Even though the smorgasbord of genres on 100%Ver. turned out to be very hit and miss, BLAQ%Ver. seems to have taken it one step further.
MBLAQ certainly have been busy little boys, hitting us with a repackage of their most recent mini-album 100%Ver. The new edition—uncreatively titled Blaq%Ver—features two new tracks and an intro/theme song of the same name. MBLAQ usually have an interesting assortment of sounds and so I was looking forward to this repackage. Well, interesting is certainly one way to describe it.
Considering the broad spectrum of genres MBLAQ covered in the original 100%Ver. it would be easy to assume the boys got their experimenting out of the way and settled down with the repackage. This was not to be the case and the ever surprising MBLAQ have once again brought a new selection of sounds to the table. Even though the smorgasbord of genres on 100%Ver. turned out to be very hit and miss, BLAQ%Ver. seems to have taken it one step further. The three new tracks proffer yet another direction for MBLAQ’s music making it very hard to predict what their feature endeavours will entail.
I honestly cannot believe MBLAQ added an intro track after it had been delightfully omitted from the original release. Disappointment aside, BLAQ% (the song) is not as bad as it is a waste of space. It does at the very least set the electronic tone for following track 100%, which is—surprise, surprise—very unlike anything MBLAQ has released previously. Its soft electronic beat makes me feel like I’m back in a school disco during the 90s and I don’t mean this in a bad way. It’s fun, it’s funky but probably not a song you’d enjoy listening to on its own. The greatest pitfall of this track, however, is the excessive use of auto tune and even though it fits the techno-electronic feel of the song, it still ruins the overall vocals. Much like Run, which only obtained awesome status when combined with choreography and MBLAQ’s overwhelming stage presence, 100% would be a great song to see live. This makes J.Tune Camp’s decision to can promotions at the last moment all the more disappointing. The company, however, deserves props for putting their money makers’ health and wellbeing first by allowing them to take a rest. Respect, J.Tune Camp. Respect.
The last of the new tracks, 사랑이 온다 (Beautiful), is much along the same line as Hello My Ex and 아찔한 그녀 only slightly better. While not as catchy or upbeat as Hello My Ex, it is quite a nice tune and a good balance for 100%; where the vocals were brutalised in 100% by auto tune, they are showcased wonderfully in 사랑이 온다 (Beautiful).
MBLAQ have certainly diversified their genre portfolio by once again adding yet another different sound to the already mismatched 100%Ver. Although both 100% and 사랑이 온다 (Beautiful) are decent, solid tracks they are still outshone by 전쟁이야 [This is War] and Run. If you’re strapped for cash or not a diehard A+ you could easily give this repackage a miss.
You can check out my original review of 100%Ver. here: [MINI-ALBUM] MBLAQ – 100% Ver.