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

she/her
After accidentally getting locked out of Popjustice post-maintenance



It's time...



The winner stayed at #1 throughout the entire voting period...



whereas the runner-up fell to #4 at the 10 voter mark...



Girls On Top vs. Eat You Up










02.png


If you move any closer boy there is no guarantee
What I will do to you I feel it and it's scaring me
Like I've become so kind of demon in the night
You look so tasty I could eat you up alive


Eat-You-Up.gif


9.235

Jumping BoAs: (11) @soratami ; (10) @M24, @RUNAWAY, @nanapop99, @evilsin, @clowezra, @Monado, @Crisp X
Still BoAs: (7.25) @odyism ; (8) @mi|kshake, @Slice of Life
Crispy's Score: 10

5 voters: #2 (average: 9.7)
10 voters: #4 (average: 9.125)
15 voters: #2 (average: 9.25)
17 voters: #2 (average: 9.235)

"Eat You Up" is the 5th track from BoA, BoA's first English album, released on March 17, 2009 and the 7th track from the deluxe edition, released on August 31, 2009. It was initially released as the album's lead single on October 21, 2008. A remix featuring American rapper Flo Rida was was slated for a November 2008 release. However, after the single was leaked online, the release was scrapped. It peaked at #8 on the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart. It was written by Remee and Thomas Troelsen, composed and arranged by Henrik Jonback.

This post is going to be a bit longer as I ended up scrapping album write-ups this time around... meaning I'm left with thoughts I hadn't put out there yet. Turns out they mostly relate to this era!

As someone who has heard of BoA much later, I wanted a taste of what it was like to follow her career between 2006-ish and 2009. So while I was preparing for this rate, I looked up old threads from Soompi and other places that were still accessible. I remember being surprised to learn that articles hinting at her English debut were already published around 2007 or even earlier. From what I gathered, this was mostly met with excitement but it seemed like, the closer BoA's first foray into the Western market was to reality, the more anxious some fans were starting to get about it. I saw a few of them grow frustrated by the state of her career, pointing out Japan having become her main focus as well as a feeling among them that the English debut signified Korean activities still wouldn't return anytime soon...

On the side, it was interesting to go through scan trads of interviews and getting tidbits of BoA's POV. In a couple of these, she seemed to be showing signs of burn out... and it left me depressed! I haven't saved them all and I apologize for the lack of sources, but I copy-pasted some snippets on a document. To not clog up this post, I'm putting them into spoilers just below.
BoA's dream-- Studying abroad and debuting in America

"I do not feel as happy doing what I am doing now. To put it more exaggeratedly, I think I might have lost myself, my sense of belonging, in the midst of working."

These words let slipped by BoA, who has been active as a front runner in the entertainment scene, were both shocking and surprising to the people around her. Debuting in 2001 when she was only merely 14 years old, she was still a young girl who held a childish and innocenet look to her. Yet in the years to come, she has successfully released hits like 'Listen to my heart', 'Valenti' and her albums have all managed to break the million sales mark. She has been in the entertainment showbiz for 7 years, and is now 21 years of age. Now, what prompted BoA who has transformed from a young teenager to a mature lady, to say those words?

"It was probably after the release of my compilation album (Best Of Soul), that I began to lose my aim in life. I guess in a way, it was having to work constantly with no breather in between each moment, that made me feel that way. From time to time, I will think back and reflect, whether I am being too contented with what I have now. Honestly, I always wonder what will happen to me if I were to give up singing one day, but because singing has been my life, the thought of it is enough to just jolt me back to my senses that I need to go on with singing. But I guess it is the fact that I hadn't have a break for so long that it is making me burnt out."

As BoA told us these, she secretly threw a glance to her colleagues(manager etc) at the side and gave them a small but bitter smile. Indeed, throughout these 7 years, she has been shuffling back and forth between Japan and Korea without rest in her schedules and has used up 4 passports in the midst of her travelling. Perhaps it's because she is so busy, that she cannot seem to find the motivation to drive her anymore. However, BoA has not lost her dreams all these while. It's a dream made she was 15 years old --That she wants go abroad to America to study 10 years later, when she is 25 years old.

