BoA Commands Your Attention With “One Shot Two Shot”
BoA’s back alright! It is well known to myself and many other K-Pop fans, old or new, that she is one of the vital pillars of the Hallyu Wave, and much more popularly known as the Queen of K-Pop. In fact, she was the first Korean artist to break through and establish K-Pop in Japan following the ease of restrictions placed after World War II.
If that isn’t impressive enough on its own, her mesmerizing voice and sheer amount of presence should definitely do it. Coming into 2018 with a huge bang with “Nega Dola,” a hip-hop and bright synth-infused bop with a touch of Latin-inspired flair, she effortlessly proved that she could step out of her usual style and make any concept her own.
After 18 beautiful, gem filled years since her first album ID: Peace B, BoA proves that she’s got the power to command the tough and competitive industry already in the palm of her hand. Half a year since her previous single, BoA has finally returned with her first Korean mini-album, One Shot Two Shot.
GUESS WHO’S BACK
“Nega Dola (내가 돌아),” translated to “I’m Going Crazy,” was released as a pre-release to the mini-album, alongside a music video that expressed her boredom and annoyance at an obsessive guy trying to get her attention. Through a series of stills where she’s in a shooting range or kicking at dummies, the vibe of the music video is emulated perfectly. Not to mention the styling is so on point it allows BoA’s smooth girl crush image to truly shine.
With a dazzling start to her comeback period with her pre-release, there was understandably quite a bit of anticipation towards her upcoming album and as to whether it could carry on that success. However, through the album’s title track, she has proven that she still has a lot more sides of herself to showcase.
ONE SHOT TWO SHOT
“One Shot, Two Shot” is a deep house track with enough of a sprinkling of synths in the chorus to make it addictive. The 80s reminiscent melodies and rhythms are assisted by BoA’s unique tone of voice that almost acts as a beat of its own. The hypnotising hook, with the lines “One shot two shot, me and you” are sung in a higher, tantalising pitch as she describes two people falling in love, an emotion akin to fireworks. The song is a very subtle kind of hype, with a “less is more” kind of vibe quite different to her previous track, though just as alluring!
The music video is simplistic, with the main focus being on BoA dressed in bright colors, contrasting her muted surroundings. While the moves are significantly less strenuous than what we saw in “Nega Dola,” she still carries it off with finesse. “One Shot, Two Shot” shows a more mature BoA, simultaneously keeping the fresh, youthful aspect intact. Of course, the music video wouldn’t be complete without BoA’s signature dance breaks, enhanced by a dance off-like setting in an abandoned train station.
“Everybody Knows” has to be one of my favorite tracks on the album so far! With its smooth melodies and almost spellbinding synths, it can only best be compared to liquid velvet. In her airy, unique tone she sings about being in love with someone who is oblivious to her feelings. Out of all the tracks, this is one that truly matches the color of her voice, giving the song an almost haunting, magnetic sort of aura.
With its electronic pop sound, “Recollection” is very reminiscent of the 90s. Despite its groovy feel, the lyrics talking about a regretful past relationship make it much more melancholic. It's almost as if the wound has healed and she’s looking back on it as an experience, while at the same time wishing to go back to that time.
The track “Your Song” defies all preconceptions. Almost in the form of an anthem and featuring Junoflo, the hip-hop track showcases BoA’s ability to take something new and effectively make it hers. Using this new style to sing about an addictive kind of love, the transition between her gritty and airy voice aims to create that same kind of atmosphere within the song.
Though not heard as much on this album, her deeper register is much more present and resonant in “Always, All Ways.” Considering the song expresses the idea of consuming a person emotionally, her deep, almost enticing tone of voice definitely brings about that feeling.
However, out of all the tracks “Camo” really is that song. With its electronic industrial sound paired with BoA’s commanding voice, the track is both sultry and fierce. Right from the music down to the video, it’s right in your face and very unapologetic about it. Topped with a display of first class dance moves in true BoA fashion, it really is quite an all-rounder.
BoA’s definitely proved why she is still the reigning monarch even 18 years after her debut. Being in this industry for this long is a feat, but she also faces quite the risk of falling into a rut. However, through her new album, BoA displayed her ability to play around with new genres while simultaneously maintaining her integrity. Packed with eccentric beats and BoA’s signature hearty vocals, this album definitely is a thrilling experience. And while we may not know what sort of journey she may take us on next, one thing is for sure: the Queen is definitely back.
“One Shot Two Shot” Title Track Score - 9/10
Music Video Score - 8.5/10
One Shot Two Shot Album Score - 10/10