Since T-ARA’s last comeback in 2018 with What’s My Name, I have not review another T-ARA album. Given T-ARA’s dynamic and robust discography, I am surprised that it has taken me three and half years to revisit this group. The whole point of this ‘Past Album Review’ segment is to go back in time and revisit albums from current and previously active groups. With that, I will promise I will definitely keep T-ARA in my mind and hopefully comeback to review another album before the end of the year (I already have the next album in mind!). But until then, here is my review for the group’s 6th mini-album, And & End, which was released back in 2014, which was lead by Sugar Free.
1. Sugar Free (Title Track) – Please note that this review is for the BigRoom Version. Click here to read the full review for Sugar Free. (10/10)
2. ORGR – It was smart that ORGR was placed right after the intense nature of Sugar Free and before the softer songs on this album. It is like a bridge that connects the polar opposite songs on the album. There is a bit of edge to the song thanks to the hip-hop influence during the chorus, which connects well with the title track. The song is quite melodic and flowy in other parts, such as the pre-chorus, which goes hand-in-hand with the softer tracks. What I enjoyed about song even more is that sense of nostalgia that the song brings, reminding me of other previous female groups such as 4MINUTE, who easily would have thrived with a sidetrack like this. But this is a T-ARA sidetrack and I felt that the group executed it well. Their vocals were smooth and the rapping really helped give the song some additional sass. The song’s hooks including the ‘Na Na Na’ were quite addictive, helping make this song even more appealing. (9/10)
3. I Don’t Want You (남주긴 아까워) – I Don’t Want You stands out for its Parisian and artisan feel, based on the opening sequence. It is a very interesting and different sound to what I am used to. And it isn’t a sound that I would really be excited about. But I liked how they kept it going in the song. Nowadays, such influences would only last a short while. But in I Don’t Want You, it lasted for the entire 3 minutes. It adds a layer of elegance and gives the otherwise soft song unique colour. Vocally, T-ARA sounds very standard here. I did like how Qri’s rap sequence in the bridge was mixed into the song. It isn’t expected, but somehow the producers made it fit in without questions. Overall, a very nice song. (8/10)
4. Last Calendar (지난 달력) – While I was deciding which T-ARA’s albums I would review today, I noticed that their sidetrack discography was very ballad dominant. I hadn’t notice this before, which was rather odd. I do like my fair share of ballads. Last Calendar is nice ballad and one that I would put onto my ballad playlists for when I want to listen to slow music (or get lost in some feels). The instrumental is pretty standard overall. It has really soothing piano that starts off the song. And there is some guitar as well to add a little more zing to the ballad. The members bringing that swaying and flowy vocal melody that you know I like. It isn’t their most groundbreaking song, but it was still quite good. (8/10)
5. If I See Her (그녀를 보면) – If I See Her brings together interesting vocal melodies and a plain repetitive instrumental. You can probably tell which element that I enjoy more of. The vocal melodies really help boost this song and made something that I would have easily passed a little more attention grabbing. So good on the members for this song’s execution. Out of all the members, I find Jiyeon fits this style the most, as the song brings me 1 Minute 1 Second vibes (which, for those who don’t know) was Jiyeon’s solo debut track. Hyomin’s rapping was a little disappointing. I wished it was brought in differently and made to fit the song, rather than have it layered on top. That would have made the song more interesting. (7/10)
Overall Album Rating – 8.4/10