"There's still 4 more years to when I am 25 years old. Maybe I will really go abroad to study then. I want to study English and also take up ballet, these are what I feel are important and essential to me. Besides, I can still do recordings even when I am studying."
BoA's Confessions

When asked about her feelings towards the debut, BoA replied, "The talk about debuting in the U.S. has been going around for two to three years. Actually, it was really hard to hide while preparing for this debut. People around me would ask why I wasn't releasing an album and it was frustrating not being able to tell them that I was in the midst of making one. It finally sunk in that I'm going to America as I am in front of you all doing this press conference. When I went to Japan it was done quietly. One of the differences between then and now is that I'm able to hold a press conference. Above all things, I want to go back to being a beginner and show you that I'm doing my best."

Another reporter asked where she would like to perform since they announced she might be doing a tour in the U.S., BoA replied, "I really want to go to Las Vegas and perform live. I went to one of Celine Dion's performances and I was moved and inspired. It really made me think about wanting to perform on a stage like that."

"Also I'm very happy to have met such great choreographers who can give me great choreography. So far I haven't been able to show you many hip hop elements when I actually specialized in hip hop. I'm very pleased knowing that I'll be able to show you some hip hop. When I was learning the dances and songs, I felt like a fish that met water. Is it not my job to show you a variety of music and dances?" BoA said, confidently.
11.26.08
cimg00411.jpg

Hi Again!

I’m going to try and keep this blog updated as much as possible from now on.
Still in Tokyo and I’m actually in the recording studio right now. Did any of you get a chance to see my YouTube Live performance? I was a little nervous becuase it was the very first live show of my single, “Eat You Up.” But, when I got onstage, the huge reaction from fans was incredible and I totally forgot my nerves. If you didn’t get a chance to look at it, check it out. (Also checkout the fact that I finally got some time to get my hair cut and colored:). What do you guys think?!)

I also have to thank so many people for coming out to my fan club meeting in Japan. I was so lucky to get some time to spend with everyone! I was in Korea before heading to LA - so it really had been too long since I’d been back to Japan.
Shopping in the U.S. is AMAZING btw. Yesterday I went to Aoyama and picked up some hoodies and a really nice leather bracelet. And what’s this I hear about post-Thanksgiving sales? Okay, now I REALLY can’t wait to get to New York for my performance with MTV Iggy at their studios in Times Square. It’s my first live show in The States…EVER. (I know you guys will show me some love and support as always!)
Have to get back in the studio to record now, but I will write again SOON so don’t worry.

Always,
BoA

I learned that BoA was able to hustle as much as she could, playing shows here and there... even though she didn't seem to be given the consistent promotion she deserved, or that she didn't have access to the necessary platforms to make her known to the masses on a significant level, at least from what I was able to tell. I saw that she was interacting with radio stations and blogs a lot... those are the sources of pretty much all the interviews I could find from that era. YouTube is full of those! It didn't really translate to much success as this single and its follow-ups weren't getting airwaved enough in the end. It led many fans to blame SM for the era's under performance overall. I figure this isn't that simple and other factors played into it.

To end this little detour on a more positive note, a peak for many international fans seemed to be her performances at KIIS FM Jingle Ball Village in late 2008 and at San Francisco Pride Festival in 2009. I remember being heartwarmed at the testimonies I've read from people who attended those. If it's the case for anyone reading this, I made sure to embed a couple videos of the sets below!

For me personally, giving it a 10 was an immediate decision as this was one of my introductions to BoA. When this first popped up during a random YouTube generated K-Pop listening session in 2013, the beat instantly won me over. To this day, I still consider it among my favorites. I think it showcased her talents and retained her personality more than most of the English album, and was on par with the best of her Korean and Japanese output. Am I being hypebolic? Indeed, but look at the material here!

The groovy, electronic hip-hop influenced sound she went for fit her like a glove and, I suppose, was a solid attempt to attract the attention of the American GP... I guess? I'm being hesistant because I wonder if the soundscape hadn't already shifted to more upbeat and dancier electropop tunes back then, making this an interesting choice for a debut single.

