WARRIOR is a fierce display of rookie talent complete with a butt-tonne of BAMF-ery
There is something impressive about a rookie group creating such a stir amongst an imposing cohort of established artists. B.A.P has made a spectacular debut with Warrior and certainly proven to be deserving of my attention. With many groups popping up with teenage boys sporting androgynous flower-boy looks it’s deliciously refreshing see a boy band with balls. Let’s take a look.
01. Burn It Up (Intro)
I’d always thought intros were a waste of precious album space. I still think this. Burn it Up isn’t an intro as much as it is an unfinished half-track, presenting itself as a fully-fledged song only to end abruptly. The track itself had potential to stand up alongside the rest of the album but feels as though the producer got lazy and dogged out halfway through. They really should have just completed the song—it would have served as a better introduction to the collection of tracks assembled on the single than this half-arsed piece.
Ah, what to say about Warrior? Leader Bang kicks off the song with a display of his overwhelmingly deep vocals that had me thinking—how old is this kid again? Warrior is a fierce display of rookie talent complete with a butt-tonne of BAMF-ery. Given B.A.P’s heavy involvement in the hip-hop genre it’s no great surprise that the verses are comprised of talented rappers Bang and Zelo interspersed with the typical wailing of the group’s other vocalists. The vocals are all solid, with Zelo especially being commended for his machine-gun rap in the second verse. The downside to this powerful song is the use of banal hip-hop English phrases such as what’s the name of the game and my personal favourite bow wow wow wow wow. Yes, that is quite a treat. While I can’t speak for the Korean lyrics, these lines have me face-palming something chronic.
Unbreakable has a noticeably different feel straight from the opening seconds and is in great contrast to Warrior. While rap verses are once again a feature, the stand out of this track is the vocal efforts of remaining members Him Chan, Dae Hyun, Young Jae and Jong Up. Despite its initial ballad appearance, Unbreakable packs a surprising amount of punch with a deceptively catchy chorus bound to get stuck in your head.
04. 비밀연애 (feat. Song Ji Eun of SECRET) [Secret Love]
Well, I can’t say I have a lot to write about Secret Love. I was disappointed and pissed off the moment the track started with that mellow RnB-esque droll. While Song Ji Eun’s soft vocals compliment the gruffness of B.A.P the overall feel of the song is dull, saved only momentarily by Zelo’s solo. Secret Love provides a disappointing end to an otherwise amazing debut album. What makes this song worse, however, is TS Entertainment’s decision to use it as B.A.P’s follow up promotion. What were they thinking?
Overall, this album kicks arse. TS Entertainment deserves a round of applause for producing a rookie group with a fierce debut instead of falling for the overused trap of catering to the vast number of pedonoonas. The one weakness of Warrior is that it has perhaps set the bar too high: producing a following release to top this little gem will take a lot of work. But this should be more than achievable with TS Entertainment’s small roster as they shouldn’t struggle to find time to devote to this project.
I eagerly await their next release.