K-Pop Songs: C – Coma by B.A.P

This is another song I’ve already mentioned in my “Favourite Groups” series – there will be a few of them – but I think it needs to be talked about again. I’ve said this for a long time and I’ll continue to say it until people wake up and appreciate their amazing songs/vocals and how hard they work. For me BAP is one of the most underrated groups within Korea but I can’t be more happy with their popularity outside of Korea.

ARTIST: B.A.P

ALBUM: One Shot – EP

One_Shot_EP_cover

This EP was released 12 February, 2013 with the release of their title songs One Shot and Rain Sound. As much as an emotional rollercoaster these MVs were the EP was equally as emotional as it gifted the world with Coma.

BAP for me are genre kings, always coming back with a different style than we’ve seen them in before. Because of this I can’t help but be totally knee-deep into everything about their comebacks. The thing that’s so different about them, aside from the wide range of genres in their back catalogue, is their use of rock as a base genre for all their music. There’s something super satisfying about hearing strong vocals and a strong rap on top of a rock-based track.

They’re known for being a very socially conscious group, writing songs and singing about subjects that are almost seen as taboo in Korea – maybe that’s why they’re less popular there. For me, I really appreciate a group that handles the song-writing and is able to talk about a wider range of topics rather than sticking to the same subject over and over. Because of this, I’m unsure if this song does have an underlying social message but on the surface it looks like a “I loved you but I can’t believe you left me” which, although very common among idol groups, BAP tend to do this type of song in a different way.

After you left, I lost control
I become drunk every night and stumble around
Spit out curses because I think of you, who was cold
I feel dirty
I overflow in anger, and scream
Your face that appears in the cracked mirror
It seems like our love that’s broken into many piece
I stand at the end of this tiring cliff, and
rip apart the memories I had with you
I don’t have it

I can’t move in the darkness
I can’t feel anything
Tears fall down
I’m trapped in memories of you, no
Please hold onto my hand, so that I can wake up
Please don’t go

The song starts off with an synth-organ sounding melody before the sound of a gun barrel being spun. Once the first 15 seconds have passed a seemingly menacing beat pair with haunting high notes come into play before Yongguk comes in with his deep voice and raps over the track a little more aggressive than we’re used to. The continuous beat in the background contains an almost electronic drum kit but also heavy use of strings. Using these strings adds a kind of theatrical and dramatisation to the song which ultimates brings the song to a whole new level of grandeur.

There’s a part just after the chorus where the members are all screaming out “Why?” as the same beat continues to play before entirely stopping. Before the listener even has time to think about anything SECRETs Ji Eun comes in with a beautiful vocal which draws you in even more. When I first heard this song I got goosebumps at this particular part – I didn’t know what was happening but all I knew what that I wanted to cry.

At the 2.37 mark, the music almost entirely dies down while you can start to hear the sound of thunder in the background while Youngjae sings on top in a more sensitive and delicate way that we hadn’t heard throughout the song previously.

The part that I especially like in the last 50 seconds is Daehyun – his vocals in this particular song exceed all kinds of expectations. Not only is his higher register an asset to the group in general but he seems to elevate this song to a whole new level. Without these vocals I don’t think the song would’ve had the same impact it did.

I continue to listen to this song whenever I can as I’m a huge sucker for a slow song that showcases different types of voices all packaged into one – Yongguk’s deep and husky rap, Youngjae’s strong vocalisation in the chorus and Daehyun’s high register. I feel like this is also an accurate representation of who BAP is – six members with entirely different vibes who wouldn’t seem like fit together, but now you can’t see one without the other.

Because this song wasn’t a title song there is no MV for it but I will leave the best version of this song down below. This is by far one of, if not the, best live performances I’ve ever seen. Not only were the boys feeling the music and bringing the intensity but their vocalisations were impeccable! Daehyun gives me goosebumps every time I watch this and I’m sure he’ll give you some as well!

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