except for the random English bits that they sing. The three prominent singers (Ye Eun, Sun Ye, and Sun Mi) are clearly showing off the power of their voices in this track and it blew me away. I was like “Damn, they have crazy range.” I couldn’t really hear So Hee, but what else is new? I think she had a little tidbit before Yoo Bin’s rap. Oh well. This track brought me back to the 80s where synth beats were highly popular which sorta was the theme that JYP was going for, right?

2. 이 바보(This Fool) – “You are not ready.” Yeah, you’re right. I really wasn’t. This track was featured in Mandu’s movie “I Like It Hot.” From translations of the lyrics, I can see why. Once again, synths are everywhere. The song itself doesn’t jump out at you, the vocals aren’t thrilling, and the background beats at some points overwhelm the song. However, I find myself wanting to put on some ghetto attire and dancing to this song *snort*. I like the song. It isn’t one of the better tracks on the CD, but it’s the sort of song that you find yourself singing for the rest of the day because the hook is so damn catchy.

3. Tell Me - This song doesn’t even need a review. Just look it up on Youtube and you can see just how big a phenomenon this song is in Korea and pretty much everywhere else on the planet. It’s Korea’s official dance. End of story. I’ll admit that JYP has a gift of sampling from different songs and making them into even better songs. He’s got skillz. The vocals in this song were cute, most notably So Hee and her “Omona!” Sun Mi sounded really hot and bothered when she sang XD. I LOVED IT *fangirls* Sun Ye and Ye Eun didn’t really showcase their vocal range on their solo parts, which disappointed me a bit. I know they’re capable of being stronger, but whatever. I know that the rap version wasn’t featured in the album, but the song is just better with it. Yoo Bin’s rap was sex. Even Russell Simmons loved it. Listen to it ONCE and it’ll be stuck on your mind for the rest of your life. The hook is just that damn catchy. The dance (created by THE MAN, JYP) is amazingly addicting and you find yourself wanting to learn it after you’ve seen the music video. Trust me. You’ll wanna put on a Wonder Woman outfit.

4. Friend – I choose to ignore the weird chorus. The whole “best friend turned boyfriend” situation is just weird for me. But you know, whatever floats your boat. It’s the first ballad, no synth song on the album. This track shows the girls’ versatility in singing, obviously. Finally, some pipe works =] (ballad-wise). Ye Eun and Sun Ye finally show off what they’re made of. End of story.

5. Headache – The strong beats in the background reminded me of that 80’s song “Cars”. Seriously, just listen. This song is really in your face, vocally. The random synth (sounds like a whistle) during the chorus reminded me of something from a Tupac song. Sun Ye and So Hee’s English bits during their parts are cute and slurred, but not bad. If I could actually understand the song, that would be great, but there’s an abundance of English in this song. Once again, an 80s reminiscent beat. I loved Yoo Bin’s rap in this. XD

6. 뭐 어때 (Feat. David Kim) aka *So What/What About It* – So we’ve got three rappers in the song. Sun Mi, So Hee (with David Kim), and Yoo Bin (of course). This sounded like a Mariah Carey song to me. I won’t lie. It’s not a bad thing. It’s like, before she went into Glimmer or whatever the fuck that shitty movie she was in was. Anyway, this is the first song where we can hear Yoo Bin sing. So low and husky. Yum~. So Hee’s a cute rapper and Sun Mi is love. Yes, I’m just that biased XD. I really like this track. Not only because of it’s Mariah Carey undertones, but the variety of different roles each of the girls did…well more like So Hee, Sun Mi, and Yoo Bin. But hey, variety’s variety. The three ladies rapped/sang really well, considering it’s not exactly their forte. And, as always, Sun Ye and Ye Eun did not disappoint with their vocals.

