BoA – MADE IN TWENTY (20)

May 25, 2007 at 10:36 AM | Posted in BoA | Leave a comment
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The cover of the CD+DVD edition

MADE IN TWENTY (20) is BoA’s 5th Japanese album and it was released on January 17, 2007. The album reached #1 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 348,093 copies.

♦ ♦ ♦

The opening track fully showcases BoA’s new, mature side. Lady Galaxy sounds so American, it’s not even funny. Even though it sounds like several American hip hop and R&B songs rolled into one, it surprisingly good and not to mention infectious. BoA’s low pitched vocals match the song’s synthetic sound perfectly as well. This is easily my favorite new track off the album.

The transition of Lady Galaxy to Nanairo no Ashita ~brand new beat~ was kind of weird at first, but the song doesn’t feel out of place on the album at all. Despite the song’s sugary pop sound, it fits in rather nicely.

The next track is also pop influenced, but in the form of a sweeping ballad. Winter Love is one of the 3 ballads on the album.

Track 4 is STILL., a nice, jazz influenced song. The song consists low keyed strings, piano, and some acoustic guitar. The chorus is pretty catchy and the best part of the song.

The next track is a great, agressive, and upbeat track. SO REAL features excellent vocals during the chorus and I really liked the song’s synth and background vocals.

BoA drifts back into the pop genre with KEY OF HEART. It’s a really pretty song with a sweeping string arrangement even though the lyrics are a little on the cheesy side.

Track 7 is a ballad, but more R&B influenced. The combination of piano and gentle bass beats in OUR LOVE ~to my parents~ sounds very nice.

Track 8 is another well done R&B styled song. no more make me sick has a nice tempo and the highlight of the song is definitely the chorus. The way it changes the song’s overall setting is excellent.

I can honestly say that Revolution-CODE: 1986-1105 is my least favorite song on the album. BoA doesn’t do anything wrong but RAH-D just completely ruins the song with his annoying yelling and ‘rapping’. Anyways, this song is definitely the most aggressive track on the album because of its excessive brass and constant beats. The song would have been so much better if RAH-D wasn’t in it because his voice is just plain awful.

Along with Winter LoveYour Color is the other power ballad on the album. BoA showcases her powerful vocals during the chorus which blend well with a prominent string arrangement.

Track 11, Prayer, is one BoA’s most sensual efforts to date. Her vocal style is absolutely sultry, especially during the chrous. Much like the other songs on the album, it has a strong synth arrangement.

I thought Candle Lights was one of the few true R&B tracks that BoA has recently done. It has a thumping beat and the Spanish guitar is a unique aspect of the song. This song was originally the B-side on the Winter Love single.

The final track before the bonus and first pressing tracks is pure pop. Actually, Gracious Days is a very light hearted and a fluffy song. I’m really glad BoA hasn’t forgotten her pop roots and this song is a perfect example of this. The piano is the most noticable thing about the song’s upbeat pop sound.

BoA decided to include her cover of LAST CHRISTMAS as a bonus track. It’s not bad but I wish the music didn’t sound so synthetic. However, her cover does follow the same synth style of the rest of the new tracks on the album, so it continues the album’s overall sound. This song originally appeared as a first pressing bonus track on the Winter Love single.

A live version of Winter Love was included as a first pressing bonus track. When it comes to her ballads, BoA sings them very well live. I was very impressed with her vocals and the band performs the music with precision.

I didn’t think MADE IN TWENTY (20) was as good as her previous album OUTGROW but I’m glad that BoA is experimenting with new styles of music to recreate herself as a more mature artist. She really shows that with the new tracks on the album, especially Lady Galaxy, Revolution-CODE: 1986-1105 Feat. RAH-D, and Prayer. This is a not a true R&B album because it contains a good number of pop tracks which mainly consisted of the previously released A-sides. In conclusion, the album contains a nice mix of both genres but I could see that BoA wanted to make more R&B influenced songs even though she doesn’t stray that far from her teenage pop star past.

Overall Rating 

3½ stars

Tracklisting

1. Lady Galaxy
2. Nanairo no Ashita ~brand new beat~ (七色の明日~brand new beat~)
3. Winter Love
4. STILL.
5. SO REAL
6. KEY OF HEART
7. OUR LOVE ~to my parents~
8. no more make me sick
9. Revolution-CODE: 1986-1105 Feat. RAH-D
10. Your Color
11. Prayer
12. Candle Lights
13. Gracious Days
14. LAST CHRISTMAS
15. Winter Love (Live ver.) [First pressing bonus track]

Note: My favorite tracks are highlighted in blue!

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