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[Review] [Album] Boyfriend – ‘I Yah’ (Repackaged)

2013_boyfriend_i yah

written by: Rickyom

After making an interesting debut in 2011 with an overly cute song for a boy group (their namesake, “Boyfriend“), Boyfriend later ventured into a few slightly childish R&B hinted comebacks that toyed with their initial charms. From there they started to garner a sound more unique to them, leading them to 2012’s “Janus,” and most recently “I Yah” off their repackaged first album. How well do these bubbly boys fare this time? Let’s give the full album a run down, shall we.

I YAH” immediately starts out giving a “Love Style” feeling, but more mature almost verging on Infinite‘s signature style. It’s nice to hear Boyfriend on more sophisticated songs like this. The vocal ad-lib at the end really stands out as something that shouldn’t have been added though. From there, “Standing With U” gives a nice listening tone. From the piano intro to the progression of drums and guitar in the chorus. The layered vocals don’t give the added effect it should – maybe cause it’s more of a pop/rock song. The rap section is also weak, not really needed for this type of song. “Janus,” on the other hand is a nice breath-taker that talks about the feels of a lover and makes it sound more dramatic. From the orchestral intro to the harmonizing throughout the whole song, it is definitely Boyfriend’s best title song to date. For a more detailed review of “Janus” refer to fellow reviewer renshukki’s post.

I don’t know if it’s just me, but the constant repeated guitar in “Good Night” is really bothersome. I can hear it throughout the whole song except for the pause before the chorus, and it really should’ve been left out of the chorus itself, as so much is going on over it that it almost tries to make you forget that the important part exists.

On the contrary, if it weren’t for the slight use of guitar and drums in “Excuse Me,” it would’ve stuck out in the album like a sore thumb. It’s a melancholy, feel-good summery song, but it does nothing more than question what kind of group Boyfriend is. “Mystery” also suffers from the same problem.

Solo songs for me are supposed to be songs for members that can’t truly display their talents in group songs. Yet, Hyunseong‘s solo “Trippin’” doesn’t quite accomplish that. He’s able to display his vocals well, but on a song that could have been for the group as a whole, he hardly shines. It’s mainly because it plays more as a dance song than anything else. Donghyun‘s solo “Listen” is sadly also under-reaching. Jeongmin‘s solo “My Dear,” albeit banal, is the only solo that accomplishes the true solo efforts and does it fairly well.

Go Back,” the representative group ballad on the album, is a generous display of the group’s beautiful vocals. The rap verses aren’t too hard hitting, bordering on a nice whisper, and the chorus, while not as great as the rest of the song, is still really nice to listen to. I almost wish it was a bit longer.

Stop It” and “Soulmate” are the better of the dance songs on the album. Nicely executing synths with layered vocals, harmonies and occasional effects that don’t feel too out of place. Of the two, my favorite would have to be “Stop It”, which almost sounds like it could be an American Top 40 charter. “Soulmate” is also great, but it ends so abruptly that you wonder if it was supposed to last for a few moments longer.

==

Overall there’s some hits and misses on Boyfriend’s first repackaged album, but it plays well for a first collection. Boyfriend is nearly defining the group they want to be.

They may be weak in some points, like rap for example, but as a whole it isn’t so apparent here, which is the very essence of pop performance of today.

==

Scorecard

I Yah
.75
Standing With U
.75
Janus
.75
Good Night
0
Excuse Me
.5
Mystery
0
Trippin’
.5
Listen
.5
My Dear
.5
 Points scale
0 – could do without
0.5 – mediocre/filler
0.75 – pretty good/grew on me
1 – liked immediately
Go Back
1
Stop It
1
Soulmate
.75
Total Points
7

Points to stars conversion: [(7/12) x 5] + 0.25*

3.2/5


*there is a 0.25 bonus for every album. The logic is that, if every song were “pretty good”, it’s a 4-star album.

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3 thoughts on “[Review] [Album] Boyfriend – ‘I Yah’ (Repackaged)

  1. I like this review:)
    I agree with most of your opinion.
    I think Boyfriend’s title songs are leaning more towards INFINITE’s style than Boyfriend themselves. Sweetune is awesome but they are too used to working with Infinite that even though this isn’t the first time they worked with Boyfriend. BF still doesn’t have a signature sound, but they are still young so they’ll come to it one day.

    • I totally agree about Sweetune’s productions become less and less distinguishable between artists. It’s alarming, for one, as it’s making a lot of idols sound the same.

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