❃ BoA - The Discography Rate (Part 2) ❃ - Final Stats

I love all the individual parts of Aggressive, but I go back and forth of how much I enjoy it as a full listen.
I think it starts off promising and as a great album opener. But the chorus can feel a bit abrupt after the versus. Parts of the chorus melody also just don't get me as pumped as the verses.

But I love the verses, and I love the classic j-pop synth and BoA climax around the 2 minute mark. But again when it gets to the final 1:30, it feels like it drags along with adlibs that feel a bit forced into the song. And ultimately for me it feels like an amalgamation of previous BoA songs without quite reaching those same heights. I feel like it has the spirit of an Atlantis Princess album track, with the sound and polish of 2008 BoA jpop.

Kujikesou na toki ni
Itsumo tonari ni ite
Waratte kureta kimi wa mou
Inai nda



Jumping BoAs: (11) @RUNAWAY, @odyism ; (10) @lalaclairi_, @ohdenny, @nanapop99, @evilsin, @Monado, @Slice of Life, @askew
Still BoAs: (5) @clowezra ; (6.5) @Attis
Crispy's Score: 8.5

5 voters: #3 (average: 9.6)
10 voters: #2 (average: 9.3)
15 voters: #8 (average: 8.833)
17 voters: #7 (average: 8.882)

"永遠 (Eien)" is the 1st track from Eien/Universe/Believe in Love, BoA's 27th Japanese single, released on February 18, 2009. It was written by Narumi Yamamoto, composed and arranged by Daisuke "D.I" Imai.

It's time for the last song from the Extras section and two 11 to depart. It must've been interesting to witness its release at the time, as it coincided with the album campaign of her English debut. It also features a sound that contrasted with the latter's material, being more of a semi ballad that contains distinctive features of late 00s R&B. You get the background "hey" that I'm absolutely sure I've heard in other J-Pop songs of that era but nothing comes to mind as I write this, how convenient nn. There's the plucked keys and the claps giving it its rhythmic feel, and there's the bright synths surrounding BoA's voice that make this sound vibrant. I love her performance on this by the way, and now end up having the "why did you say bye bye?" hook stuck in my head when I'm feeling emo fff. Even though it was later included on the Best & USA greatest hits album, I wish it had been given another spot on Identity so it wouldn't have taken me longer to discover it back then.

@nanapop99 (10) — "This is a hit. One of my favorite BoA songs. It makes me feel nostalgic for an era I didn't even witness in real time. Usually I have a lot to say when it comes to my all time faves but all I can think about right now is how this is just an excellent catchy bop. And my go to bubble tea place always plays this track so it's a plus."

@RUNAWAY (11) — "this deserves top 5. You know what….this deserves to win. It’s an absolute masterpiece and BoA should be proud to have this song in her gorgeous discography. I'm proud to have had the chance to get to know BoA's music and to have discovered this incredible song all those years ago. What a rush it still gives me, what....13 YEARS later?! Her artistry was truly at its peak here and she just managed to get better and better in the years following. WHAT A SONG."


I'm takin' off my shell
Kono tomadoi wo nugisutetara
I am ready
Fly up into the sky
Anata no sora he tonde yuku no
I am ready



Jumping BoAs: (11) @M24 ; (10) @RUNAWAY, @odyism, @evilsin, @Kaz D'Oerba, @Ana Raquel, @Slice of Life, @Attis, @askew
Still BoAs: (3) @nanapop99 ; (7) @Crisp X
Crispy's Score: 7

5 voters: #23 (average: 8.35)
10 voters: #8 (average: 8.925)
15 voters: #7 (average: 8.95)
17 voters: #6 (average: 8.897)

"OUTGROW ~Ready butterfly~" is the 3rd track and title track from OUTGROW, BoA's fourth Japanese album, released on February 15, 2005. It was written by Kenn Kato, composed and arranged by Nao Tanaka.

Before we get into the Top 5, let's celebrate the last album track of the rate and a standout at that. I get the sense My Name was used as the blueprint due to the breakneck pace, the recurring strings and BoA's delivery, except all elements are turned up to 11 here. The breathy vocals make me recall In The Zone... but, and I know I'll be an outlier, I think the chorus breaks it for me. Even though the vibe calls for that, I feel like there's too much going on and BoA's breathiness gets a bit much. This may explain why this is a song I've always liked but never loved. You can throw tomatoes at me now!

