July just got a whole lot more interesting, with BoA today confirming today that she’ll release her seventh studio album, Only One, on the 25th. The album will be preceded by a digital single, also called “Only One”, on the 22nd, which was reportedly written and produced by BoA herself.
It’s no secret that BoA’s suffered from declining sales and popularity in recent years, both in Japan and Korea, but I’m thinking that Only One has the potential to serve as a stellar return to the top for the undisputed Queen of K-Pop.
So far, it looks as if BoA is taking the Baek Ji Young approach to staging a successful comeback. Just like Baek Ji Young, BoA reacquainted herself with the Korean public via a judging spot on a popular talent show — Baek Ji Young was on The Voice, while BoA appeared on KBS’ ratings winner K-pop Star.
I’m also going to assume that “Only One” might be a ballad or a midtempo, similar to Baek Ji Young’s brilliant “Voice”, and will serve as a warmup before BoA drops her inevitable dance-pop single, just like Baek Ji Young later did with “Good Boy”.
BoA’s last album, 2010′s Hurricane Venus/Copy & Paste, was a underrated collection of bulletproof electropop and lush ballads that easily trumped the majority of releases from America’s top pop divas that year. Although not an IU-sized success, it did reasonably well, but there were a lot of problems with BoA herself during that era. Homegirl looked like an exhausted corpse most of the time and a lot of her performances failed to feature the energy and killer choreography that have become her trademark. She was clearly severely overworked during that time, but judging by recent photos of her from this year, she’s looking better than ever right now, so hopefully that translates to the stage.
But performances aside, BoA better just come with some good music and a great concept. These days, you can never tell which way SM artists are going to go. Will BoA come back and kill it like SHINee did with “Sherlock”, or is it going to be something tired and unoriginal like f(x)’s “Electric Flop”?
While we mull it over, check out BoA’s best dance performance from the Hurricane Venus era below.