K-POP / REVIEWS

[Review] [Album] Rania – ‘Just Go’

2013_rania_just go

written by: drowningn00b
Artist/Album: Rania – ‘Just Go’
Genre: Dance Pop
Release Date: March 8, 2013

Rania cannot catch a break. Since the beginning, everything that could go wrong for a rookie group did. Their producer and label fought until the problems forced Teddy Riley to leave. Two members, including the group’s main vocalist, Jooyi, have been on extended hiatuses (Jooyi missed Rania’s “Style” promotions and is back, while this time, Riko is absent). With five members, Rania has moved from producer to producer, trying to claim a new position as idols, and to no avail. As a full length release, ‘Just Go‘ tells that story; of a rookie group that, despite the odds, still has it in them to keep trying.


With their debut single, the ladies of Rania were a group not of substance, but of hedonism and vanity. In their vanity side, tracks like “Pop Pop Pop” and “Style” take their superficial cues from “Masquerade”, a track that personifies the Queen B stereotype in high school without the verbal ticks of the Valley Girl or the drama-scheming of the Gossip Girl. Over time, Rania hasn’t been able to match or surpass “Masquerade”, and the new material on “Just Go” doesn’t even try.

Is it the end of Rania’s “look at me, my lordlings” phase? Who knows, but it shouldn’t. There is still material to be found there, and considering how well “Masquerade” holds up almost three years later, Rania should further explore it.

With the banning of “Dr. Feel Good”, Rania, to be financially viable, had to rid themselves of adult material, opting instead for romantic tribulations in songs like “Killer”, “Good-bye” and the title track, “Just Go”. As their only ballad, “Good-bye” is okay. It doesn’t shine or fall flat, but it is dull. On the other hand, “Killer” has a great bass beat and has a better beat progression than its A-side, “Pop Pop Pop”, but it loses ground with the constant siren in the chorus. It’s a good song, leaving questions as to why “Just Go” didn’t build on that. The progression is lacking, and the girls don’t convey the emotion behind the lyrics. The single needed more on the production side to make it a hit, and more from the girls to make “Just Go” resonate.

Saying that, imagine my surprise listening to the B-side, “Secret Party”. An allusion to a one-night stand, this track is the next-in-line to their breakout hit. A killer 808, a bass that means business and Rania pouring sexy swag thick as honey, “Secret Party” confirms K-Pop isn’t devoid of sex, but willing to take it on. Sure, the male rapper cannot keep the vibe going, but it doesn’t matter in the end. “Secret Party” is Rania’s best track yet, and the reason why Rania is still in the game.

==

Considering all that Rania has gone through since its inception, it’s amazing they still have legs to stand on to release “Just Go”. Sure, the full record is a hits collection for a rookie group, and they have yet to move out of the rookie class after all this time, but the album puts the group in context of what it is and isn’t.

From the beginning, Rania was the NSFW version of the Pussycat Dolls, both sexy and vain for attention’s sake, and their material built on that foundation. It’s taken all those prior hits and misses (“Style” and “Pop Pop Pop”) to get their best song yet, “Secret Party”, the true successor to “Dr. Feel Good”. What Rania is not, much like PCD, is an emotional pop ensemble. The lead single and “Good-bye” are nice, but nobody will shed tears over their fake heartache.

Should they continue, “Just Go” will serve as a template of where within the K-Pop arena Rania should go to develop their own pop style.

==

Scorecard

Just Go
.5
Secret Party
1
Killer
.75
Style
.75
Dr. Feel Good
1
Masquerade
1
Pop Pop Pop
.5
Good-bye
.5
Points scale
0 – could do without
0.5 – mediocre/filler
0.75 – pretty good/grew on me
1 – liked immediately
Just Go (Eng.)
.5
Dr. Feel Good (Eng.)
.75
Masquerade (Eng.)
1
Total Points
8.25

Points to stars conversion: [(8.25/11) x 5] + 0.25*

4/5


*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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4 thoughts on “[Review] [Album] Rania – ‘Just Go’

  1. Finally someone who thinks Secret Party is a strong song! This group is so good. They have a strong and sexy aura. I’m happy they released something like this before venturing to the U.S.

    • What’s not to like? Comrades in Rania rejoice! And I hope they don’t come here. I’m more than happy with kpop in Korea than having their half-assed attempts at trying to break into the US market. It hasn’t worked yet for anyone, so its best to stay in your corner.

  2. The most talented pop group that will never make it in Korea? Sure they can sing and dance and are very talented, but venturing for the US before breaking the Korean market is one of the stupidest moves I’ve ever heard for a KOREAN group. I want to say they have the worst management in the industry, but I cant over Core Contents Media who demolished Tara, never gave Coed or 5Dolls a chance and is too damn lucky to have Davichi under their label.

    Ill take another listen to Secret Party, some rave reviews here lol.

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