@nanapop99 (3) — "It's giving: "anxiety, panic attacks and epileptic seizures". The bridge is the only part I'm keeping from this chaotic sounding song."

@clowezra (8) — "She’s insane for this one."

@Attis (10) — "Putting Max Martin on shame, this production is insane !"

(10) — "Goddamn, this song is so fucking cool! Like the overall vibe is otherwordly. It's so sharp and poignant with its sound, it's insane. The falsetto-like delivery coupled with whisper-y phrases is chill-inducing. It makes me feel like I'm on drugs leaving the atmosphere to the unknown of space. What a triumph. Definitely the best work of Nao Tanaka."

@Kaz D'Oerba (10) — "I like how kinda “left field” this song is compared to the rest of the album. Also the vocal production reminds me of something off of In the Zone."

(11) — "My favorite song of this whole rate, probably because the whole song sounds so Britney, down from BoA's sexy vocal delivery in the verses, to the string melody reminiscent of Toxic. I'm glad I looked the lyrics up too, because they're lovely, particularly in the 2nd chorus where she goes "this is what I was born to do, fly up into the sky, I've given all I got to make sense of this time". The coming-out LGBT anthem Japan didn't know it had! I can't believe it wasn't a single, though I guess it would've flopped in the japanese market."

Dakishimeru for the win!!



dakishimeru yowai anata sae
True love watashi ni wa tenshi
dou nattatte tada anata ga suki
kaeru basho nara sono mune



Jumping BoAs: (11) @evilsin ; (10) @lalaclairi_, @M24, @RUNAWAY, @nanapop99, @Monado, @Slice of Life
Still BoAs: (7) @askew ; (7.5) @Ana Raquel
Crispy's Score: 9

5 voters: #4 (average: 9.55)
10 voters: #3 (average: 9.225)
15 voters: #5 (average: 9.116)
17 voters: #5 (average: 8.985)

"抱きしめる (Dakishimeru)" is the 9th track from
OUTGROW, BoA's fourth Japanese album, released on February 15, 2006. It was initially released as the album's third single on November 23, 2005. It was written by Natsumi Watanabe, composed and arranged by Kazuhiro Hara.

After teaming up on "VALENTI" among other songs, Natsumi Watanabe and Kazuhiro Hara striked again! This is a relentless funky dance banger I have a special connection to, being one of the first songs I was obsessed with early on in my BoA stan journey. At the time, I was immediately grabbed by the swing and the pulse of the beat... I just hadn't heard anything of the sort.

The hard-hitting chorus, in which BoA makes use of her higher range in a fast semi shoutey way, would be such a burst of energy. It'd be a staple in my playlist, making me feel invincible while working out or catching the tram in a rush for the first college class fff. I've always loved how the key is suddenly lowered in the bridge. It's the kind of quirky touch that throws you off at first! I remember finding the production glitches over the top as well, but I quickly got entranced by the fast paced groove they provided.

I think this single in particular also bridges her teen pop earlier days with the edgier and more mature material she was moving towards in the mid 00s so well. I sometimes wonder why I didn't give it a 10, and I think this is because the loudness means I can't replay it as much as many of my other faves without getting ear fatigue. But when it hits...

I don't really have much to say about the revamp, except it was one of the most forgettable on The Greatest in my opinion. The chorus doesn't have the urgency of the original anymore, and the whole thing feels slightly plodding.

@M24 (10) — "It took a while to grow on me, but I now realize it's a fucking classic! The whole song's a ride, and while the chorus seems a bit wordy (in classic jpop style?) with no english hooks, I grew to love it! The verses in the Greatest version are quite improved in my opinion, but the chorus seems slowed down a bit compared to the original. So my score is the same for both versions, as they both have their strengths!"

@nanapop99 (10) — "A nice slick piece of R'n'B, don't mind if I do.This one screams lead single from any main pop girls of the early 2000's. It's funny how I did not like the song at first and it took me ages to see the light but this is truly the definition of a BOP! I love the frantic production, her fast paced singing delivery and she was serving with that choreography!"