Anyway, I can't think about this song without grinning... because this pops the fuck off!! Excuse my French but the beefiness of the main synth riff, the syncopation, the staccato singing BoA employs which makes it sound even groovier, the anthemic chorus that always makes me wish I had the range to scream it in tune... I could go on and on about my love for it. To top it off, the music video pumps me up so much too!! It was smart to focus on BoA's dancing abilities, as that was a wish of her per one of the interviews shared earlier, and the Jacksons influence is prevalent once again.

Even though the song is on the slower side compared to the rest of the album, the whole thing still feels like an invitation to the dancefloor to me. In the commercial sense, it may not have made as much of a dent as expected, but it remains a bop that I'm dying to finally be able to put on repeat through modern ways... who at SM Entertainment do I have to harass for it to be put on streaming services?!



@Kaz D'Oerba (8.5) — "god this is such a 2009 throwback. Deserved to smash teebs"

@clowezra (10) — "An 11 contender for me, one of the best songs of the 00s, a timeless banger."

@M24 (10) — "A classic. I'm a sucker for this kind of dated electropop, so it hasn't aged badly for me. We could complain about the autotune and stuff, but sadly that's the way things were back then. I wish the MV was reuploaded in greater quality though, I'm sure SM must have recorded it in HD..."

@RUNAWAY (10) — "okay hear me out. I’ve been obsessed with this song from the second I first heard it and the obsession has continued all the way to this moment. That iconic video…..that was fighting for gay rights. This deserves to do so well, but the English album haters will probably undeservedly tank this song. This was the runner up for my 11, and it better do well here!"

@nanapop99 (10) — "Had this song been released a year before, it would have easily smashed all around the world. But I guess the locals were just not ready for an asian superstar back then. To me, this is a top notch electropop banger and I will forever be mad at Lee Soo Man for letting her flop like that. The classic that got away."

@evilsin (10) — "I believe this was a great choice for the first glimpse of the English material from miss BoA, because it's a little Britney, it's a little Janet and very much BoA. The dance is so tight as well, the Asian version of the music video was also a treat to look at."








 
Last edited:
she/her
01.png


naneun naingeol
nugudo daeshin haji mara
(geureoke manmanhage
neomeogal naega aniya)


Girls-On-Top.gif


9.705

Jumping BoAs: (11) @ohdenny, @clowezra, @askew ; (10) @lalaclairi_, @M24, @RUNAWAY, @nanapop99, @evilsin, @Kaz D'Oerba, @Ana Raquel, @Monado, @Attis
Still BoAs: (8) @odyism, @soratami ; (8.5) @mi|kshake, @Slice of Life
Crispy's Score: 9

5 voters: #1 (average: 10.2)
10 voters: #1 (average: 9.75)
15 voters: #1 (average: 9.66)
17 voters: #1 (average: 9.705)

"Girls On Top" is the 2nd track and title track from Girls On Top, BoA's fifth Korean album, released on June 24, 2005. It was written, composed and arranged by Yoo Young-Jin.

As the title track of the sole Korean album of the rate, "Girls On Top" is also one of the most notable songs in BoA's discography. Its release signaled a clear growth in maturity not only sonically but image wise. The song is known for its female empowering message that was a bold move at the time, and resonate still to this day. BoA fights back against the expectations and pressures set by the patriarchy on women, proudly claims her independence and self-confidence and encourages all women to follow in her path.

It all translates in the music video, which sees BoA first trapped in a glass box, akin to the damsel in distress trope, while she's surrounded by a group of men who are looking through it and ogling her. Latter on, the power dynamic is reversed as it's those men's turn to get stuck there whereas BoA can be seen performing outside of it, unbothered by their presence and not daring to stare at them in return. She is the one in charge! It's literal but the imagery is striking. The fashion used is noticeable as well. The eye-catching gold outfit and the iconic mullet rocked by BoA is one the looks I associate the most with her. I also like how this sensual, androgynous look contrasts with her demure appearance displayed in the glass box scenes. Staying true to the theme, BoA subverts expectations here.

