Mini-album review: Miss A - Touch

Miss A - Touch | Mini album review

Those chicks we dig, but know will never be as popular in Korea as less talented broads sipping from an oversized cup of popularity (I shall name no names) are staking their claim with their mini album Touch. Although one wishes they'd have done it with an album which features just a hint of originality and songs which have the personality and weave piece clutching capabilities of the girls in the group.

The problem I've always had with Miss A is that their music is so indistinct. Put them on a stage and they'll bring it down and set themselves apart. But have it be just about the music and they fade into a sea of weaves, auto-tune and JYP leftovers.

Touch gets off to a dodgy start with the album titled track. The song sounds drab, outdated and like a Wonder girls left over that JYP had produced whilst he was going through his divorce. The song is rubbish. It goes nowhere. And to have thrown this in as the first track was a no-no. Bye.

After having a sexily depressing moment with "Touch", Miss A turn on the sass and get shit poppin' with "Lips". If there were ever a song to push Miss A into clubs in the West it's "Lips". Produced by Fuego the driving force behind Chris 'Take you down and make a woman's face bleed' Brown's "Turn up the music" and co-written by the homegirl with the voice who is trying to make it and failing horribly Nikki Flores (Bitch, I got love for you. I still bump "Suffocate"). The song is very current and now, wrapped in the Euro house that the clubs built and every bitch in pop has been selling their soul and wig to get into. If you liked Jennifer Lopez's "On the floor" or Rihanna's "Where have you been", then you'll like "Lips" as it's on that same tip. Shit loads of auto tune too, just to strip the girls of even more character as if the rave synths didn't do it enough.

Somebody at JYP must have bought into that rule the world spiel which Beyonce had attempted to indoctrinate us with back in November, because "Rock 'n rule" is all about it. Except wrapped in a bubblegum flavoured Euro dance package, as opposed to a gutter as hell copy and pasted one from Switch and Diplo. "Rock 'n rule" is a great piece of music for a pillow fight in a white bedroom with satin sheets and Hello Kitty panties. There's a dubstep breakdown too, just in case you fancy jazzing up the pillow fight by putting on some heels and popping some p***y. As if there aren't enough pop songs out there which have their bridge sections punctuated with ♪ Bzzzzzt-wow-wow-WOW-WAAAGGH-WAAARRRGH-wa-WOOOOOOOWW ♪.

Miss A get thrown another Wonder girls left over with "Mo mercy". But unlike "Touch" this one is a good 'un and a winner. It's the first song on the album where more of the Miss A you grew to adore truly come through and is truly welcomed after depressing album openers and songs which sound like 4 minute and 2NE1 knock-offs. "No mercy" is a slice of pop gold featuring a 60's kiss off bounce with a bit of underground dub thrown in to dirty up the gloss. A great song. It's a bloody shame this wasn't made their promotional single, as it's a catchy ditty of a song, begging for a hot conceptual femme fatale theme and a routine which involves hot-stepping in heels the opening of legs.

"Over U" continues the over arcing theme of having these girls sound like any other group in K-Pop other than themselves. Unless you'd known any better beforehand, you'd swear blind this is a song by Girls' generation. "Over U" is a good song, but nothing which floats this song has anything to do with any of the girls of Miss A. They don't even matter.

The album ends with a remix of "Touch". And I have to hand it to whoever remixed it; they managed to take the original and make it even more depressing. That takes some f**king talent and hard work. Because the original version was a backdrop to a whiskey fuelled breakdown for one.

Touch is well produced, but does nothing to boost the appeal of Miss A other than to show that they can sing a bunch of vapid songs which you'll forget in a couple of months, which makes them just another girl group in a never ending list of those in Korea doing the exact same thing. Miss A own the songs on this album for sure, but they would be no worse off had the likes of Girls' generation or the Wonder girls gotten them, because the emphasis is placed on the production of the songs, how often a word can be repeated over a hook until you want to kill yourself and just how much synth a producer can cram into the space of 3 minutes and 27 seconds.

There is nothing about this album which really defines or singles out Miss A from the rest of the K-Pop pack. The songs are good. And the girls sound good and much more vocally unified than their peers. But the sound is samey on the whole and you're likely to forget the songs in a couple of months when another girl groups delivers a bunch of similar sounding songs. Nothing on this album really sells them or sets them apart in any way. Touch isn't a terrible album. The only flat out bad song on it is the title song. But Miss A are so much better than this and deserve songs which define them unto themselves, not a bunch of songs which have them sound like other broads.

