K-Pop A-Z

K-Pop A-Z Review: f(x) – Beautiful Stranger

One song. Every day. Alphabetical order.

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Beautiful Stranger (from Electric Shock – 2012)

A unit track from Amber, Luna and Krystal, Beautiful Stranger makes itself known with a dramatic electronic opening before laying down its stomping beat. The song opens with a standout rap courtesy of Amber, followed by a verse that’s just as catchy. The chorus hits with the force of a rock song, though the instrumental employs synth textures instead. It’s a lengthy series of refrains, but they come together to create a nice centerpiece. The production feels a bit more canned than it could have been, but Stranger’s bones are sturdy. At just over four minutes, the track gives itself enough time to fully lean into its theatricality.

 Hooks 9
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25

~ Rest in peace, Sulli. We will forever be grateful for the incredible music and spirit you left behind ~


4 thoughts on “K-Pop A-Z Review: f(x) – Beautiful Stranger

  1. The star of this song are all those pulsing synth half notes over the 4/4 time. That gives it the tension. When it drops out, such as the third verse starting at about 2:58, the song is not even half as effective, as there is nothing in the rap verse or the sung chorus to supplant that tension. Maybe if the chorus went higher, with a higher descant harmony? Luna has a high voice to carry such an idea. Or perhaps a bigger chord build on the 2nd half of the chorus, not just a tight 135 but add higher harmony and lower harmony notes in there with every repeat of the phrase “Beautiful Stranger”.

    (Oh no a digression into Depeche Mode). OK so like “I Just can’t get enough” break, every time they repeat that line, they add the next note up in the chord – its starts at about 1:45, and then when the music does drop out a few measures later, they repeat that built up chord. Simple, but very effective. ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tE88nPjx6g

    Rating is a bit high for me – I would put it as somewhere inn the mid 7’s.


    • By “half notes” I of course meant “eighth notes”, being half of quarter notes. (The coffee had not yet kicked in when I wrote this morning.)


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