Only One, released on 7.22.12, is BoA’s 7th Korean album.
「Only One」 begins with a light acoustic instrumental before other instruments come in. BoA comes in with light, breathy vocals as she sings, “you’re the only one~” Once the first verse comes in, she sings in a slightly nasal low pitch and once we reach the bridge there is a mix between her regular vocals and a higher backup vocal key. It’s a sad love song, but still has a bit of hope which I can see since BoA is singing about letting go of the one she loves with no hard feelings.
BoA brings in a electronica dance song with 「The Shadow」 and its bright vocals. BoA sings pretty straight forwardly along with the instrumental with the song still maintaining that bright tone to it, but at the same time having that dark, slightly mischievousness to its instrumental, especially when BoA speaks/sings in a low voice in the third verse.
「네모난 바퀴 (Hope) (Square Wheels)」 uses a strong orchestra instrumental with the percussion and piano really standing out as BoA sings with soft, low vocals. Her vocals get stronger and louder during the chorus as she sings along with a strong, supporting instrumentation.
Next up is 「Not Over U」, starting with a stark acoustic guitar coupled with the electronica along with BoA’s smooth vocals for an R&B song. Stronger electronica synths come in later, creating a busy instrumental in the bridge and chorus.
「The Top」 uses a heavy use of synthesizer and electronica coupled BoA’s heated vocals (that are a bit autotuned) make for a heated track and once it gets to the chorus, the instrumental becomes more busy as high, breathy backup vocals fill in the gaps as BoA continues to sing in the same fashion she did in the verses.
「Mayday! Mayday! (너에게 닿기를 간절히 외치다) (You Cry Out Eagerly to Reach)」 turns the mood around with a mid-tempo ballad with its guitar providing the main beat along with the percussions. I love how the backup vocals are used here as they really help to create the mood in the song. The chorus becomes more stronger as BoA’s vocals also become more stronger and soulful.
Ending the album is 「One Dream (feat. Henry (Super Junior-M) & Key (SHINee))」 and it starts immediately with its electronica beat as Henry raps followed by Key. BoA comes in in the chorus as she sings, “One voice, one dream, one wish, one sound, one time” as the boys both repeat what she’s singing in the background. This song is actually pretty short.
BoA is back! I actually really love Only One and its choreography. I love watching her dance it with her labelmates, but I think Yunho did the best performance with her so far. As usual, I love BoA’s ballads, so I ended up really liking Square Wheels (Hope) and Mayday!Mayday!.