Welcome to another Rapid Review. Today, we’re going to look at f(x)‘s “Pink Tape.”. The second album from the group, it made quite a splash at the time, being the only K-pop album on Fuse’s 2013 Top Album list. Over the years, it has become an iconic K-pop album for the second- and third-generation fans. I wanted to take this time to see if it still holds up. To me, f(x) was an outlier. They weren’t as pristine as other groups at the time. Now that girl groups are even more popular, does it still deserve its iconic status?
I remember listening to this album in 2013 but only really enjoying a handful of songs. Listening to it now, though, I appreciate the production quality and diversity even more. F(x), (most SM groups, honestly) are more techno-based groups, but the different styles in this one album are a bit staggering.
“Shadow” sounds like the producers got a bunch of classroom instrumentals and remixed them into this stunning track. I can’t explain it any better. It’s just so tight and great. “Airplane” is a techno-dance ballad akin to Robyn’s “Dancing on My Own” while still being its own song. Honestly, I get bored rather easily with albums. But this kept my attention throughout.
Granted, there are still a few duds for me. “Toy” and “Snapshot” feel like SNSD‘s stylish but awkward hand-me-downs. They’re not bad songs by any means. But to me, SNSD was the polished big sister to f(x)’s scrappy little sister. Similar but decidedly their own styles.
Even so, those two weren’t enough to diminish this album for me. Relistening to it, I’ve rediscovered “Step” and “Signal,” which I’ve listened to on repeat.
Step, Rum Pum Pum Pum, Shadow, Ending Page
This is a really great album, y’all. I’m honestly surprised how good it is. How it holds up. Even the songs I didn’t like are enjoyable. This is a great album from a group that deserved way more.