Feature

Bite-Sized Album Review: F.Cuz – Bargaining For Love

F.Cuz - Bargaining For LoveK-pop history is stuffed with great albums, and there’s only so many Buried Treasures and Battle of the B-sides features available to cover all these noteworthy tracks.

The album format has always been special to me. Whether it’s a full-length or mini, albums have the opportunity to tell stories and develop an act’s personal style. Occasionally, I dive in and offer in-depth track by track reviews, but sometimes a bite-sized overview is just as fun.

That’s what this feature is all about: sharing notable albums and offering some quick thoughts about what makes them tick.


F.Cuz – Bargaining For Love

F.Cuz - Cha-Ga-WaReleased September 17, 2014

This time I thought I’d bring you a very obscure album that I think holds up well — especially given a few current K-pop trends.


1. Cha-Ga-Wa


This kind of dramatic, melancholic dance sound used to be a K-pop specialty. It’s where groups went if they wanted their music to be a bit angsty. Cha-Ga-Wa is a great example of the genre, thriving on a multi-part chorus that puts melody front and center. The instrumental offers a great sense of drive, with tense guitar and percussion that keep the track building. It all climaxes in a breathless rap bridge and anguished power note. This is definitely one of K-pop’s buried treasures.

 Hooks 9
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75

2. Ring My Bell


From angsty to excited, Ring My Bell takes us to the roller rink for a fun disco bop. This sound is currently back in vogue, but Ring My Bell sidesteps trends thanks to its whopper of a chorus. The production is funky and smooth, bringing in all kinds of synth textures. And though the hook is rather simple, its triumphant melody gives the song plenty of peaks. I love those harmonies!

 Hooks 9
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75

3. Woo Girl (Daegeon solo)


Continuing with the 80’s synth influences, Woo Girl nails its retro sound. This is the first of two solo tracks, this time courtesy of main vocal Daegeon. He brings plenty of personality to this fun track, especially when his airy croon sweeps us into the chorus. There’s even room for a rap verse after the first chorus, maintaining great energy even as Woo Girl mixes things up.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75

4. D2D (Yejun solo)


Four tracks in and it’s clear that “groovy” is the word of the day. This is the album’s second solo, with self-proclaimed Michael Jackson fan Yejun taking the reins. D2D has a bit of MJ’s flavor. It’s super rhythmic and uses Yejun’s fluttery vocals to full effect. I love the extended chorus, especially as the track switches its arrangement during the final minute. It’s possibly the catchiest track on a very catchy album.

 Hooks 9
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75

5. Lost In Love


This album is bookended by a dramatic dance sound reminiscent of classics like VIXX’s Error. Lost In Love brings symphonic flair to the production as strings swirl around the chorus. At times the track feels a little unfinished, but I’m a big fan of this general sound. It has such a sense of catharsis, bolstered by its go-for-broke chorus.

 Hooks 9
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.5

Album Rating: 8.7


One thought on “Bite-Sized Album Review: F.Cuz – Bargaining For Love

  1. Oooh, I have some new goodies to add to my FCuz list. (May I also add that I never understood the name, it always sounds like a dirty word or or a meme I did not know or something.)

    The top of my FCuz list is of course “One Love”. This song gives off very ZEA vibes.
    Live live singing against their owns studio recording – listen up people, this is what live singing sounds like. All but one, and I’ll let you figure out which one.

    Like

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