June 4, 2008
Daily Singles Chart: #3
Weekly Singles Chart: #5
Billboard Japan
Hot 100: #17 (‘Kissing you’)
Hot Single Sales: #5
Total Sales: 24,767
Avex Trax
Lee Soo Man


Kissing you
Lyrics: 藤林彰晃 [Shoko Fujibayashi] / Music: ArmySlick

 A crackly keyboard opens the upbeat ballad with the bounce I’ve come to expect from ArmySlick. The most interesting thing about the instrumental prospect is that he uses the same scale and then follows it with the same scale an octave down. It is far from ground-breaking, but it is an interesting flow behind the melody. BoA’s voice sounds, if humanly possible, more breathy but beautiful. I’ve always had a love/annoyance relationship with her voice. With the right music is sounds strong and powerful but with super-sweet ballads it really does border on saccharine. But that could all be because of the right vocoder and voice effects. Though… one never knows, does one?

Lyrics: MIZUE / Music: 原一博 [Kazuhiro Hara]

With a familiar cymbal rustle we enter ‘Sparkling’. I had such low expectations for this song that I was very afraid it would be as bad a Yuna Ito’s ‘Colorful’ from Urban Mermaid, but I was saved the horror when the beat kicked in. I still wasn’t sure though, dreading a boring chorus with horrible cliché lyrics. But I was so surprised with a heavily synth driven, crazy-beautiful melody came in and I was hooked. This is my favorite song on this single, bar none. Although it most definitely not a ‘Girls on Top’ or ‘My Name’.

Joyful Smile
Lyrics: Satomi / Music: 浅田雅明 [Masaaki Asada]

Joyful smile is another mediocre song that only succeeds in showing off BoA’s falsetto range. It is very pretty and the melody is nice, but it really does end up missing something. BoA has a pretty voice, move on! I crave something brave from BoA and she continuously lowers my expectations.


In all honesty, when I heard the title of the single, I was excited for a cool dance tune. Then I heard she was doing ‘Kissing you’, I was excited because I love that song from Romeo & Juliet. Then I heard the titles ‘Sparkling’ and ‘Joyful Smile’ that made me give up on this single. I heard what ‘Kissing you’ sounded like and I really did throw in the towel. But she did happen to beat my expectations, but they weren’t really that high. Had I had no information on the track listing, I would have been utterly dismayed. There is not a real standout track here.

On the other hand: she is teaming up with her old songwriters from her past three studio albums and more than half of her singles. BoA delivers her audience a soft, bouncy ballad, an up-beat pop song that sneaks up on you, and a pretty song. Altogether a nice single from BoA, though nothing truly spectacular. The truth is that BoA’s popularity is waning. She can barely outsell JYONGRI and she isn’t all that amazing.

Delving a bit into BoA’s personal life, I can help but feel that she isn’t completely satisfied in the Japanese market. She wants to be in the U.S. and SM Entertainment basically told everyone that she’s not going; like she was denied a piece of candy. But that piece of candy can make you sick if you already have three countries in which you are active. America is a dream of BoA’s whether or not she gets here. Not that her work is suffering, it’s not as if she has too much say-so over her song choices, and if she does, what is she thinking?

Give America a foot-stomper BoA, give us a song that shows off how edgy and sexy you can be. America will love you for it, at least for a little while.


‘Sparkling’ debuted at #76 this week, although Koda Kumi and YUI debuted higher. On a side note, ‘Kissing you’ is at #17 on the Hot 100 from Billboard… I can’t decide who’s doing this right…


~ by vinyabarion on June 18, 2008.

5 Responses to “Vivid”

  1. The only thing that sounds different is the R&B snap. The rest of “Kissing you” is something from her 14 year old pop star days. Who the hell allowed “Joyful Smile” to be released, much less recorded? Does anybody listen to the previews before recording? “Sparkle” is the only thing that’s saving Vivid’s ass. To me, Vivid is a repeat of the “be with you.” single; almost pointless.

  2. I think those 3 songs should be in Listen to my heart era..they sounds very cute..and that’s where listen to my heart era was like…

    I agree with you..Sometimes BoA’s voice really is beautiful! I love her voice from Girls On Top and My Name..But sometiems its soo Be With You? Its kind loud..oh well but she can sing!

    BoA want to go to U.S? OMG…After what I heard form THE FACE TOUR I think she really needs a short break to regain the strength first..

    its a very very good review indeed!!!!!:-D

  3. where have you been? lol suppp BoA RULES!!!

  4. i just do not agree with the thing of Joyful Smile, cos that is one song i do really like, i just think she cold have done better with kissing you, but i think, BoA needs USA now, or maybe a break, i only know she is preparing a comeback for korea soon, but, other than that, she needs sometime….

  5. I enjoyed her earlier works but as time goes by and mingling in the Japanese market, I feel as though BoA is going downhill – gradually but she IS going down. Now she wants to go smash into USA. She hasn’t been in South Korea for a long time either. Honestly, that doesn’t look good either way. As of right now, America is WAY out of her reach. With the songs and her Engrish, I don’t think she can make it. I mean, look at Bi/Rain and SE7EN. :/

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