After releasing his first mini-album as a solo artist back in April, Jay Park is back with a new single! Jaebom had tweeted a few weeks back wondering if he should release something now and a mini-album next year – or – make us fans wait until 2012 for new music. I guess Jay ultimately decided he didn’t want Jaywalkers to wait that long! 🙂
“Girlfriend” isn’t something I was expecting as a single from Jay. I mean, as an album track, yes — but not as a single. Which isn’t to say it’s a bad song:
After “Abandoned” and “Tonight,” Jay makes no qualms about his love for rapping and chose to showcase his rhyming skills more than his singing with a single release like “Girlfriend”. I love the beats and his rapping is slick! It’s the kind of hip-hop I really love. The chorus is sweet, but all-in-all, “Girlfriend” is smooth rap track in the same vein of B.o.B’s “Nothin’ On You” — and we all know how much Jay Park loves such songs 😉
As for the music video, again it’s an unexpected one from Jay Park. It shows he’s maturing and growing as an artist, and does away with the expected choreographed dances. But a Jay Park MV without dancing? Surely not, and “Girlfriend” features a dance break in a club soon after the very first chorus. It does break the flow of the song early on but it works for the narrative of the video, which shows Jay trying to win over a girl he first spots at a cafe.
Of course, Jay impresses the girl with his slick b-boy moves, surprises her by placing headphones over her ears, and tunes back to the song asking her to be his girlfriend. Then he takes her out on a date and brings her back to his room — which is full of photos of her pasted all over his wall! Now, in the MV, the girl smiles. But all I kept thinking was: “Wow. Stalking much Jay?” LOL
It’s refreshing to see a Jay Park video with a female lead. Mostly because Jay is hardly ever seen around the company of women! “Abandoned” did feature a sexy girl but the scenes which featured Jay and her were blink-and-miss. I figured it was because Jay looked so awkward acting with her, and although the awkwardness hasn’t completely worn off, in “Girlfriend,” Jay has improved a lot with his expressions and ridding his shyness on camera.
With most of k-pop following an unsurprising formula, I can always count on Jay Park to release a song that strays away from the usual k-pop sound. Maybe it’s because Jay writes all his music in English first and then turns them into Korean. That’s probably why his songs don’t necessarily feel like standard ‘k-pop’. Just like “Abandoned,” “Girlfriend” too would sound just as good with English lyrics. (Take the hint Jay ;))
I can’t wait to see what Jay Park has in store for 2012. It may not have happened yet, but I still stand by what I wrote about Jay’s impending global stardom when I saw him live in Bangkok last year. I can’t wait for his English album, and if that’s not happening soon, I’ll still eagerly await his next Korean release in early 2012.
My final rating for “Girlfriend”: 4 out of 5 (Very Good)