Wanna get time for watching you
Intersection telling you what
rideumsoge Crazy move
gamchweowatteon neoye kkum



Jumping BoAs: (10) @lalaclairi_, @RUNAWAY, @nanapop99, @odyism, @clowezra, @Monado, @Slice of Life, @Attis, @askew ; (9) @M24, @Ana Raquel
Still BoAs: (7) @soratami ; (7.25) @ohdenny
Crispy's Score: 8

5 voters: #8 (average: 9.25)
10 voters: #6 (average: 9.025)
15 voters: #4 (average: 9.15)
17 voters: #4 (average: 9.132)

"MOTO" is the 1st track and title track from MOTO, the repackaged album to BoA's fifth Korean album Girls On Top, released on August 24, 2005. It was co-written by BoA and Kenzie, composed and arranged by Kenzie.

Going this far without any 11, how iconic? If you've used the playlists to rate songs, you've first been welcomed with MOTO, the in your face title track of this repackaged album. As already shown many times in this rate and Part 1, BoA has taken inspiration in Janet Jackson throughout her career, and you can hear the influence here again. It's a R&B centric jam that doesn't let up, with loud blaring synths and funky guitar work. It's one that that allways sounded like an intro song to a 00s show or something. It ignites a certain nostalgia, amplified with the particular American hip-hop inspired aesthetic of the music video and the street dance moves it contains. Watching it transports me back to the early 00s, making me recall the pop and hip-hop music videos I would catch on TV on a daily basis!

@evilsin (8.5) — "The instrumental is crazy here, geez. All the twists and turns, synth heaven. I think some part don't mesh together that well though, or maybe it's the fact that I haven't listen to this that many times to get used to it."

@M24 (9) — "I enjoy this song a lot, I just wish the chorus popped off a tad more, because production wise it's a bit monotonous." I'm the same way, this is why I settled on a 8. I prefer the live renditions.

@nanapop99 (10) — "This is how you open an album! It really hypes you for the rest of the album. I love this sassy attitude she brings throughout the song. Truly feels like a natural continuation to "My Name" with a little bit more growth and edge to it."

@Attis (10) — "Bop !"

Some commentary since life has been chaos and I haven't been able to post frequently:

Eien, my 11 for this era.
This song to me represents the best of BoA and r&b sounds from this era. It's undeniably in conversation with what r&b was doing globally at the time, but there are unique flourishes in the production and the arrangement that make it standout as opposed to another imitation (which earlier Daisuke Imai productions had to work towards). I also find that the melody and placement just works so well with the Japanese language, and with BoA's voice. I love the vocal layering from BoA, the synths, the staccato drum patterns, DI in the back gong Ayyyyeee, and yet its not too stuffed. The vocal line just floats and glides and takes you on a journey.
Additionally, I think this song is a perfect encapsulation of what made the audience fall in love with young early BoA. It has the passion and the energy, but with the polish and execution that comes with experience.
I have been trying to keep this rate limited to the music, but I also think that this is such a standout in her discography because of the dance routine/choreography.
I think some people confuse the signature uptempo SMTown sound with BoA's signature sound (Hurricane Venus, Woman, etc). But I actually find that the most unique, undeniably BoA, only she could pull it off moment is when you have a beautiful midtempo r&b infused song with all the dynamic parts of her voice (a piercing tone followed with a gorgeous airy head voice). And you think oh this is a lovely r&b number, and then she comes out with a dance routine thats harder hitting than most of her discography.
So while I'm not necessarily rating the dances in this discography rate, I think the power of the performance of Eien speaks to the musicality of the song. There are just so many juicy and subtle bits, and it feels like a bit of a precursor moment to Only One.

Outgrow ~Ready Butterfly~
This was a contender for my 11. But ultimately I know this is a song that can be jarring. When I am in the mood for it, it is an 11. When I'm not in the mood, it's a skip just because it can be intense.
What I love about this song is that it feels like a spiritual successor to My Name. The elements and components are a bit similar, but it's expressed in a completely different way. I mentioned this point earlier, but I think BoA's double edged sword (especially in the 2000s) is her consistency. She rarely has terrible songs, but she rarely has breakthrough top tier moments, lots and lots of 7s and 8s. Because she had released music so consistently, two albums every year at the peak of activity, it was easy for the best songs to be "this is just the newest version of this typical kind of BoA song".
But when she takes risks, and it results in a song where I think to myself "no one else could create a song or a moment like this" that's where the top tier tracks are for me.
Outgrow ~Ready Butterfly~ is one of those top tier tracks for me. No one else could sing this song. It takes all the parts of BoA's voice that people can find offputting or jarring, and builds the entire song in tandem with that.
You don't like BoA's piercing falsetto? Well how about a song where it's rapid fire, intense, uptempo, airy, breathy, piercing falsetto the entire time. And then to have all that intensity and have it RELEASE in such a beautiful bridge? It's orgasmic! It's blissful!
The strings, the Mortal Kombat theme song level intensity, the slightly off but perfect harmonies, the metronome like beat in the pre-chorus. It just works for me! As I relisten, I think the verses are also using the higher part of her head voice, and then the lowest part of her voice with some vocal fry. There are just alot of unique, interesting left field choices on this song that you don't anticipate from a BoA-avex 2005 release.

