K-POP / KOREAN CULTURE / REVIEWS

[Review][Album] Brave Girls – “Re:Issue”

written by: drowningn00b

I wrote Brave Girls off last summer. When they lost the Brave Brothers summer song battle with the far superior SISTAR, I thought it was the end of them, but I was proven wrong when Yejin was the guest female singer on the Electroboyz comeback single, “Ma Boy 2”. And now there’s their latest release, plainly titled “Re:Issue”. The new material goes into new territory for Brave Girls, while it also revisits earlier material. But is this new concept enough to bring Brave Girls out of k-pop mediocrity?

I’ll start right off and say there will be no bashing on the nature of the Brave Brothers sound. I’ve said all I could say about that in the SISTAR “So Cool” review, and that criticism still stands on “Re:Issue”. The Brave Brothers sound will never change because fans eat it up. I will add, however, that during an interview with on KBS’ “Win Win”, Brave Brothers stated he didn’t know how to read music or know musical chords, despite how long he’s been in the industry … take that for what you will.

So far throughout the short Brave Girls career, they’ve built themselves as the quiet and demure girl group. They’re not as flashy as SISTAR and don’t have the pipes to stand out from the crowd. They do have nice harmonies, but that isn’t enough in the idol mega-sphere. “Do You Know?” stood out for its retro R&B feel, and “Easily” had the reggae hook, but Brave Girls never had their own hit ‘em hard single, a track with bombast and energy to command attention. Brave Brothers understood this and gave them “요즘 너(Nowadays You)”.

The song has the beats readily associated with Brave Brothers, with the loud and energetic production of their uptempo template. To match this, Brave Girls brought out their attitude, trying to shed the “why did he leave me?” concept of yesteryear. That change came at the cost of harmonies, however. The girls aren’t singing during their verses, and the chorus isn’t smooth. To show their anger, Brave Girls shout their lines, making for a sloppy vocal performance. And to add insult to injury, a girl group, with built-in back-up singers, needed additional back-up singers to pick up the slack!

Change is a good thing, and they tried, but Brave Girls are not rounded enough to pull off the forceful “come back to me” concept inherit in “Nowadays You”.

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“Nowadays You” MV
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The second of the newer material, “말 없이 (Without Words)”, is a ballad where Brave Girls are at ease with themselves. The vocals are cleaner and the harmonies are clearer, better than anything they’ve done so far. The pace of the song lets the girls breathe, which shows when they sing together. One of the problems with “Don’t You Know?” was the piercing high notes they attempt in the bridge. The lower register of “Without Words” removes that obstacle, resulting in an effortless performance.

Brave Girls are slowly coming through the noise and getting their footing in what they do best. I hope to see more of this style of music from Brave Girls than than their trying to make people dance.

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“Without Words” AUDIO
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The Brave Girls “Re:Issue” album is long ways away from their previous release to be considered a proper repackage. Maybe it was re-released to reintroduce Brave Girls? Or maybe no one bought “Back to Da Future”? Whatever the case, “Nowadays You” tries to put Brave Girls in a SISTAR-tinged spotlight, where they forget what they started as to get a piece of that success. “Without Words” corrects that, but it isn’t enough.

Brave Girls are in an awkward state of trying different concepts and seeing what fits, and “Re:Issue” is a reminder of another failed attempt.

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3 thoughts on “[Review][Album] Brave Girls – “Re:Issue”

  1. I think “Nowadays You” was a mish mash of “Diva” (from After School) and “How Dare You/So Cool” (from SISTAR). The song just doesn’t seem fresh at all. I feel like the group could become better if given better promotional material. They don’t have a very sassy image so this song seems ill fit. They could go the whole R&B slow route like their debut, which will put them into competition with SPICA. This is their 2nd miss though so will they stick around long enough?

    • I completely agree. Not only do they need better singles, but they also need to do than just sing. Not only are they competing against SPICA, who does the R&B slow stuff better, but they also have to compete against ANY girl group that does a ballad. That includes Chocolat, who is frankly trouncing the rookie girl group category right now. The battle for BG is so steep, and I don’t think they have what it takes to even begin. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think so. I would love to be proven wrong.

  2. Pingback: Month In KPOP – February « McRoth's Residence

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