It has now been two years since PSY released a new full length album and a lot of people have been anticipating this album. Of course this record would be an upbeat and lively album since it is PSY we are talking about. One detail that is very noticeable throughout this album is the feature artist’s influence on the song they are appearing on.
The first opening song on the album is “I LUV IT” and although it is not a title track, it does feel like it. This first song definitely had a mix of his two previous songs “Daddy” and “Napal Baji”. The opening trumpets transitioning to the more dance club beat was kind of a let down but was kept short not letting the listeners have enough time to react.
The title track called “New Face” would without a doubt be the weakest song on the album. Not only is the chorus dull but the distorted annoying horn is constantly in the background. You would have thought the pace of the track would vary from verse to hook but it stays neutral.
The third track “Last Scene” is one of the mellow slow songs on the album. The rap and flow of the song is very natural. Although it has a kind of soft upbeat feeling, it also has a nostalgic and sad aspect to it. If you read the lyrics carefully, it makes it seems like a farewell song or a last message before his death. The female vocalist and violin in the background also adds a soft personal touch to this track.
For the next track called “LOVE” featuring Taeyang you could definitely say it is an anthem. The group vocal effect or more like vocal stacking at the end of the song was an extra punch to the anthem theme. From what I read this song is about being different and also about society’s way of thinking in general. I am guessing this song reflects the way PSY feels now and how he felt throughout his childhood. Adding Taeyang as the feature during the hook was perfect and really emphasizes the general message.
The song “BOMB” could easily be an IKON track. The composition and arrangement of the song in general feel like a continuation of “Dumb and Dumber”. Although the Arabian guitar sound is a nice touch, it is very repetitive. The pace and flow of the rap barely change and seems like they are repeating the same verse and hook constantly.
For “We are Young” this track is very simple and very average. You can see any boy band or even One Direction singing this song. Although it is interesting hearing PSY singing something so simple, unfortunately nothing sticks out.
You can say “Fact Assault” is the self-centered song on this album. There is nothing special to this track, it is pretty clean musically. It is the same beat keeping a constant neutral tone. The reason this song is getting so much attention would be the intense lyrics and the obvious, the fact that GD is featuring.
Although rock is kind of dead presently, PSY did a decent job of combing the electric guitar with electronic music. It is obvious PSY was trying to incorporate a rock sound to this track but it still felt like a regular pop song. It is probably because it was written like a pop song. The guitar solo was pleasant but it was to be expected.
The second to last track on the album is “Place to lean on”, a ballad that is produced beautifully to emphasize the clear and forward vocals. The heavy use of the acoustic guitar is to be expected in a ballad but was still enjoyable. This would be a song that could potentially be featured on a OST for a drama.
The last track on the album is called “Auto Reverse”. This song has the nostalgic feeling from the beginning as a woman starts to sing as well as a funky beat that keeps you entranced. The music fits perfectly with the lyrics, talking about past memories or past events that all three artists that worked on the lyrics can relate to. The title of the track definitely points you in the right direction of the general idea and meaning of the song.
Overall 4×2=8 is a record that you can expect from PSY. It is very simple, nothing stood out. Some of the music ideas and lyrics were appreciated as well as the great featuring artists but as a final product this album was not as memorable as I thought. The constant repetition was also a disadvantage to this record, making this a rating of 6 out of 10.
What did you think of the new PSY album?