I just wish that we had gotten more live performances of this song, or even a video. There is so much drama in this song, that I would have loved to see some stunning j-pop 2005 video cinematography with choreo to go with it.

I think I gave this an 8.75.
At the time of release I remember not loving it, but it's aged nicely.
At the time of release I think there was a string of slower singles, and I had put too much weight on hearing that this would be an uptempo from the same team that brought us Valenti, Listen to My Heart, Double, etc.
So my expectations were WAY too high. In retrospect this is just a strong classic BoA single that is in line with the rest of Kazuhiro Hara productions.
For this to be a 10, I think I'd want to hear a few new flourishes and shifts in the production on the second verse onward. It's so high energy, and gets so big on the first chorus, and then it deflates a bit before revving up again. I think just a few moments to spice things up by the second verse, or even playing with the melody could have been fun.

I'm tired of typing, so this will be short. But it's just a 10 in the context of this era!
It's bridges what a classic SMTown uptemop sounds like, while still undeniably being a BoA song. There are songs I've mentioned before like Woman or Hurricane Venus or Copy and Paste where I'm like, these are bops--but this could have went to other artists as well. Whereas MOTO maintains the "this is a BoA song" factor. I remember around this time making a little playlist of MOTO, Silent Screamerz, Freak In Me, Girls on Top, and just being so ELATED.

What you feel what you see
Kagayaiteru anata no ai kureta toki
Lady love mezame watashi wa umarekawaru



Jumping BoAs: (11) @Slice of Life, @Attis ; (10) @lalaclairi_, @RUNAWAY, @nanapop99, @clowezra
Still BoAs: (7.25) @ohdenny ; (7.5) @Crisp X
Crispy's Score: 7.5

5 voters: #6 (average: 9.35)
10 voters: #7 (average: 8.975)
15 voters: #2 (average: 9.25)
17 voters: #3 (average: 9.147)

"Sweet Impact" is the 2nd track from THE FACE, BoA's sixth Japanese album, released on February 27, 2008. It was first teased in Japan's FASIO commercial in January 2007, then released as the album's 1st single on April 25, 2007. It was written by Ryoji Sonoda, composed and arranged by Kazuhiro Hara. It peaked at #5 on the Oricon chart.

I'm sorry @Attis had to be the first person to like my previous post... only for their 11 to leave right away! #3 isn't a position to be shy of though. This single felt like an updated take on her earlier sound, featuring that shiny and bubbly undertone that could be associated with her teen pop days. I'm always a sucker for a BoA song with a new jack swing groove so I'm onboard as soon as the hook begins. However, while the chorus is memorable, I end up thinking the rest is missing something... it feels a bit formulaic to my ears. The lack of personal attachment on my part plays a part in my relatively lower score too.

With all that being said, I'd say I appreciate the treatment it got for The Greatest a lot, even more than the original, as it taps into the jazzy and live feel sound she's tackled more and more as her career progressed. She's just in her element in that sort of vibe!

@M24 (10) — "The Greatest version is a lot funkier than the original, and I personally think the song works better with this vibe. The original felt like it had been applied a "pop filter" after they recorded it. Even so, I'd still rate that version with a 9. Wish she had pulled a Janet in the MV, she had the chair RIGHT THERE!"

@nanapop99 (10) — ""What you feel, what you see" is guaranteed to be stuck in your head for weeks. So catchy! I'm loving this new jack swing inspired track. This is also one of her strongest choreography. I mean y'all should watch The Face Live Tour and go see for yourself. We love a performer!"

@Slice of Life (11) — "it kiiiiinda overstays its welcome but i cant lie, its still my fave song here. Love an emotional bawp!!"

@Attis (11) — "My favorite discovery from this rate. It has classic Boa feel, along with its spunky beat. It sounds very 00 but also somewhat fresh and evergreen ?"