Album Review: Hwayobi – Vol.7: 10th Anniversary
01. Booty Call
02. Bye Bye Bye MV
03. Ssso What (Feat. Beenzino)
04. Baby Gone Baby Gone (Feat..Outsider)
05. 2CreAm NoSuGar
06. 가끔은.. 남자도..
07. More Than Love
10. Cloud 9
R&B singer-songwriter Hwayobi celebrates her 10th Anniversary as an artist with this 10 track self titled album. 6 of the 10 songs were actually composed and self-written, making it her most personal release yet.
The album opens with “Booty Call” and is actually not as provocative as the title suggests. Instead, it’s a slow song that showcases Hwayobi’s heartbreaking vocals. This track has potential to be a title track with its slow melody, memorable hook and good mix of English and Korean lyrics. The real title song, however is “Bye Bye Bye” which is a soulful R&B number about leaving a significant other. On this track, Hwayobi’s signature voice is displayed on this slow song.
Rapper Beenzino is the first of two guests to be featured on this album. His contribution to “Ssso What” adds some hip-hop flavor to what has been pure R&B so far. Although his verse is short, Beenzino’s ad-libs are a nice touch throughout the song. Moving on, speedster rapper Outsider adds two ridiculously fast verses to “Baby Gone Baby Gone” which contrasts with Hwayobi’s pace on this slow song. Despite this, the collaboration ends up sounding very balanced.
The album does end up straying away from R&B but only in the end. For instance, track 5, “2CreAm NoSuGar” is a standard slow jam ballad and track 6, “가끔은.. 남자도..” contains a hint of jazz mixed with bossa nova. The song is very easy on the ears and captivating to hear as well. “More Than Love” continues with the pattern of slow songs with a Mariah Carey-esque sounding composition. “iLuvMe” is electronic influenced pop track about loving oneself and not regretting what happened in the past with an ex-boyfriend. The next track, “Zero” takes the electronica sound further with full synthesizers and phenomenal vocals from the songstress. The album closes with “Cloud 9,” an electronica dance-influenced instrumental track that contains a repeated vocal loop and no lyrics. Despite this, it is fairly catchy. Clearly this portion of the album is a departure from the beginning as “iLuvMe” was the catalyst for the electronic-dance-pop sound to follow.
Overall, Hwayobi wisely chooses to stick with the same winning formula of R&B tracks when needed and added some electronica with her 10th Anniversary album. In an industry ruled by idol groups today, her vocals are still considered one of the best and unmatched even after a decade. This full-length LP is a good pickup for fans who are looking for true singer-songwriters that still follow the change in times.
5/5 – Even if you’re not a fan of this artist/group this album is a must buy.
4/5 – If you’re a fan of this artist/group, you must buy this album.
3/5 – If you’re a fan of this artist/group, you might want to add this one to your collection.
2/5 – I don’t think a fan would even buy this.
1/5 – You might as well just flush your money down the toilet.