As for the song itself, I love how hard it goes and this can mostly be attributed BoA's performance. She's going for an aggressive, shouty approach, delivering each line with a punch and letting her voice even crack at times. You can feel her rage! There's also something about the beat that sounds timeless to me. The hip-hop influence can't be understated, with the G-funk undertones echoing through the high-pitched synth motif. It's one of her most memorable melodies for me. I remember hearing it for the first time and hitting me instantly because it reminded me both of the GTA San Andreas theme, and of Usher's "Yeah!" fff. The whole thing is such a burst of energy that doesn't let up. It's just one of those feel good songs for me, even though the shoutiness impact its replayability, which is the reason I didn't give it a 10.

Nonetheless, its impact on the K-Pop scene is significant, having seen it included in many top K-Pop lists, and having been covered many, many, many (oop) times throughout the years. More recently, SM even took direct inspiration for the supergroup GOT The Beat, which included BoA alongside labelmates. Ironically, because we can't always have nice things, their debut didn't honor the name's origins and was a thematic misstep. It makes me wonder how much backlash BoA would get if she came out with another feminist anthem like "Girls On Top" today. Paving the way, did she?



I dislike your strange attention towards me
(Weak girl.. weak girl in love Whoo)
Don't force me.. I won't be confined
All things my way
I am me.. no one can replace me
(I won't be passive that easily)
I want to keep my appearance as it is and be dignified
(Don't expect the same girl that was confined in the shadows)
Sexy, calm, boredom in forever knowing only one man
That is rightly an illusion, of every man's interest

I have dreams that will completely change this world





@M24 (10) — "This is such a bop, oh my gosh. And the (korean, not english) lyrics were SO ahead of their time, I can't believe kpop has regressed in that sense considering how much more popular it is in the west. The very group "Girls on Top" is a case in point, and it's ironic that both this song and "Step Back" were written by the same person."

@nanapop99 (10) — "I first heard this track on her english album and I could already tell that it was a classic after my first listen. The original K-Pop feminist anthem. Iconic song. Iconic looks. Iconic choreography. I could live without the rap part though. This is random but sometimes I do wonder how SM would have named the GOT the Beat project if this song didn't exist..."

@evilsin (10) — "The heavily layered vocals do something to my meek soul. I just have to bump up my score whenever we have those. Not to mention how powerful she sound throughout. And really, what a moment with that girl power riding the guys' backs energy."

@Kaz D'Oerba (10) — "this song has always slapped, does slap, and will always slap"

@Attis (10) — "Not my favorite single from her, but it still slaps so hard."


@clowezra (11) — "Hands down one of the best pop songs of all time, k-pop or not. The intro gives me chills every time, the production is through the roof, she sounds so assured a confident-a full blown popstar moment. Every listen feels like the first, I’ll be livid if this doesn’t win teebs!"







 
Last edited:
she/her
Here are the final stats. I think I had written down more of them in Part 1, but I'm struggling with the new posting format a lot so I'm stopping there fff. Hopefully it's readable!


561-girlsontop-07ba.jpg


Average: 7,373303167



568-outgrow-hg7i.jpg


Average: 7,602941176



569-madeintwenty20-2w36.jpg


Average: 7,18487395



570-theface-uwnt.jpg


Average: 7,544117647



81kk-VXcu4-OL-SL1500.jpg


Average: 7,83031672



23.png


Average: 6,895721925



Album ranking
#1 BoA
#2 OUTGROW
#3 THE FACE
#4 Girls On Top
#5 MADE IN TWENTY (20)
#6 Extras

Total average: 7,35490196
#1 RUNAWAY 9,066666667​
#2 evilsin 8,111111111​
#3 Slice of Life 8,022222222​
#4 lalaclairi_ 7,777777778​
#5 soratami 7,588888889​
#6 Ana Raquel 7,533333333​
#7 ohdenny 7,477777778​
#8 odyism 7,363888889​
#9 Kaz D'Oerba 7,230555556​
#10 mi|kshake 7,166666667​
#11 Crisp X 7,161111111​
#12 Attis 7,15​
#13 Monado 6,944444444​
#14 askew 6,916666667​
#15 clowezra 6,861111111​
#16 M24 6,366666667​
#17 nanapop99 6,294444444​
 
she/her
Was there really any other winner than Mothers on Top? Such a timeless song.

