—Girls On Top
Attention R&B lovers!
I recently acquired the complete (or nearly complete) BoA discography, which is great because I’ve read about her often as one of the pioneers of K-pop and have been wanting to dive into her work. But at almost 500 songs, it’s pretty daunting, so I just started picking songs randomly, and I probably just picked this one because the cheeky, possibly empowering title stood out.
Well, it looks like I picked a good one. This song really impressed me from the very beginning, and listening to the rest of the album was equally impressive. My initial impression is that it sounds like a great lost (to Westerners, of course) pop/R&B album, very reminiscent of 90s R&B in particular (even though it was released in 2005).
Let’s talk about “Girls On Top.” What became apparent to me immediately is that BoA has a really, really good voice. It’s like she has absorbed the last 30 or so years of pop and R&B and mastered it all. She just seems to do everything right vocally. And best of all, she sounds like she’s really enjoying singing too: when she pushes her voice, there’s this hint of pure excitement, of getting lost in the act of singing, that I really adore. And there’s just a little bit of a husky, throaty quality to her voice that I really tend to go for in female singers. “Girls On Top” hooked me immediately with its bass and whining synths, and the spareness of its rhythms really work in BoA’s favor, allowing her to weave her way through the song and grounding her in a groove that feels like a total 90s throwback.
The whole Girls On Top album is pretty great so far. The ballads sound great and make me think that one of her key influences might be Michael Jackson. I hear tiny hints of his voice in hers, especially in something like “Garden in the Air.” I’m totally hooked on BoA now, and I hope to write some more about her in the future after I listen to some more.