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T-ara:  Breaking Heart

Artist:  T-ara

Album:  Breaking Heart (Repackage)

Label:  Core Contents Media

Year:  2009 (Nov)

Members in Album:
-Ham Eunjung

-Park Hyomin

-Park Soyeon

-Park Jiyeon

-Lee Qri

-Jeon Boram

Ft Supernova

Tracklist

  1. I Go Crazy Because Of You
  2. It Really Hurts
  3. One and One
  4. Like The First Time
  5. Bo Peep Bo Peep
  6. Tic Tic Toc
  7. Bye Bye
  8. Apple is for A
  9. Falling U
  10. You You You
  11. Lies (Dance version)
  12. TTL
  13. Lies (Slow version)
  14. TTL Listen 2
  15. Good Person
  16. Wanna Play?

Review of T-ara:  Breaking Heart

Okay I should start this off by saying this is likely a very biased review.  Given that T-ara is my favorite group and this is kind of what got me into K-pop, this album is like my origin story.  But really, this album is great!  


Introduction

While the first song that caught me to T-ara wasn't on this album, it lead me to listen to a good number of T-ara songs, which the majority happened to be on this album.  To me, T-ara is interesting in that they had what I would say wasn't a particularly great debut, but through ridiculously hard work and spamming themselves, they caught on and seemed to have done quite well since.  When I say spamming themselves, remember that they made 15 music videos in 8 months.  Granted some were different iterations of the same song, but nonetheless, that's a HUGE amount of music videos for a one-album group.  They started with "Lies" and a commercial (CF) of "Apple is A"

Album Review


Flat out, this is one of the greatest K-pop albums ever.  It's not just me saying it, but many others saying this album is an extremely solid album with the sheer number of hit and catchy songs as addition to hearing T-ara explore other interesting music styles.


Song Content

1.  I Go Crazy Because Of You:  One of the added songs in the repackage, this song has a very sinister tone to it in terms of the melody, and I love it for that.  This song has a lot of energy, and builds up quickly but powerfully.  
2.  It Really Hurts:  I really like this song also though it's not as popular as other hit T-ara songs. Part of that is likely because of the concept and music video was kind of odd with the T-ara Oppa costumes (ties and hats).  Nonetheless I liked how the lyrics seemed to cascade off each other.
3.  One and One:  This song is interesting, it's featured in the intro of T-ara Dream Girls (Which is an alright show).  I take some points away for some severe Engrish problems, but the melody's pretty neat, again with the sinister thing like in IGCBOY.   
4.  Like The First Time:  In this song, there's a lot of feeling for mystery, and .  But I'm not a huge fan of how the vocal lyrics fit in and I don't particuarly like the rap here, and I think there are again Engrish problems.  Also couldn't tell the difference between the girls' voices.  
5.  Bo Peep Bo Peep:  This song is fun, and sounds quite different from the others with a much more lighthearted feel.  It's a very playful song, despite the slightly adult music video (in the Korean industry), and while slightly repetitive in the chrous part, the verses seem to flow really well.
6.  Tic Tic Toc:  Among hidden gems in this album, I particularly like this song for the same reasons i like IGCBOY with that sinister tone, and the energy.  Now, I couldn't tell you what Tic tic toc means at all, maybe something to do with time, but I do feel that this is a spiritual sibling to the IGCBOY song.  
7.  Bye Bye:  This one has an interesting beginning with allll of the girls singing in what seems to be a chorus but it's clearer that all six are singing.  This song is a little odd, with syncopated lyrics
8.  Apple is for A
9.  Falling U:  I absolutely love this song.  It is distinctively different in this album and from T-ara's style being an R&B song, which I don't think is particularly common in the K-pop world.  Of all the hidden gems in this album, this one is my favorite, and I really think that they should try this R&B genre more often, though I'm not sure it would generate as many hits or as much catchiness as other pop songs.  Nonetheless, this song is just wonderful.  
10.  You You You:  This song is different, it's kind of a mix between pop and and rap, as there are a lot of rap parts in this song.  This is the era of Hyomin and Eunjung dueling raps where the others control the chorus.  One might be mistaken that this song is called "Say Goodbye" given how often they say it, and one of the lyrics is pretty funny using the words "Miss you" to rhyme with "tissue".  
11.  Lies (Dance version):  This song opens with Eunjung's high notes, and is a fun song, albeit somewhat simple to me.  I find the rap in this song to be kind of weird.  This is the song that made them famous but personally it's not one of my favorites.  
12.  TTL:  Oh this song rocks... this is actually one of the songs that got me into T-ara!  It has such a good melody, and the dueling raps are so smooth.  The addition of guy group Supernova is good too, as they duet with them several times through the song.  
    13.  Lies (Slow version):  This is the slower version of the "Lies" song and they change it up quite a bit by having the chorus with the fading ghost choir and... best of all, adding significant rap portions in certain places, and it really sounds like even Boram is rapping (which is not her usual role).  I like this one better than the other version.  
      14.  TTL Listen 2:  This version has a lot more energy in the song and starts off fast, it's quite a nice reimagining of the song (not a remix), the raps are more aggressive and I am particularly in love with Eunjung's parts (or just Eunjung in general...) including the climax's high notes.  
        15.  Good Person:  This ballad was created for the K-drama, "Cinderella Man" but holds its own as a ballad.  Again, Eunjung gets some really good high notes while Soyeon carries the melody.  
          16.  Wanna Play?:  Oh god this song starts off very Engrishy with funny accents but gets into a decent groove later on.  It's immediately not a strong song because of the Engrish, and this is actually something they kind of debuted with.  It's an energetic song, and watching the performance of this makes wonder how long they practiced this only to not be able to showcase it so much.  

          Album concept:  

          The concept of this album's artwork and packaging is not a complex concept, just another K-pop group with various outfits.  I always likened their music to be like the "cooler older sister" version of K-pop, nothing too scandalous or outwardly sexy, however without the cutesy concept that many groups of the day were (and still are) using.  This is reflected on the album packaging as they wear more mature outfits, without having a distinct theme, but it results in having this cooler older noona look.  


          Overall Album Decision:

          How do I put this simply?  GET THIS ALBUM.  If you're at all into any K-pop, get this album, it will be a great addition to your collection as a solid album with a variety of hit tracks, music styles, and a great amount of content.  I may be biased a lot considering the fact that they are my favorite K-pop group, but even among other reviewers and editors I've seen talk harshly about K-pop, they largely agree that this album is well worth it.  

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