I know this is about a month late, but I haven’t been able to properly express my feelings about this album yet, so I still feel the need to write a review about Feistaarrrrr’s comeback. I was actually quite excited upon hearing about it, since I really loved their last two singles, and the group does have potential. Heck, I almost even considered buying the physical album – or at least a copy on iTunes.
However, after listening to the samples, I’m very glad I didn’t. This album is exactly the opposite of what I’d expect, and what I want, Fiestar to release.
The title track “You’re Pitiful” almost lives up to it’s name. It’s not exactly ‘pitiful’ as much as underwhelming from Fiestar. I know they worked with Premier K-Pop Producer Shinsadong Tiger for this track, which in a way makes sense as to why it almost sounds like a reworked T-Ara song. Honestly when I first heard the song it reminded me a lot of “Day by Day” – but we all know Shinsadong had nothing to with that song, so it becomes a bit more curious as to why the song sounds like a melancholy!T-Ara throw-away.
Obviously T-Ara are flops in Korea now, so Fiestar trying to use the same formula isn’t exactly stupid, however, it’s not Fiestar. That actually brings me to another question, who ARE Fiestar? They have no identity. “Vista” was a strong, yet girl-next-door image, “I Don’t Know” was virginal-quirky, “One More” was the most sexually charged K-Pop song to be released at the time. They don’t have an identity, and they aren’t established enough to go with the chameleon-concepts.
Now, “You’re Pitiful” isn’t a bad song – anything T-Ara could be attached to automatically makes it good. Not to mention the chair dance is really awesome. The song is still an underwhelming start to an underwhelming album.
Black Label is essentially a ballad album aside from the title and “Tight.” Considering the girls in Fiestar have nice voices, it makes sense to go the ballad route for one song at least, but the ballads aren’t compelling at all. “Hello” is ok, and is much better than “Cold,” as it doesn’t sound AS generic, but both are essentially typical K-Pop ballads and could have been given to almost any other girl group. However, “Today” is the most boring song on the whole album.
I actually liked “불 좀 꺼줘요 Turn Off the Light” alright, even though it has some musical similarities to “You’re Pitiful” – it’s at least easy-listening music, and almost gives me IU-ish vibes.
My favorite song on the whole mini is “Tight” – even though it follows a similar musical structure as “You’re Pitiful” and “Turn Off the Light” and was an OST from last year. Such a waste. “Tight” is the strongest of the three songs, and would have at least been an interesting follow up to “One More” if it was properly promoted.
The most I can say for the album is that it’s very cohesive. I think it plays well, but it’s not a strong release. I feel bad for Fiestar since they have potential and worked their butts off in the cold streets of Seoul to have performances to build hype, but “You’re Pitiful” was a bigger flop than “One More”.
I did bring up IU for a reason, as they’re both other Loen, and Fiestar’s first single was a collab with her, and is also their highest charting single. Sad to say, at this point, their likely only savior would be to switch to a light concept and get IU to pen a song for them. Even if they returned to their debut concept, I feel like it would be hard for Fiestar to build traction without some sort of gimmick at this point. Their turn to sexy was too little too late, and even the guerrilla performances had no luck in boosting them.
Not everyone can be at the top, but it seems like Fiestar are stuck at the bottom, when they arguably are the most interesting girl group from 2012. Here’s to a better comeback next time.