Many fans were excited for the Korean girl group f(x) to come back on the music scene after their 9 month hiatus with Chinese American member Amber. f(x)’s previous releases have been cute,fun and playful so far and with the release of their first album,Pinoccohio on April 20th,fans wanted something a bit more substantial and not so cookie cutter. f(x) showed their playful sound alright, one that deflated all the excitement I previously stated.
The album starts off with 피노키오 (this means Pinocchio in Korean script, but it’s English title is Danger), a heavily synth filled tune that was pretty predictable from the audio teasers released. The song sounds like a mix of their second single Chu~ and their third single NU 예삐오 filled with all the strange sounds in the background like the criwd cheering and random ‘Yeah!’s thrown in. While NU 예삐오 eventually grew on me, Danger is too all over the place. The way the girls sing in like a fake, trying-to -be cute voice makes the song just not enjoyable.빙그르(Sweet Witches) follows with an ’80’s sound with almost an arcade game sound and more cutesy vocals. They just keep repeating the title ‘sweet witches’.
Dangerous is a little more bearable until the singing starts. The sound reminds me of Britney Spear’s version of ‘My Perogatvie’ with Chipmunk vocals. Their singing style is annoying and makes the song boring.Finally a decent song! Beautiful Goodbye is a mid-tempo ballad song and a remake of Kasey Butler’s song. The song reminds me of when a pop star tries to make a power ballad, all inspiring and uplifting. Suprisingly this sounds pretty nice and restores faith that they are a good group. Gangsta Boy
아이 (Love) is another decent song. The sound is less synth and has the fun feel, but has some decent singing especially in the catchy chorus with Luna singing ‘Never say never’.
Stand up! has a stuccato intro with one of the members saying ‘stand up. wake up. hello’ which also acts as the chorus. This song is reminiscent of Surprise Party from their third single; very lively. My Style follows with a big band sound featuring horns, but despite the change in sound, this song is boring. The lead up to the lack luster chorus doesn’t really go with the rest of the song.So Into U is another mid-tempo song that features the rapper, Amber singing quite nicely. Although the verses are beautiful, the chorus looses that ethereal feeling the rest of the song has. The main vocalist, Luna, shines in this song with her few seconds of holding a note. The album ends with the Korean version of Lollipop (featuring labelmates SHINee), a song they sang for a Chinese commercial.The song sounds just as cute as the title. The Chinese version wasn’t really impressive and the Korean version is no different.
f(x) aren’t the best singers, but some of their songs were okay. Pinocchio was no different, the album lacked cohesion and the first half went with a more ’80’s sound and the last half went with a more pop sound. All in all the album wasn’t as great as anticipated; in fact with all the auto tune, the songs ended up sounding generic and boring. This album gets a 3.5/5!