F.Cuz is one of the first groups that debuted as rookies around the time I began dwelling in Korean pop music. I was not impressed when they debuted, to say the least, but they semi-regained credibility with their second mini album.
I thought “Jiggy” was catchy and I knew it would be widely accepted because of that aspect, but you can’t really judge the quality of a song just because it’s catchy. Their ultimate fail thus far, though, had to be with “No One“. That song was not catchy at all and absolutely forgettable. And I think that’s where they want to win brownie points this time around.
F.Cuz’s latest album, “Gorgeous“, is loud and tries really hard to make a statement. Unfortunately, it’s one that’s already been made time and time again. Without a doubt, Korea is stuck in this ‘electro-pop dance-y club’ complex. Kpop is now over flowing with over the top dance songs, and F.Cuz is doing absolutely nothing to remedy the situation. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad one is up to you to decide.
But at least they’re not literally slaughtering the style like U-KISS (see “ManManHaNi” and just about every of their songs) – just kind of stabbing it a little. “Gorgeous” is basically up tempo from beginning to end, but doesn’t over do the instrumentals. They’re making sure that if one up tempo track does not work for you, you have about 5 others to choose from. They even throw in all kinds, from the typical ‘drop it like it’s hot’ club songs to the cute mid tempos that work for fan girls with a more subtle taste in dance music.
But even with all that going on, this album is still not memorable to me. Like every single Korean pop collection that has been released this year, all the work went into one song and the rest are lukewarm and nothing special in comparison. Of course, I’m talking about the lead single, “Midnight Sun“. You know, the one with the raunchy MV teaser?
Speaking of, I was a little bummed when the actual music video was NOT a complete orgy like it was teased to be. Instead, it’s just F.Cuz semi-shirtless dancing around for 4 minutes. Lame…
For a Korean pop song, I actually like “Midnight Sun” because it ISN’T entirely electro-pop. It features an interesting string section and the melodies are rather beautiful. They’re not bad singers either, which is always good. It just lacks a real climax. There’s a weak ‘talk-rap’ break in the middle, but other than that, F.Cuz fail to take this potentially grand song to the next level.
What I would have done is played even more with the loudness and built up suspense around the second verse. I’d go as far as removing every instrument except the piano in the second verse and gradually build off from there, going from an eerie whisper to full out singing. I dunno, they could have made this a lot more interesting. What they’ve done, though, isn’t bad at all.
As for the rest of the album, it’s pretty much “Jiggy” redone, recycled and repackaged in all sorts of fancy goodie bags. A lot of it sounds like B2ST‘s less-messy music, to be completely honest.
For me, the instrumentals and production in “Gorgeous” are more appealing than what B2ST delivers. They’re great beats and melodies, but the big downer is that F.Cuz are (still) forgettable singers. At least B2ST have proven in one way or another that they have strong pipes and personalities. I’d rather hang out with the record producers and sound engineers than F.Cuz – that’s how unenthusiastic I am about this group.
For what it is, “Midnight Sun” is a good first single, but the album, I could live without.