Rating: 3 out of 10

Album highlights:
■ Lips
■ No mercy J's fave


  1. Less talented broads? I'm sorry, but how the hell are they less talented? SNSD have TALENT. Of course it might be hard to hear through the songs that are coated in autotune, but those bitches can sing (not to mention speak engrish). There is a reason for their popularity, it's because they can carry a melody with their voices, which can't be said for Miss A. The song "touch" is an example of how limited and weak they are with their voices, so much so that even autotune can't help them. And you and I both know how autotune can make a voice like Kuroki's bearable. Even arguably good, if you ask me.

    Miss A has some great songs(I loved "love again" "goodbye baby" and "no mercy" is badass), but their singing voices are weak, especially when compared with SNSD. There is a reason they aren't on the top, or even close to being as popular as SNSD.

    And it isn't because the producers did a shitty job on this album.

    Sidenote....the song "lips" sold me a lie. The chorus sounds like a bridge, preparing the listener for an epic breakdown of beats and bass that never comes.

  2. *rolls eyes at Alex's comment* SNSD has two of all members that can sing (Tiffany and Taeyon), and I wont have you tell me otherwise. Even then, their voices are mediocre at best. Your post lost all validity when you said Meisa's voice sounds "good" with auto-Tune; Meisa sounds like a cat caught in an air conditioner when she tries to sing. And as far as the dancing goes, the majority of their members can't. Three of their members can just about dance(Sooyoung, Yuri, Hyoyeon), and that's not saying much considering these three are also mediocre at best. The reason why SNSD are successful is because they work their asses off, and that is an undeniable fact: They're constantly performing, putting out music, appearing on variety shows, ect. As a whole, SNSD consists of mediocre talent, but when compared to some of their less talented counterparts that are also successful, they seem to be A LOT more talented than they actually are. Additionally, when first starting out their music was catchy, memorable and addicting whether or not you were a fan. I hated "Gee" but I found myself singing "Gee Gee Gee baby baby baby" in my head constantly when that song first became popular. Also, I have to give them credit for releasing a pretty solid Japanese Debut album.
    As a whole, SNSD are relatively swag-less, and their members would not be able to survive as solo artists. The members that do have some sort of charisma, also happen to be the ones that lack vocal talent for example, Sooyoung.(BTW I find her to be very attractive, although a bit too skinny. I always find that my attention gravitates to her during their live performances). Anyway, as a group, they compliment each other enough to just about carry a tune and pull off live performances.

    The reason for Miss A's lack of extreme popularity is as J said; they lack a distinct sound. Their music isn't catchy, it isn't memorable, it, for lack of a better term. Miss A throw SNSD under Kim Jong Un's Type 59 tanks with their live game; SNSD CANNOT perform live like Miss A. Sometimes they will have decent performances where they actually sing live and are in sync with the dance steps, but half the time they look a mess and are lip singing. Miss A's memebers do not have the greatest voices, but that is not where their talent lies. What sets them apart is there dancing and performing. Also, since when does vocal talent equate success. Just saying.

    I know SONES are going to come at my throat with my comment, but before you do let me just clarify something: I do not hate SNSD nor am I a fan of Miss A. I can recognize when SNSD produce a hot song, or deliver a hot performance. IMO they are not as talented as people make them out to be. I am just giving an unbiased opinion of what I think of these groups. I swear some of these SONES are so delusional that SNSD can drop a song with them farting over a beat for 3 minutes and SONES will lap that shit up like it's the best thing since sliced bread.

  3. Nice review J. I actually quite liked this mini album of theirs but at the same time I don't think I'll get replay value out of it. The songs don't leave a great lasting impression.

    I agree with pretty much damn near everything "Mel R." said. And for the record, popularity does not equate having great talent. Their are a multitude of entertainers that have sub-par talent that are popular. I do enjoy a few of "Miss A's" & "SNSD's" songs but compared to other female girl groups (western girl groups included), they're nothing worth writing home about. But they are some of the most hard working entertainers in the industry.

  4. I have to admit I came here for the stanwar bait that is Mel R's comment, so please skip over if you're not interested in Kpop Stanwars.

    !) Taeyeon's voice is mediocre at best? ... If Taeyeon's voice is mediocre, then I guess Celine Dion is an "okay" voice, maybe "good" at best? If you keep on talking about talent, please recognize and accept it when you see it. Check out her performances of "Hush Hush", "Because You Loved Me", and Jessica's performance "If I Ain't Got You".

    2) Meisa's voice. I agree.