Thank you @Crisp X for another rate! The pacing, write-ups and graphics were all amazing.

Is it too early to start campaigning for Recollection to win Part 3?
It's never early for that!



I wanted to thank everyone for partaking in this rate again. It's been a bumpy ride because of the breaks, but I'm happy to have made it to the end and I'm grateful for your patience! Going through eras I was less familiar with compared to Part 1 and Part 3 and rediscovering many songs thanks to all of your different lenses were fun and rewarding!

As for what's next, I'll continue working on Part 3 and will announce the opening date both on here and in other parts of this subforum when it's time. I think one last major incoming forum change left is the reopening of registrations, so I'm also looking forward to it. I'd be thrilled if potential guests and lurkers were able to join us for the occasion.

We'll see what happens!

boa-kwon-k-pop.gif
 
Thankyou so much @Crisp X for continuing to do such a phenomenal job running these discography rates.
BoA's discography is uniquely expansive across different languages at such a specific time in pop culture.
I burn out from just writing opinions on songs, so running this rate so gracefully is so much hard work that we appreciate.
I find that k-pop has an ageism problem, so despite being more popular than ever and BoA so influential and iconic, there really aren't that many online spaces where fans are discussing her and her music specifically in depth. So these discography rates are such a treat for those of us who are here for the music first and foremost!!!
Thankyou!!!!


For the final two songs, I am one of the lower scorers. But I am still happy enough to see their placement for this section of the rate.

Eat You Up
The good:
I enjoy this song well enough, but it's simply a case of it's not for me to be top tier 10/10.
It's a well produced song, and some of the overall traits from the english album that I find problematic actually work quite nicely here. There is a monotonous, robotic, and icy quality to the BoA album, but when its delivered in the staccato melody of Eat You Up's verses it feels intentional. Additionally the contrast in the chorus and bridge, balances the verses. And the bridge into the classic SMTown adlib feel 100% like BoA, as opposed to say a Look Who's Talking, Energetic, and I Did It For Love which felt extra cold and faceless.
I also love the little flourishes in the production, from the meowing/zippering sounds to the end bits of "I wanna take you to/my room" to the final pitched up "I'll eat you up".

The bad:
I do wish there were some more flourishes or a repreive to the chorus of the song. I understand the appeal of a chorus with only one or two lines, delivered in a bunch of different ways. But I wish there was just a biiiiiit more variation.

Other than that all my dislike for the song in the past is rooted in my specific history to this sound in pop music, and setting up my expectations too high as a full fledged BoA STAN at the time of release.

The ugly aka I typed a journal entry about fandom lol:
My general timeline of interest in pop music, and BoA specifically--I was 13 in 2003 and learned of j-pop through the Simple & Clean and anime theme song pipeline. Once I heard Kimochi wa tsutawaru I became obsessed with BoA. I would try to learn every dance routine, every song, write fanlyrics, do a bunch of fanart, and the BoAjjang forums were my main internet playground for some online friendships and being creative outside of DeviantArt.

I was fully immersed in obssessive teenage pop fandom, and was consistently only listening to BoA, Kumi, Utada, Crystal Kay, etc. By the time The Face came around, I was 17, and with Eat You Up I was 18.
At this point I could feel the shine wearing down and that BoA's music wasn't growing at the same rate with me compared to lets say Utada Hikaru or a Beyonce. At this point I was also starting to discover music across the globe, electronic music, indie music, jazz, and opening myself to a whole new world of sounds. And at the time I was also really tired of the music that was being played constantly on American radio stations, and hearing some of my favorite r&b singers get shelved or flattening into the electro-pop sounds of 2008.

So it was really the perfect setup for me to lose interest in BoA's music, especially when my favorite parts of her artistry felt so flattened.

