“NOIR” is an album by BAP that is very versatile, as each track can belong to an array of genres and sounds! Listening to it was definitely a surprise and I found myself greatly anticipating the next track.
LE NOIR: “LE NOIR” is album opener of BAP’s “NOIR”. The track introduces the album with a very jazzy piano and musky and smooth vocals. The piano backtrack sounds straight out of a 1940s musical film. The vocals in this track also have a lot of jazz features such as vibrato, falsetto, and “talking” instead of singing. It is a little dull to listen to after a while, but it made me greatly anticipate the rest of the album!
SKYDIVE: The next track, “SKYDIVE” is in complete contrast to “LE NOIR”, the first track on the album. To put it one way, “SKYDIVE” sounds more action-packed. It has more of a grungey and grimey vibe to it, especially with the added rapping. The rough vocals in the track tied in with the deep rapping in the chorus make it a very catchy song to listen to it! It has a slight dance style to it. The song however feels as if it’s lacking something, the only thing I truly enjoyed listening to in this song was the rapping!
RIBBON IN THE SKY: “RIBBON IN THE SKY” has a similar vibe to “SKYDIVE” however it does slow down a bit again this time. This track has a very “current” sound, and by that, it sounds very like a track that another similar group such as Bangtan or B2ST would do. The hook in this track is great however, and I was pleasantly surprised by this song! I love how the beat builds up with the orchestral style backtrack, revealing an intense chorus!
KILLER: Track number four is more r&b in style. The song has a less powerful feeling to it than the previous two tracks, but it makes for easy listening! In this song I feel that the vocalists shine through more! In the previous songs I felt as if the rap was overpowering, but here I can truly hear the vocal ability of BAP! I love how they articulate the lyrics with their various singing techniques and harmonies. My favourite thing about this song is the chorus because it is totally different from the rest of the song!
FERMATA: The album slows down once more for “FERMATA”. Again, coming back with smooth vocals done in the r&B style, BAP shows off their vocal prowess. I love the harmonising and the softness of the falsetto. “FERMATA” is a song that definitely stuck with me after I finished listening to the album. If I were to recommend any song from the “NOIR” album, it would be this one! There is something very sweet sounding about this song, be it the backtrack or the vocals!
CONFESSION: “CONFESSION” opens up with a choir chanting. Straight off the bat I got quite an eery feeling, which is amplified by the breathy rapping accompanied by the choir. I admit though, the choir chanting tied in with the fast trap-style beat is very catchy! The song overall feels quite creepy, but the minor melodic song makes for an addictive tune!
I GUESS I NEED U: This album is truly one surprise after another! Again, a track that sounds completely different to the last, “I GUESS I NEED U” is the perfect blend of soulful singing and rapping. I loved the vocals in this track in particular, the members truly go all out! They reach high and low tones and ornament their vocals along the way. Again, the use of a piano and a trap beat works perfectly with the rapping! “I GUESS I NEED U” is definitely my favourite on the album.
CHIQUITA: From the song name alone I was expecting a fast r&b track. I got a fast track, but it is more in the style of funk! “CHIQUITA” is like funk meets KPOP. The song is very fun, and the synthesised sounds and beat hark back to the likes of Michael Jackson! The backtrack itself reminded me heavily of Michael Jackson’s early work. This is a very versatile song I feel as if it would work at any occasion, season etc.
WALK: “Walk” starts off as an acoustic track with simple singing and a simple backbeat. The vocals are done in a talking style again also. This is probably the most predictable song on the track – it sounds like a track where BAP are taking it easy; it ticks off every pop element and it sounds like a song that could be heard on the radio anywhere – Korea or abroad.
NOW: “NOW” is another slow song with an acoustic backtrack and a simple beat. The rap is less imposing in this track and the only hip-hop vibe the song really has is from the record-scratch effect. This song is sweet and charming, and it feels like a track that could be heard on any KPOP album really. It’s not bad, but it’s nothing outstanding.
KINGDOM(Korean Version): The original version of “KINGDOM” is in Japanese, however BAP have presented us with the Korean version! This is a very strong track and easily the best in the album, maybe hence the reason they adapted it to Korean! It sounds like an action movie soundtrack and the rock vibe mixed with the rap and vocals makes for the perfect track! The speed rap and the sultry harmonising certainly make this a catchy song!
SKYDIVE (inst): “SKYDIVE” is a track that needs vocals and rapping. Without them, the track definitely feels like it is lacking the “power” that BAP is well known for.
FERMATA(inst): I must say, I prefer the instrumental version of “FERMATA”! I loved hearing all of the effects clearly without the vocals, and it sounds like the perfect track to try and learn on any instrument!
As I listened to “NOIR” I never knew what to expect, which kept my attention at all times! I felt some track were more lacking than others, however, so I give the album a 4 out of 5!
Review written by Isabelle