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[Album Review] G.NA – Bloom (***)

22 May

G.NA is back with her latest mini-album after her success last year with “Top Girl” and “Black and White”, both helping her attain more notice for her sexiness, which radiates from her music. The Canadian-born singer’s newest album talks about more mature femininity. It shows in the album cover too, that G.NA is tackling an even sexier image than she’s ever put out before. I found her previous material to be lacking and thin but here’s hoping that she does impress with this album.

The first song, “Green Light”, features Jay Park. The instrumental is R&B-tinged, has its charms, and definitely has a western feel to it. G.NA coos nicely to it with Jay Park providing some nice dose of  rap to it. It’s easily the most American-sounding track I’ve heard in K-pop in a while and it makes sense considering both Jay and G.NA are from the US and Canada respectively. The next song, the title track “2HOT”, has to be the most interesting song that she’s ever done thus far. Its instrumental blends soul with dance and it reminds me of Lily Allen in some parts. I especially like the horns and the jazzy piano–both a nice touch. My only complaint is that I wished G.NA sounded more soulful: her voice is a little dull at times compared to the colorful instrumental.

The next song, “Summer Star”, begins with a warm acoustic guitar that then transitions into a more bombastic orchestra. It’s a common feature for any G.NA ballad to have the orchestra but I was surprised and even a little excited when I heard the opening chords, only to be disappointed with the change of tune. Still, G.NA’s voice is quite impressive here, delivering emotions that I wished she had in “2HOT”. The next song, “Oppa, Dongsaeng”, features Sangchu from Mighty Mouth. The song has a nice piano melody and G.NA’s mid-level vocal performance here is appealing at best but I wish it was more substantial. “Drop It (Cut it Off)” is a sexy song that features G.NA at her most vulnerable and sexiest. The whole vibe of the melody is definitely R&B and I love her vocals here more than any other song on the album.

The last song on the album is the English version of G.NA’s first number one song. It does a great job of reminding the audience why G.NA is a powerful singer when given the right material. It surprises me to say that I haven’t heard G.NA this vocally strong since its release in 2010. But it was a splendid debut and I wished she showed more of this.

Overall, I did enjoy the album though sometimes I am a little lulled by G.NA’s voice. I don’t know why she doesn’t use her voice to full effect in this album but I do love the more mature themes and the adventurous musical choices she’s been doing.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Clarence

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