Brown Eyed Girls – Sixth Sense//
Release date: September 28, 2011
Label: Loen Entertainment
- Swing It Shorty (Intro)
- Sixth Sense [MV]
- Hot Shot [MV]
- La Boheme
- 불편한 진실 (The Ugly Truth)
- Countdown (Interlude)
- Sixth Sense (Inst.)
Korean girl group Brown Eyed Girls (BEG) is back after a long-ish hiatus from the Korean music scene – two years is forever in the idol-dominated market. In that time they created three albums, which they ditched completely , and finally ended up with Sixth Sense, an eight-track album (without counting the instrumental) that feels like an almost perfect companion to their showmanship.
A common schtick in an idol-dominated pop music scene is to brand and re-brand yourself as it is necessary. When BEG – mostly known as a girl vocal group on their first two albums – ditched their R&B styled songs in favor of their huge 2008 hit Abracadabra and that sexy minimalistic music video, some fans were left wondering what would become of the group.
In case there were any doubts, BEG is back with a logical evolution in their music – sexy with class just like when Christina Aguilera went Back to Basics. Brown Eyed Girls are cabaret, swing, Latin and jazz without ever leaving Kpop, if such a thing is possible.
For fans of the genres, the rhythms are familiar with an added air of sultriness. When the Swing It Shorty Intro begins a journey unknown to us, Sixth Sense begins playing sounds completely different to what we could have ever expected.
It’s an infectiously powerful track about music with verses such as, “In dreams you have hidden secrets, I smear into it subconsciously, into that freer place” . The track is overlaid with a strong beat and trumpets that then take you through some 70s funk in the choruses and those window-shattering high notes. There are so many layers in Sixth Sense that you can even listen to Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor playing their Moulin Rouge! characters scattered throughout the track.
Then rapper Miryo kills it with her familiar verses asking us to say her name a little louder so we won’t forget her. She asks that we sing to her, to say her name again and thanks us with a “gracias” to remind us that we really are listening to a Kpop song, but like she says, “Other music will get boring after it.”
The album continues with the more Latin jazz influenced Hot Shot, combining the girls’ love for music and something else as they ask a DJ to play music, serving it like a good cool drink that makes you warm inside. Once we reach La Boheme and The Ugly Truth, however, the album gives us the most off-theme tracks. They contain “simpler” arrangements, especially on point with The Ugly Truth, which is essentially a really great R&B song about realizing that your love with someone is no longer reciprocated.
Lovemotion brings us back to Sixth Sense with simple arrangements, minimal instrumentation and relying on the girls’ vocals. This leads us to the wonderfully playful, burlesque-y Countdown Interlude, where BEG reminds us again that we’re listening to something unique. Vendetta just closes the album on a great note with a loud number that continues the cabaret style on the album.
My only regret with the album, besides it being painfully short at only 28 minutes, would be that La Boheme and The Ugly Truth, though great tracks as they are, don’t fully embody what Narsha, GaIn, JeA and Miryo tried to do on the rest of the tracks.