It’s only a few days into 2017 and it’s already not looking great.
The announcement that angels of K-pop AOA would be kicking off the new year with their first ever full-length Korean album sounded great on paper, but ultimately not so great through speakers.
ANGEL’S KNOCK is ambitiously fronted by its two title tracks, sexy Brave Brothers collabo “Excuse Me” and the brassy “Bing Bing“. “Excuse Me” is a solid eight out of ten, and easily on par with the group’s track record of delivering mesmerizing and frustratingly catchy title tracks. It’s also the only proper bop out of the album’s ten. While “Bing Bing” is quite elegant and charming, it’s also painfully generic and offers nothing new with its cheap horns and bland melodies.
“Three Out” is decent, despite sounding like a Hairspray rip off with a few trap drums added in. “느낌이 오니 (Feeling)” is “Mini Skirt“‘s more sexually aggressive sounding cousin, featuring some brilliant synthwork reminiscent of Tsunku‘s iconic sounds from Morning Musume.‘s dubstep-laced bop “Help me!!“.
However, ANGEL’S KNOCK is basically downhill after that.
The basicness of 80s infused “불면증 (Can’t Sleep)” cured my insomnia (true story, not clickbait). Unfortunately insomnia was reinstalled within me upon hearing the followup snoozer, “Lily“. “Melting Love” is somewhat interesting sonically, but the overpowering stench of Eau de Aegyo spoils it. A dreary and calculated acoustic ballad dedicated to ~all the tru fans~ wafts in after two lazy Korean remakes of previous Japanese songs. Boring, skip.
Wait, that was the end?! How underwhelming. ANGEL’S KNOCK could have been so much greater than this. Instead of a record full of vibrant mega bops like “Heart Attack“, “Short Hair“, “Like a Cat” and “Elvis“, the album is overrun by colorless b-sides. But maybe this shows that the group should continue sticking to short, sweet and STELLAR mini albums, instead of barely adequate albums.
The Angels knocked – and I kind of wish they hadn’t.
Listen to ANGEL’S KNOCK by AOA on Spotify: