As usual, B1A4 has a comeback with a near flawless album. Upon first listen, I already love this significantly more than everything on Who Am I, and as Jinyoung wrote five of the six songs, and CNU wrote the 6th, this shows how talented the B1A4 members are.
Upon waking up, I saw that the “Solo Day” MV has finally been released.
As I predicted, the music video turned into a true sci-fi epic, with a spaceship attempting to abduct the B1A4 members and make my life easier. Upon watching the video, besides Sandeul and Baro, whose concepts were represented properly with the teaser photos, the first thing I noticed were how Jinyoung and CNU’s teasers provided a false identity to their characters. As discussed in my previous post, Gongchan was meant to be a “Hobo,” and the video showed me that CNU’s character was obviously meant to be “Virgin” and Jinyoung’s, based upon his makeup was “Addict” (we’ll leave what kind up to the reader) – but due to the need to be politically correct and the fact that most B1A4 fans are under 18, it’s understandable why WM found more appropriate terms. My favorite scene in the video, aside from Jinyoung’s arms, was obviously the boys scarfing down American food at the diner where a woman who was likely the spawn of an Elf (the mythical creature, not a Super Junior fan), served them.
While I could have done without the cut in the middle of the video interrupting the song, I love how quirky the video is. It’s very refreshing after the serious concept of “Lonely.” I stand by the fact that B1A4 is at their best when they are able to show off their quirky personalities and have fun. They’re not children, but they’re young adults, so I like when they act like their age. Sandeul getting his groove on at the party full of white girls was further proof that the boys are best in the silly element. My one complaint with “Solo Day” is actually the same complaint I ended up having with “Lonely” – the video features Jinyoung too much. He’s my favorite member, and probably my favorite man on the entire planet, but sometimes I really think WM forgets that there are four other lovely, cute, talented boys in this band. Even when other members are singing, I have to look at Jinyoung and his ratchet blonde hair. WM, please fix this problem in future B1A4 comebacks. Unless Jinyoung’s hair is red, then please, by all means, show him in the entire video.
After I listened to the entire album, I realized that while I love the video, I prefer “Solo Day” as a song on it’s own, and I’m glad I reserved judgement of the song until the full version was released. The video complicates the simplicity of the song. Of course I’m still shaking my head at the Engrish line “it’s getting new round” – because as a native English speaker I have no idea what Jinyoung is even trying to say. Without the official lyrics in front of me, I thought the line was “it’s getting me around” – which makes at least 500% more sense. I really hate being nit-picky about English in K-Pop songs, but it seems like Jinyoung’s English keeps going downhill. Anyways, besides the distracting Engrish, the song is adorable, and so catchy. I appreciate the optimism in Jinyoung’s lyrics (which is rare), and I really think most people could use a song like this in their lives. It’s happy, and gives the message that yes, it’s okay to be alone.
Overall, the song has decent line distribution. Unlike the rest of the mini album. According to ColorCodedLyrics, which I usually consider reliable, apparently Gongchan doesn’t even have lines in two of the six songs. I swear sometimes when the site labels Sandeul as singing, it’s actually Gongchan, but I digress. From what the site indicates, Sunmi has more lines in her one feature than Gongchan does on the entire mini album. I’m not even Gongchan biased, he’s probably only my fourth favorite in the group….but come on! He has a lovely voice, which could stand to be heard a bit more. Jinyoung and Sandeul really don’t need to sing half the song. While most K-Pop groups do have issues with line distribution, B1A4’s line distribution is quite erratic. Sometimes they have some of the best line distribution in K-Pop, and other times, this happens. What I find truly sad about the situation is that every other member has additional schedules – Jinyoung and Baro act, Sandeul goes on singing shows, CNU was hosting ShimShimTapa with Shindong for a while – which yes, Gongchan did join in the last few months – but Gongchan does the least of the members as it is. Even when members go on variety shows, Gongchan is rarely included unless it’s the entire group. The least WM, and Jinyoung, could do is throw the kid a few extra lines.
CNU, being the Actual Best Member, allowed Gongchan to sing the chorus on his composition, “Drive” – one of the highlights on the album. The song has just as much of a summer vibe as “Solo Day” – so part of me is hoping that if B1A4 are allowed to by the music stations, they’ll use “Drive” as their ‘intro’ song like they did with “Love Then” back in January. I’m really looking forward to seeing CNU continue to grow as a composer, and hopefully one of his songs being used as a title track in the next few releases.
My favorite track though, has to be “Glass of Water” or “물 한잔”. Upbeat songs always catch my attention first, but the line “Don’t Touch Me Please” speaks to my soul in ways nobody will ever understand. Anyways, this song is essentially some Early 2000’s summer beer commercial good, and I can’t wait to add this to my playlist.
“내가 뭐가돼 (You Make Me a Fool)” and “잘 돼가 (Are You Happy?)” both remind me a bit of the Who Am I era, but with a slightly more mature edge. After reading the English translations of the song, I was a bit affected by both of them, since the message of both of them are a stark contrast from “Solo Day” and I’ve had relatable experiences – but I really like how they’re in the middle of the album as a nice break between the happiness of “Solo Day” and the positive outlook of “물 한잔.”
Finally, “You” features former Wonder Girl member and current soloist Sunmi. Her voice sounds quite pleasant on the track. Of Jinyoung’s songs on this album, this one is the most like an outlier, as it discusses the feelings of having a new person in your life and the feelings of falling for them.
As most B1A4 albums, the mini has an R&B vibe throughout, the two exceptions being “Solo Day” which boasts a slight country twang, and “물 한잔,” the light rock song.
Video – 999999/1000000
Title Song – 1000000/1000000
Mini Album – 1000000000/1000000
Concept – 1000000000/1000000
Admittedly, part of the reason I enjoy B1A4’s comebacks so much are the thought and effort put into the concept and promotions. While B1A4 has the advantage as they are the only group from their company, WM Entertainment, it’s worth noting how hard everyone on their creative team works, and all of my joking aside, both the boys and their team should be recognized for the creativity and hard work they put into B1A4’s releases.
While this isn’t my favorite B1A4 release (that’s still Ignition), Solo Day holds it’s own against the rest of their albums. I really think fans of any genre would be pleased by this release. If only English speakers could get past listening to songs in Korean, I think B1A4’s music could be widely successful on a global scale. It has a more mature vibe than a majority of the boyband music I’ve listened to from the Western world, and even though B1A4 stick to signature genres, their songs never sound boring, no many how many times you repeat them.
In short, B1A4 has executed another perfect comeback.