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[Review] Secret – “Moving in Secret” (****1/2)

17 Oct

Secret made a splash earlier this year with both “Shy Boy” and “Starlight Moonlight” hitting the sweet spot for many listeners. They brought such a sweet, retro vibe to their music that gave them a unique edge among all the other girl groups in Korea. After promoting their Japanese material over the summer, the girls are back with their first Korean album.

The first song from the album, the title track “Love is Move” is a fun and lively track that has all the qualities of Secret that makes them a unique group. It sounds retro, with its horns and fast drum beats. The girls sound sexy and charming, always being playful or coy.

“Sexily” slows down the album a little while still maintaining the sexy sound that the first track has set up. There is some vocal dress-ups for the girls here but it’s not distracting at all. The girls sound like they’re having fun and that’s always infectious.

“Don’t Laugh” is simply a beautiful track. The instrumental, a mix of piano and guitar makes this such a melancholy piece. I love Secret most when they’re singing together, because their harmony is unique and very distinguishable among all the K-pop groups.

“Movie Star” brings back the brass and the retro and it’s just a lively track. This is a fun showcase for Zinger’s charismatic rap while the girls maintain their cool while singing. The great thing about Secret is that they’re comfortable at their range; it’s not a huge range but they’re very good at expressing emotion.

“Amazinger” remains true to its title. Zinger is very charismatic and sexy while rapping and she actually reminds me of Eve and some of the female rappers from the 90s. She flows very naturally and with style. The track itself is very 90s R&B and I really appreciate how laid back it is.

“Together” slows down the album and brings back some 90s flavor with it. It sounds like a song by Spice Girls (I’m thinking 2 Become 1) and I’m digging how it uses the guitar sound as a light touch to the lush piano and the romantic strings.

By the time we get to “Hope”, we’ve already been used to the album’s romantic sound. There’s a whimsical feel to “Hope” that cannot be captured in a few words. Still, I wished the album tried to keep up with the front because I felt it lost the funky vibe that this disc started out with.

The album considerably livens up with “Bastard”, whose title belies such bright instrumentation. I think the song could have used some more funk that SECRET employed in Love is Move. Still, there’s little to complain here: SECRET is naturally appealing.

Neverland closes the album with its very bright instrumentation, losing much of the steam that the funky sound that the first few songs brought. It’s a filler track but an appealing one nonetheless.

SECRET’s “Moving in Secret” is one of the best albums I’ve heard all year. They bring such freshness to the game with their unique sound. Although the back end of the album sagged a little, all tracks here are beautiful and moving. Here’s a group that truly understands their appeal, their image, and their sound to create a near-perfect album.

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Clarence

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