    3) Hyoyeon's dancing skills is mediocre at best. Oh my. That is even worse than the Taeyeon comment. You know that before she debuted with SNSD, she, along with Min from Miss A won Korea's most prestigious street dance competition "Street Jam". Mediocre dancers do not win national dance competitions.

    4) The Japanese album. I agree.

    5) SNSD looking like a mess. Give them some rest and they'll be okay. Their comeback performances tend to be very good. Yes, some of them lipsync, but some never/hardly ever do (see Seohyun).

    6) Your 'unbiased' opinion: No. Everybody's opinion is by definition subjective and biased, so stop pretending yours isn't. Mine is, yours is, J's is, recognize that and move on and stop pretending that your opinion is better than everybody else because you think its 'unbiased'.

    Also, a final word about 'success'. Sure, vocal talent might not equal success. Neither does performing well (modern day Britney, Rihanna sometimes, Katy Perry), or dancing well (Britney, Rihanna, Katy). Success within the music industry is an extremely complicated thing that even professionals don't get right, so I'm not going to guess.

  5. *facepalm*

    It seems that someone needs to look up the proper definition of "unbiased". Not all opinions are "biased" by nature. That's a very naive and unfounded thing to say.

    And nowhere in Mel R's post did I get the impression that he/she was implying that his/her opinion was superior than the others. You're just being oversensitive like a majority of fans tend to be. People scouting for "stanwars" are just down right callow and need to find something useful to do with their time. Enough said.

  6. @MH This is why I can't deal with Stans. I'm not trying to start a Stan war, I'm simply stating my opinion. As the anon said, you're statement was extremely ignorant. I stated CLEARLY that I am NOT a fan of either group. Where does that leave room for bias? It's not like I'm trashing them because I HATE them, that would be biased. I gave sound reasons for why I do not think they are as talented as people make them out to be. BoA is a good dancer IMO, now put any girls generation member up against her in a dance competition and see how well they fare. Dancing, like any art form, is a form of expression, and I don't get the impression that they are expressing themselves. There is no power to their moves, they can lock down moves but they inject no life into them, and the same can can be said about they're vocals. I put them in the same vein as Namie Amuro in terms of dancing, she can lock down moves, but she is not a good dancer. All of her movements are lifeless and her delivery is often limp and deadpan just like Girls Generation. Also, it's not like they preform complex choreography.

    Lets be real here and not put Celine Dion and Taeyon in the same category. I do not consider Celine Dion's voice to be mediocre, and guess what? I don't like not one of her songs. I CAN recognize talent when I see it. Celine Dion is regarded as one of the best voices of her generation, the same can not be said for Taeyon. I consider Taeyon to be just okay, and that's my opinion. I don't find anything particularly special about her voice, and you should be able to respect that.

    It is obvious that YOU are biased because you're a fan of girls generation, and you disagreed with EVERYTHING negative I had to say, and only accepted the positives. THAT is being biased. Where did I state or imply that I thought my opinion was better? I included that last paragraph because I knew that someone like you was going to come a long and try to trash everything critical that I had to say.

  7. To Mel R

    Okay, let's start off with your first sentence. "This is why I can't deal with Stans." Well, thanks for demeaning me, my opinions, by putting me in a category of a 'stan' and implicitly implying that my opinion isn't as worthy as that of a nonstan. Not being a fan of either group indicates that you aren't a fan, not whether you are biased or not.

    Bias is inherent within anything ANYBODY says. It represents the framework in which we view things. Cognitive bias is a situation where we demonstrate judgment that is not absolutely perfectly rational. In essence, any kind of judgment that is motivated by emotional means or fails to consider all relevant facts is biased. Just like absolute impartiality is an extremely hard thing to achieve, I fail to see how making judgments on a singer/dancer's ability to sing and dance when neither of us are professional evaluators makes us unbiased. Perhaps not absolutely all opinions are biased, but when they center around subjective qualities that focus on aesthetics such as singing and dancing, it becomes harder to be unbiased. All I'm saying is that I disagree with your opinion and I'm presenting some information and examples which help support my perspective. I am not denigrating you nor am I claiming that your opinions are unfounded. I am just saying that claiming to be unbiased might not be correct.

    Your 'sound reasons' consists of assertion that a person's voice is 'mediocre' and that SNSD as a group is 'talentless'. Assertions without strong evidence or examples of such is not necessarily a sound reason, in my opinion.

