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[Album Review] Teen Top – “It’s” (***1/2)

7 Jan

It’s a brand new year and Teen Top is on top of it! With the release of their second mini album, Teen Top is going for a more mature image in an attempt to shed the word “teen” in their names. There’s the trouble with their name. Despite any show of maturity, their music will forever be for teens because of their name, giving a foreboding idea that their group wouldn’t last beyond their teen years. But why think of such bad thoughts when it’s a new year?

Here’s an introduction that shows right off the bat the more slick production the guys are heading for. Even Neil doesn’t sound as boyish as he did in their last outing, Roman. I dare say it’s a sexy introduction, upping my interest level by a notch with its Brave Brother-produced music.

The first song from the album, “Going Crazy” is an upbeat party song that aims at the group’s target demographic: teenage girls. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. If anything, this is their most effective track to date, with the guys not depending solely on Neil to do all the work. Instead, we get a perfect mix of everyone. Compare that to their more R&B-oriented version and I can’t help but call foul. I found that track much more appealing, surprisingly better than this song primarily because it was a new twist to Teen Top that they never showed.

Following the lighter and more youthful lead single is this club-ready track “Where’s My Girl” with lines like “Get your freak on baby” bound to make audiences wonder who these kids are. That’s an exciting thought; there are plenty of sexually suggestive lines here in English. Surprisingly, I found this track so refreshing; as much as I hate overprocessing, there’s an element of newness here that I found interesting. It’s definitely a mature song and clearly one that bears repeating over and over again.

This may seem an odd comparison but I can’t help but think of Chris Brown’s debut album when I listen to this song, and even this album in general. “Girlfriend” sounds like it will belong in a Chris Brown album with its slow R&B driven piano melody mixed with a propulsive electronic beat. Even the lines, “I need a girl” makes me think of Chris Brown. I mean that as a compliment. Because as negative a connotation the name Chris Brown suggests, his pre-Rihanna material was solid teen music that lacked sophistication.

Overall, I was pretty pleased with this album. It sounds polished and well-produced and the boys definitely sound more mature.

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

–Clarence

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