I find it funny that I’m making time to review this album, but I never got around to even touching SNSD‘s The Boys. Ha, fandom makes me so fickle. Anywho, without further ado, here’s the play-by-play “Wonder World” album review!
Before I continue, do support the girls by actually purchasing their album or tracks via iTunes.
1. G.N.O. (Girls Night Out)
So here’s Yeeun’s self-composed track. It’s got a hefty club beat vibe to it, and it’s definitely different from the cute and generally pop stuff we’ve been exposed to before. This isn’t exactly my cup of tea, but I’ve got to hand it to the girl for improving her composition skills since we’ve last heard an original work from her. Though the auto-tune is plentiful, and though the beats are slightly distracting, the girls manage to show off their vocals pretty well in this song. Definitely something I’d love to hear in the clubs.
2. Be My Baby
I’ve already said my piece about this track.
3. Girls Girls
I love that guitar intro. The Hye Lim monologue at the beginning was cute as well. The guitar composition definitely became the single winning factor in this song; the girls vocals were just the cherry on top. The verses work up wonderfully to a grasping chorus, and wind down to even more instrumental additions that further add to the composition. I love everything about this track. I’d love for them to pull an unplugged version of this along the lines of their “Nothing on U” cover they did for Billboard.
4. Me, In
Here’s that track featured in the initial MV teasers dropped by the Wonder Girls. Fierce and rock-edge, this is the image I wanted the girls to come back with. It’s different, it’s edgy, it would have broken the damn kpop pavement. But I never get what I want, which is a damn shame. I’ll still hold out for a surprise MV release for this song, but I’ll die waiting most likely. I love the edge of this song, and it had the potential to really show fans a different side of the girls. Perhaps the management didn’t think fans would be ready for this side of the girls. Such a shame, really. Yubin’s rap with Yeeun and Sunye’s soulful voices were definitely a wonderful highlight. Just goes to show, one shouldn’t limit the girls to just typical pop tunes when they’re fully capable of things outside that spectrum.
5. Sweet Dreams
I’m getting a kind of modernized old school vibe to this song. Not particularly elated listening to it, but the girls once again show vocal improvement, once we get past the whole auto-tune quality. Though, I’m not all too surprised that Sohee is once again auto-tuned. But I will admit she has improved since we’ve last heard from her.
The intro synth beats build up slowly to a verse line from Yeeun that manages to hypnotize me to listen to the rest of the song like a mindless idiot. I can’t tell if it’s a good thing at first, but the chorus quickly releases any doubt I have and I can’t help but jam to the tune. The girls show off their English skills in the chorus and it’s great. From a minor to major key, the girls transition into and out of the chorus beautifully. Yeeun and Sunye once again show that they weren’t wasting their time while the group wasn’t actively promoting.
7. Dear, Boy
Yubin singing? No your ears are definitely not deceiving you. That is indeed the rapper supreme taking on the first lines. It’s wonderful hearing her deep voice; a lovely contrast to the rest of the girls. Sohee is once again, and unsurprisingly, auto-tuned. Though laced with beats left and right, the song is a lot less intense and a lot more laid back in comparison to the previous songs. Nothing too special about the song’s composition and overall delivery though.
8. Do Go Do Go (두고두고)
Gotta love it when Yeeun and Sunye collaborate. T his R&B duet features the group’s two prominent lead vocalists. The two voices come together rather beautifully, and I sincerely wish the background vocals were toned down a wee bit so we could appreciate their voices a lot more. For once, I’m slightly annoyed by the accompaniment.
9. Super B
We’ve got the Yubin and Sohee collaboration up next! Dying for a little more funk and urban? Sohee and Yubin got what you need with this track. It’s finally their turn to show off that Yeeun, Hyelim, and Sunye weren’t the only ones receiving ace vocal training during their time away from the scene. Though nothing extremely awe-inspiring, you can’t help but admire the improvement. The girls have come a long way since ’08. Love this track, definitely something I’d jam to if they played this sort of thing at the clubs I go to.
10. Act Cool (feat. San E)
Here is Lim’s solo track with JYPE’s resident rapper San E. I love anything involving San E, so I definitely had a little bias seeping through while I listened to this song. We all know Lim’s got some rapper swag in her, so I really squealed a bit when I heard this track. Bits of singing, rapping, and English-speaking, it’s hard to not like this song. Definitely different from the rest of the tracks, and if you get past the cringe-worthy English lyrics of the song, you might enjoy it as well. Lim proves just how versatile she is, and I love it.
11. Be My Baby (RaD Remix)
This album wouldn’t be complete unless there was a remix of the title track in it. I quite like this remix, actually. The instrumentals definitely accentuated the old school flair of the song. Dare I say it, but I might like this version a lot more than the original. Surprise, surprise. It’s a wonderful composition. Only complaint is that Yeeun sounds rather subdued during the chorus.
12. Nu Shoes
Well, this was interesting that’s for sure. I’m not really crazy about this song, but I guess fans will eat it up regardless. Oh, and another surprise, it’s a track that’s totally in English! It’s cute and the vocals are nothing to scoff at, but it’s nothing mind-blowing.
Overall, I can say one thing and one thing only: Wonder Girls and the rest of the JYPE artists prove time and time again that they are not merely “singles-only” artists. What I mean by that is the girls (and everyone else) have songs beyond their title tracks that have the potential to be stand-alone tracks, or other title tracks as well. Whenever I listen to a Wonder Girls/2PM/2AM/miss A/etc. album, I feel like the majority of their tracks are wonderfully composed and have the potential to be something more. I rarely get this same vibe/feeling when I listen to artists of other companies. Big Bang, maybe, but only if we’re referring to the old school. I enjoyed that each of the girls were able to stand out in their respective solo/duet tracks, rocking a style that they feel most comfortable in. That was definitely a treat.
To hear Yeeun is still hard at work on composing stuff of her own is also good to know. The noticeable improvements in the girls’ vocals were also an expected, but still pleasant surprise. The amount of English lyrics in their songs, though also expected, were a nice touch. Once again, the improvement was very much appreciated. It’s always relieving to hear that the girls didn’t exactly waste time while they weren’t featured heavily in the kpop scene spotlight.
Do I feel that this album was worth that wait that many a Wonderful had to painfully endure? I suppose they’ll take anything they can get at this point, but as someone that isn’t quite a fan anymore, I don’t think this album was worth the wait. While it’s good, I feel as though it had the potential to be something even greater, something more mind-blowing. But beggars can’t be choosers, and I’ll just be content with what’s given.