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Album Review: Nicole Stands Apart From The Rest With Her Debut Solo Album 'First Romance' [AUDIO]

By Adrienne Stanley | November 20, 2014 07:00 AM EST

Former KARA member Nicole Jung released her debut solo album entitled on “First Romance” on November 19. The mini album contains five tracks including the lead promotional song “MAMA.” “First Romance” was released by B2M Entertainment, the same agency which represents Lee Hyori, SPICA, and Eric Nam.

“First Romance” features collaborations from SPICA’s Kim Boa, INFINITE’s Dongwoo, and RICKY. The mini album contains six tracks, including an instrumental version of “MAMA.”

“First Romance” kicks off with “Innocence?” which at one minute and thirteen seconds, ends before the listener can really get into it. It serves as an interlude to “MAMA” with Kim Boa of SPICA providing backing vocals. It would be interesting to hear “Innocence?” if the song was extended to full length.

“MAMA” is the synth-pop infused title track of “First Romance.” The musical track is delightful, however, the treatment provided during production overpowers Nicole’s vocals. In that sense, “MAMA” is a solid song that does not necessarily demonstrate her potential as a solo artist.

One of the stand out tracks on the album is “7-2=Misunderstanding” which features Dongwoo of Woollim Entertainment’s INFINITE. Dongwoo lends his deep, hip-hop vocals to the melodic R&B song. This is a track where Nicole demonstrates her potential as a solo vocalist whose capacity extends past dance music.

“Joker” also features male vocals, with an appearance from RICKY. “Joker” contrasts with “7-2=Misunderstanding” in that it is an uptempo dance-pop track. Nicole’s vocal abilities are highlighted during the bridge of the song but “7-2=Misunderstanding” provides a better showcase for the artist.

Nicole ends the album on with the beautiful track “LOVE.” “LOVE” is a powerful ballad which allows Nicole to fully extend her vocal range.

Some fans may have considered B2M Entertainment an interesting choice in terms of representation for Nicole, but the agency has shaped consummate female vocalists. With her solo album, Nicole proves that she has potential beyond being the member of a girl group. It will be interesting to hear how her sound evolves, after she spends more time at B2M Entertainment.

Listen to Nicole’s debut solo album “First Romance” HERE.

Tagged :  Nicole, Nicole Jung, B2M Entertainment, First Romance, SPICA, kim boa, Dongwoo, INFINITE

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