The fact that I waited until November of 2011 to dedicate a post for a rookie k-pop group is indicative of how little I liked any of the new idol groups that debuted this year. And boy, were there many that debuted in 2011!
The first half of the year mostly belonged to new girl groups. Of the top of my head, I remember Dal Shabet, CHI CHI, A-Pink, Raina, the stupidly named Piggy Dolls, the flop that was Coin Jackson… and there were 20 or more other girl groups who made their debut with lousy names, similar cutesy concepts and dull music. I haven’t heard from most of them since their debut.
Not be left out, boy bands were churned out by the dozens as well. From the much hyped Block B, HITT, X-5 to recent debuts like MYNAME, Taken (oh the jokes!), and the rest whom I can’t even remember because they too left a zero impression on me.
And now, we have AA.
Promoted by a small company named Wellmade STAR M (eesh), I read about AA just today on Allkpop and rolled my eyes when I glanced over this description:
“The group is a bit different from other rookie groups because they’re average age is 22. The number 22 is somewhat significant to their name if you make 22 with your fingers (holding up 2 fingers on each hand), and flip them upside down, it becomes AA (Double A). Additionally, each of the group members are also between the heights of 5’11″ to 6’1″.”
At least they didn’t choose AA because “they’re like batteries full of energy!” or something stupid like that.
Okay, so they don’t look any different from the other rookie groups (fashion-wise), but at the end of the day, any group’s success eventually comes down to their music. In that department, AA surely don’t disappoint.
Though their debut EP release only consists of three tracks, it’s still a better debut release compared to all the other rookie efforts. Here’s how I rate their songs:
1. Intro (0:47) – A cool, laidback vibe which gives you the impression that this is the attitude AA wants to go by
2. “Because I’m Crazy” (3:39) – The debut single follows the usual K-pop formula with its raving keyboards and swooping electronic sound, but despite that, it’s still a good uptempo song with great vocals. The rap falls a bit flat, mostly because the (English) lyrics don’t really make much sense. It didn’t win me over instantly but after two or three listens, I couldn’t stop replaying the song.- 3.5 out of 5
Edit: The MV is out!
All I can say is that the choreography is the weakest link in the video. It’s too feminine and just lacking energy. Otherwise, the light set looks quite good.
3. “Call Me” (3:13) – I actually like this song more than the above track. Mostly because it does away with the dance beats and really showcases the group’s vocals. It’s got a great, catchy chorus and you can’t help but mime the “na na na na na-na” and “do do do do-do” bits. I hope AA get a chance to perform this song live as it’s perfect for an acoustic performance, and it isn’t the kind of song one often hears from an idol group. – 4 out of 5
I’m not going to put a ‘final rating’ like I normally do with my usual k-pop reviews, but unless you really suck at math, you know the above scores average out pretty well.
For a lot of the new groups, it usually takes a year or so to really make an impact on the k-pop scene with a good song. Sometimes it’s because the smaller entertainment companies can’t often afford to buy rights to the “sure-fire hits” from top producers, until they make some money first. I don’t know who the musical talent behind AA are, but they surely have some confidence in these boys to get them off to a great start. Edit: Turns out member Aoora himself writes and composes the songs!
With just two songs, AA are now on my k-pop radar and I wish them much success. I just hope they keep getting better going into 2012!