7. Wishing On A Star – Did ya love it? Cuz I friggin’ loved it. The piano riff at the beginning and the random guitar accompaniment drew me in. Also, in the chorus, the string arrangement was just beautiful. The background music was just PERFECT for this piece. Totally blended well with the girls’ voices. Ballad-wise, THIS IS THE BEST ON IN THE WHOLE ALBUM! Everyone, excluding So Hee, sang their own individual verses. And Sun Mi and Yoo Bin have the sexiest husky voices ever.

8. Move (feat. Minwoo) – Um…OMFG!!! MINWOO!!!! *uber fangirls* I love that man, so this review is crazy biased. Just kidding. But the whole beat to the song was just crazy. I thought this was a Cassie song at first. It just sounded THAT American to me. The random english lyrics in this song made me laugh, but that’s how I am with Kpop and English lyrics, so ignore that tidbit. SUN MI RAPS AGAIN!! <3 She’s actually really good at it, but I prefer YooBin’s rap. OMFG YOOBIN <3 *ahem* This song just jumps out of the 80s theme of the album. Having the producing skills of one of the BIGGEST men in Korea helps.

9. Take It (가져가) – Another ballad. And all I gotta say is “Not bad.” Their voices blend quite well with one another and the background beat is just perfect. YooBin’s rap was out of nowhere for me and it doesn’t really fit the song, in my opinion. I mean, I’m sure it does, but for me, it was just not suited for the song. She could have sang instead and that would have been fine as well. It’s another vocal showcase, so take a listen to the oozing talent.

10. Goodbye – I thought the synths and the annoying intro MC were gone for good. Guess not. The vocals are very in your face. I’m not a fan of the song. It sounds too mainstream for me *as if the entire album wasn’t mainstream* and just a little to intense, beat-wise. Not my favorite, but if you’re up for some intense club grinding, put this beat on.

11. Bad Boy – Sun Mi dominates the chorus here. Actually, I hear her a lot in this song. It could just be me. I really couldn’t tell you whether or not I’m right, but her husky voice is what I’m listening for and I hear it a lot. The song is intense, vocally and beat-wise. Very nice. I like this kind of intensity. I find it funny that “Goodbye” and this song have no differences between the style of the songs, but I just like this one better. Hyun Ah raps here. I really don’t like her rap very much, simply because her voice doesn’t grasp my attention very much. Her voice is more sensual than anything. It’s sexy, I won’t lie, but just not my sort of beat.

12. 미안한 마음 – Another song with Hyun Ah still in the band =]. Vocally, this song was really lovely. Very easy listening. When the girls have this one part in the verse where they start singing really fast is probably what I like best in the song. I don’t know why, but the sudden change in rhythm is basically demanding your attention and surprises you even more when they start working their vocals to the max with the chorus and solos. Mind blowing voices here.

13. Irony - THE VERY FIRST SINGLE! And I LOVED IT!! The intro beat is just amazing. It sticks with you and it’s got such a heavy beat. The dance moves go so well with the beat, too. The voices are just as intense as the beat and for once the background doesn’t drown them out. THANK YOU GOD! Very in your face, as well =]. I LOVE IN YOUR FACE STUFF! Sun Mi’s voice is really deep in this one O_o. The slutty school girl outfits that they wore for the Irony days were a plus to gentlemen and lesbians everywhere. Hyun Ah’s rap was very strong. She sounded hot and bothered prior to the rap XD.

Overall: Um, can you say “Wow?” Versatility, range, and actual talent oozed in this album. At first, I was fearing for another mainstream one-hit wonder. Now I’m like, ok ok, I can’t blame you for wanting to shoot me. Many thanks to JYP who knows how to get the beat going. Seriously. Each of the 5 girls (6 if you want to include Hyun Ah) bring something different to the group, personality-wise and vocally. They blend really well and realizing just how young they are makes you wonder, “Holy shit! If this is what they sound like now, what’re they gonna sound like in 5, 10, 20 years?” Seriously. So much potential. They can only grow from here. Oh and you antis out there, I was just like you. Get over yourself and join the fandom. You know you wanna ~_^

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