The end of July marked the release of f(x)’s second full-length album, “Pink Tape.”
The album begins with their title track, “Rum Pum Pum,” which pushes forward a simpler, refreshing, and mature image for the group. Despite this new vibe, the song has the typical style of f(x)- whimsical, upbeat, and catchy.
[SEE ALSO: f(x) “Rum Pum Pum Pum” Single Review]
“Shadow” is the second song on the album. It begins with electric synths and bells that give it a fairytale-esque sound. The vocals are soft when they come in; they are barely louder than the background music. The bass guitar in the background is quite prominent, and adds to the quality of the song. The bridge is oddly placed in between the first and second verse; despite this, it fits. The chorus is quite memorable, as it seems to switch from a minor key to a major key in a seamless way. This song is one of my favorites on the album, simply because it is so unique. In my years of monitoring the K-pop industry, I have not heard a song like this. Additionally, it really makes my imagination run wild; this is the perfect theme song for a dark fairytale.
The next track is “Pretty Girl,” which kicks off with Amber’s rapping and staccato electronic notes. Then a guitar riff comes in. The verses are soft and low in pitch, in contrast to the chorus, which is composed of high notes. During the verses and the hook, the bass drum is very noticeable, though it is in the background. After the second verse and chorus comes the bridge, which is made up of Amber’s rap and the members’ singing. The song goes back to the chorus, and then ends with Amber’s rap from the beginning.
“Kick” is the fourth song. It begins with an energetic beat, electric synths, and vocals, which are quite choppy. After that, there is a small breakdown. The first verse begins, complete with the choppy singing from before. Amber then goes into a small rap, and Luna begins the chorus. The hook is quite catchy, though there is another breakdown before the members sing the second verse, which follows the format of the first. The bridge is made of rap, not only from Amber, but also from Sulli. This track contains the typical f(x) way of rapping/speaking, something similar to their “Nu A.B.O.” days.
[SEE ALSO: Exo “Growl” Single Review]
The fifth track on the album is “Signal.” It starts with faint speaking layered over a groovy 90s bass. Even though there are no violins, there are synths that make the song feel orchestral. The entire song mixes singing and speaking. The chorus contains a lot of harmony, and even has Amber singing. It contributes to the new mature feel of the album.
After that comes “Step,” an energetic song that also mixes singing and speaking. The beat only comes in after the introduction. The background music consists of the beat and electric synths that resemble the sounds of horns. The horns fade away during the first half of the verses, but begin to enter during the second half. The bridge is filled with high notes, and is followed by the chorus. The song ends with a mixture of the chorus and a third verse.
The seventh song is “Goodbye Summer (ft. Exo’s D.O.).” It is a soft, with guitar, piano, and light drums in the background. The track is relaxing, and differs from the many upbeat, energetic songs on the album. The voices of D.O. and Luna suit each other, and the chorus, filled with harmony, is a perfect example of that. This is another one of my favorite songs on the album.
“Airplane” is the next track. It has a soft-rock feel and is carried by the synths in the background. The beat of the chorus is quite different from the rest of the song, in the sense that the synths are placed to create a somewhat syncopated rhythm. The hook is quite odd, yet really refreshing, with the only vocals being the members saying “airplane” and “love.” This is another one of my personal favorites on the album.
The ninth song, “Toy,” begins with beeps, and a tune that reminds me of Fun’s “Some Nights.” It then changes; the beat drops, and f(x) begins with their typical singing and speaking. The chorus comes, and before it goes to the second verse, the tune briefly reverts back to that of the introduction. The second verse consists of not only singing, but speaking as well. The bridge differs greatly from the rest of the song. The pace of the song slows as dubstep makes its appearance. During this section, there are orchestral synths that make it sound more refined. Then the chorus arrives once again before the song concludes.
After that comes “No More.” At the start of the song, the background music consists of not only the beat or guitar, but also a lot of “doo-wops.” There is a minor quality to the song, though it songs quite upbeat, which makes it enjoyable to listen. The beat in the chorus is made of drums and claps. There is no rap in this song. Additionally, the track is well-placed in the album; it shakes things up just when one may feel tired of listening.
“Snapshot” is the eleventh song. It begins with applause and piano, giving one the image of a recital. This track begins with a musical-esque sound and quickly progresses. There is a noticeable double bass in the background, along with the heavy drums. It is reminiscent of what a retro twist on a 1920s performance would sound like. It has a jazz feel, with trumpets in the background. I really loved listening to this track.
Appropriately titled, “Ending” is the last track on the album. The vocals immediately come in at the start of the song along with an electric guitar, which then becomes acoustic. It is quite soft, switching between an electric and acoustic guitar in the background. The song allows the album to end on a relaxing, summer-suited note.
This album is . . . well, really really good, and therefore I give it a score of 9.6/10. I got a little bored during the middle of it, when there were about three songs that had the same upbeat, excited feeling. I was pleasantly surprised, however, to find that after that the album changed and allowed f(x) to experiment with different styles, all of which were fairly successful. I loved how this album was very mature for the group, and I would not hesitate to listen to it multiple times. Overall, this album swept me off my feet; it will probably be one of my favorite albums of all time.
[SEE ALSO: Exo “XOXO Album Synopsis/Review”]
Don’t forget to check out the MV for f(x)’s title track “Rum Pum Pum Pum” below!