ZE:A – Lovability (1/2 album review)

Here I Am makes Hyun Joon hyperglycemic

Could anyone have a nervous breakdown while watching a MV ? I almost had one because of Here I Am. Seeing a guy act all cute and bubbly can sometimes be a fun sight. Seeing 5 of them might be a tad disturbing. When there’s 9 of them, oh, is inducing me a diabetic coma. This whole aegyo thing ruins even the small credibility ZE:A had in my eyes before the release  of this single.

Mazeltov was an unutterable mess, yet I still believed that 9 good-looking guys can pull it out. They had the right attitude, they were energetic, the choreo was stellar, yet the one thing that was supposed to pull al these together, the song, was a mess.  They came back with All Day Long and I was finally touched (compliments to the Brave Sound team) .  I know, is more Big Bang than anything ZE:A pretended to be, but they win a ton of points with the MV. The Crow’s Zero concept fits them like a glove and that mass fight in the end is one of those epic moments in kpop cinematography. So where the bleep does Here I Am belong in this picture ?

The thing with bands that have that many members is that you’ll never be able to discern which voice belongs to whom if you’re not a dedicated fan. And you shouldn’t even bother taking the time to study each one of the 9 boy’s voices. Is even harder to do so while listening to Mazeltov, the vocal parts tumble one over the other, all sounding from awkward up to a high level of weirdness. Which is a sad thing because the tune was likable and the arrangement was done decently. In All Day Long thankfully they all sing beautifully and the splitting of the verses is done nimbly.

Getting back to Here I Am, I fint it a confusing song because it takes you all over the place while getting nowhere. It starts as a nice mid tempo ballad, then goes down the bubbly route with the pre and actual chorus. After that it is your typical kpop dance track with lots of members each delivering an average 2 verses per person,  until it desperately dives back into the bubblyness with the second chorus. The middle 8 gets even more soppy at times ( butterfly, butterfly/superstar superstar ?? ). I am a fan of loaded pop songs. Good use of musical embroidery can enhance the appeal of a track. With Here I Am there is an obvious excess of ideas all squeezed together. From this point of view, ZE:A don’t seem all that far from that Mazeltov dementia.

Still there’s a whole different story with the next two tracks from this EP. Be My Girl is well-rounded, the chorus is surprisingly composed of 80% good quality English verses and the song itself is one of those rare exceptions that show a correct use of autotune . This song really took me by surprise because I wasn’t expecting such a solid track to be so unjustly hidden in the middle of a mini album. It would have worked insanely well for a killer live performance. Again starts of with a strong beat and builds up nicely towards a very convincing chorus and the rap parts are well delivered. I’m not sure about the sudden ending, the song had room for a few more twists.

The last track, Special Day (For ZE:As) seems to be dedicated to their fans. The soft vocals work well the melody, especially within the chorus and as a whole it is a nice ballad.

I really want to like these guys, Dongjun is a lively elf and Kwanhee is hilarious in his own special way but their producers make too many bad choices. They should really sit down and brainstorm a more convincing concept for them. In what concerns the songs, Be My Girl and All Day Long were excellent picks. Try an encore. Try to make an EP or album that has consistency. Throwing together tons of ideas in the same pit helps nobody.

Final rating : 6.5/10 rating for 1/2 of the album because I haven’t been listening to all of the songs on Lovability. 

Dongjun seems full of Lovability