Girls On Top
The good:
Honestly it's just a classic! A BoA classic! A k-pop classic!
I absolutely love how thematically, visually, and musically it really pushes against some of the expectations for a female k-pop/j-pop singer. The delivery shows all the sweet spots of BoA's voice at the time. The unique tone is all there! The confidence and power is all there! And in terms of technique, 2005 BoA was at a unique age of really reaching a new level of technical proficiency while still being young. 2005 BoA is like, the S-rank version of "golden age" BoA.
Through the years BoA has gotten so precise, professional, and polished. And while that consistency is powerful, it can sometimes put a damper on the PASSION that you feel all throughout a release like this.

The song itself has some great synth work happening, and opens up so beautifully. It's an obvious crunk & b song of its time, but there are also some fun throwback new jack swing early 90s references happening.
YYJ and BoA is always such a great musical collaboration, and I love hearing their voices together on the same song. He knows how to place and mix voices so that BoA not only sounds like herself, but also has a nice WEIGHT to it.

I also think that becoming a BoA fan around the time of Shine We Are! colors how I first received this song. When My Name first came out, it felt like OH! This is new! BoA's K-pop is doing something her j-pop releases aren't/can't do. But when Girls on Top first came out, it felt earth shattering to really hear and see her with her mullet on top of these dancers' backs dancing for her life and belting.

I also have to say that despite it being a 3:38 k-pop song from 2005, it feels like a journey. The energy doesn't let up, and there are so many beautiful flourishes and shifts that keep me interested once it gets going. Especially the the bridge into the ENDING?!!
Some early BoA releases like Amazing Kiss or Listen to my Heart, I smile at clap at baby BoA doing her best with the adlibs. But the end of Girls on Top, I am not cheering her on in an infantilising way, I just believe it! The power, the precision, the confidence, and energy is all there. And a song like this is such a nice reminder of BoA's proficiency as a singer and dancer. By the time of this album, it was so clear to me that BoA's vocal and dance skills were at a very balanced state.

The bad:
This is probably my own fault for overplaying this song when it first came out.
But I find that this song is either a 10, or it's completely unlistenable and irritating.
I find that the crunk & b sound just feels so 2003-2005, that I am instantly transported to this era which includes all the good and all the bad.

I find that day to day in 2023, I get irritated by the bg rapper in the beginner being SOOOOO corny with their fake blaccent going "SHAKE DAT THING". But that once I get to BoA's first verse, I am instantly transported to what made me love the song in the first place.

I think because of that I gave Girls on Top a 8. But it's more like, 80% of the time a 10 and then 20% of the time a 6 lol.
 
Belated thank you to @Crisp X to running another great rate! I always appreciate it when someone takes time to do a JPop (or in this case JPop and KPop!) rate and love hearing folks' thoughts and experiences of a song/artist!

Girls on Top is a deserved winner! I think it was the first KPop song of hers I heard. I saw the video and I was like "oh my god I need this song!" (and proceeded to not actually buy the album and eventually bought the song years later but hey!)

I'm surprised Eat You Up went so far! I definitely thought the English album was very generic and faceless. However over the years Eat You Up has become more "BoA-y" to me and fits in nicely with the rest of her discography. (My only issue with it now is the "finest thing in history line"!)
 
she/her
As for what's next, I'll continue working on Part 3 and will announce the opening date both on here and in other parts of this subforum when it's time. I think one last major incoming forum change left is the reopening of registrations, so I'm also looking forward to it. I'd be thrilled if potential guests and lurkers were able to join us for the occasion.
Well, I'm kinda tired of



This is me making this post to gauge how much interest there would be for Part 3 because I lost hope of ever getting any updates about the bolded bit nn.

Ideally I'd like to run it at a time when there aren't too many rates going on, so I figure early next year would be doable, if that's okay for everyone?

Please let me know x​
 
he/him
Well, I'm kinda tired of



This is me making this post to gauge how much interest there would be for Part 3 because I lost hope of ever getting any updates about the bolded bit nn.

Ideally I'd like to run it at a time when there aren't too many rates going on, so I figure early next year would be doable, if that's okay for everyone?

Please let me know x​

Desperate for Part 3, it’s the section I’ve been looking forward to the most, ready whenever!!
 
Top