    You have clarified your assertion that their dancing is unconvincing. Alright, I get that. I personally find Seohyun's dancing to be extremely unconvincing, but I find Hyoyeon and Sooyoung's dancing to be quite convincing. Hyoyeon actually reminded me of Beyonce quite a bit in their dance cover of 'Deja Vu' and her dance cover performance at SMTown 2011 was, to me, extremely convincing, and extremely powerful.

    I get that Namie Amuro looks lifeless and that may be a characteristic of a bad dancer, but to me, she looks effortless when doing dances.

    I obviously do not think that Taeyeon to be the voice of her generation, my point was that I thought your standards to be a bit too harsh. Taeyeon was the breakout vocal star of SM academy, and her solo performances are extremely powerful (e.g. Hush Hush, Because You Loved Me, etc.)

    Yes, I am a fan of Girls Generation, but I am trying to express my opinion in a calm and rational manner. I am biased, I admit that, but I attempt to be convincing by offering more substantial explanations and examples supporting what I believe in. And, I do agree with some of your negative comments. I don't think they have swag and are a billion miles away from being the next Beyonce. I doubt that any of them have the charisma and stage presence to pull off a solo career. I just didn't really mention them because they weren't points of contentions for me. I also believe that their ITNW-era dance performances were far more complicated and powerful than now, and agree with you that they don't perform overly complicated choreography.

  8. @MH,

    I was in no way trying to demean your opinion. You were the one that mentioned Stan wars, and asserted that your sole reason for commenting was to retort my "stan war bait", and I quote: "I have to admit I came here for the stanwar bait that is Mel R's comment, so please skip over if you're not interested in Kpop Stan-wars." In my opinion, I was justified for classifying you as a Stan, because you basically outed yourself as one by asserting that you were here for the stan wars. I interpreted that statement as you wanting to be categorized as a Stan. You're obviously used to people devaluing your opinion because of it, because you keep trying to demean my opinion by asserting that I am implicitly implying that what you have to say is invaluable. Please do not misinterpret my intentions; what I meant was, from my experiences, stans more often than not try to ignite a heated discussion or attack another nonstan's opinions simply because it does not coincide with what they believe. This often consists of them disregarding the opposite party's opinion whether or not their reasons are valid. I was classifying you as another typical Stan, because of the way you proceeded to critique my opinion. You started off by using the word stan, and it led me to devalue your opinion because stans, more often than not, are extremely biased. I considered you to be a delusional stan because you began your argument by what I mistook as you putting Celine Dion and Taeyon in the same category.

    Although now I am beginning to understand where you are coming from, which is why I further elaborated on why I do not regard them as talented. My assertions in my second comment were that I find their dancing to be lifeless, deadpan, and unconvincing, I then went on to say that the same can be said about their vocals. I also forgot to mention that I think Jessica has a decent voice as well, but every member of girls generation (including Taeyon, Jessica, and Tiffany, which I regard as the best singers) have an overall weak tone and lack resonance. Also, In my opinion, all of their voices lack emotivitness. We all have our own criteria for determining whether or not we believe someone to be a good singer or dancer, but there are certain technicalities that are widely regarded. For Example, The members of girls generation (some of them anyway) may have good technique when hitting notes, but I do not find their voices pleasurable to listen to for reasons that I stated earlier. Additionally, the fact that they often lip sync diminishes their musical integrity as performers, in my opinion. If you are paying to see an artist perform live, then a LIVE performance is exactly what they should deliver. I'm not claiming to be a vocal expert, nor am I choreographer, but I am judging them based on what I regard as talent.

  9. @MH

    Also, I am well aware that bias is inherent in everything that we do, say, and believe. It is impossible to completely eliminate bias. My opinion is subjective-obviously because it is MY opinion based on MY own beliefs- and I understand that. Maybe I should have clarified exactly what I meant: I am not biased out of hatred, that is the point that I was trying to get across. I hope that I have now clarified my opinions with substantial reasoning. I was not trying to depreciate your opinion, but you came off as an over sensitive stan scouting for a Stan War. I absolutely dread stan wars, which is why I refrain from commenting on youtube, or visiting any other blog that praises K-pop. From my experiences K-pop fans are so ruthless and sensitive. I enjoy K-pop, but I get so turned off when a "blackjack" or a "sone" or whatever else stans call themselves attack me or send me hate messages when I make a statement critiquing their faves.

    Alex's statement was just seething with contempt, which is why I responded the way I did. Oddly enough, K-pop idols seem to get along well and you would think that stans would follow their example, but this is not the case. On blogs, forums, and youtube it's an all out war between stans, and it's really quite foolish.

    I think we can both agree to disagree. We both have different opinions, and that's okay.


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