[03] Album Analysis: BEAST – Fiction and Fact

Fiction and Fact

Six member boy group BEAST has returned to the music scene with their latest album, Fiction and Fact. This full album lists ten tracks (including an orchestra version of their title track and an Unplugged Version of Lightless – a song from their Lights Go On Again mini-album.

BEAST has impressed many with their distinct music, a combination of electronic synths and powerful raw vocals which make their songs powerful and striking. Top it off with catchy and repetitive lyrics, and you get the music of the Boys of the East. To many it may seem monotonous, that their music is becoming predictable, with the repetitive chorus, Yoseob’s adlib high notes and JunHyung’s charismatic rap, but that’s what every group has, yes? A distinct and signature style that will set them apart from other groups. Change concepts as they might, they will always retain that mark that they have established during their debut. For one thing, BEAST continues to impress for the fact that the synths they use in their songs do not encompass their vocals. They have raw vocals in their tracks – only edited to become smoother, but not autotune. Their voices were not meant for autotune. Any usage of such effect would only be to iron out the song, not to coat their voices. This is why they continue to rise every time they have a comeback, because people anticipate. Mind you, this is coming from a non-B2uty (the official fanclub name for BEAST).

Let’s check out the tracks, shall we?

Fiction, their title track, shows BEAST’s growth as singers, at the same time retaining the feel of the newly debuted BEAST. The quill-on-parchment intro sound immediately piques your interest as to what the song is about. Add the title in all of this, and you get a story, sung by the six members.

I will rewrite it again, our story will not end
I will bury fact that reality is seeping into my skin for now
I rewrite it once again, the start beginning with you and I smiling happily
In case you will leave me, the background is a small room without an exit

Looking at the English translations, it seems to be a continuation of The Fact. It is a cry of despair and pain, a writer that has lost his purpose – that being his love. Just as in the definition of a Fictional piece, anything and everything is possible. Here the “writer” imagines the girl to be with him. He uses this medium in holding onto the girl who has already left, yet her memory has etched into his mind, written down like a literary piece.

This emotional piece from BEAST has caught attention, and even if you do not yet read the translations, the emotion that they put into the song will already get you. JunHyung’s seemingly sorrowful rap becomes a narration of pain that cuts the song beautifully, before going into the ending.

Another catchy chorus, another memorable adlib from Yoseob and another charisma overflow from JunHyung’s rap. At least Dongwoon and Hyunseung had more parts this time, I noticed that GiKwang had less. Not a complaint, but an insight in my opinion. Their exposures on singing can be regarded as just. Parts were given accordingly, and despite the members’ similar voices, the distinction and assignment of the parts are approved of.

One more track to take time to listen to is One Day the Rain Falls. The background rain sounds may be cliche and overused, if I may say so honestly. 2PM’s Without You and One Way’s Rainy Days used the same effect. Although this effect could have been disregarded, it gives identity to the song. BEAST’s soothing voices created the atmosphere of a relaxing venue, one could imagine sitting around a family room, sipping hot cocoa while the rain pours outside. Yoseob’s serenading vocals lead the song, along with Hyunseung’s. The first time I had given it a listen, I was a bit startled by the way JunHyung entered the track. His false cough disabled me to react properly. It was uncalled for, but thankfully JunHyung saved it with his wordplay and appealing voice.

As for Virus, it’s a strong song that gives off the same vibes as Say No/Take Care of My Girlfriend. Don’t judge BEAST songs by the title, truly it surprises you. This song speaks of the girl as the guy’s virus. She gives him pain but he longs for her all the more. It’s a chill out song, good for any occasion.

The fourth track, You was definitely a good listen. Hearing Dongwoon’s English at the very beginning of the song excites you to keep listening. BEAST has picked up Western influence in this album, but their Korean clarity and identity remains. They have used it to their advantage, and this song shows that. It gives you the feeling of a 90s Western group. This track is half-upbeat, half-chill. It’s catchy and truly a good listen – you’d find yourself nodding your head to the beat.

Lightless – Unplugged was a good move for BEAST. It is consistent with the feel of the songs, and it’s a good bonus. BEAST’s vocals rose above the acoustic arrangement.

The rest of the album will not disappoint you. BEAST has definitely worked hard to present a production that they had worked on. All of the tracks are worth listening to, and this album will not disappoint. I urge you to support BEAST and purchase their album. Mind you, I’m not a B2uty, therefore outside of bias conclusions – yet I tell you, this could be one of their best albums. Their previous mini-albums provided good songs, but only the title tracks of those mini-albums were really worth the listen. This time, all the songs seemed totally prepared for and worked on. “Fiction & Fact” from BEAST is something to be marked as outstanding, possibly in the near future. This group definitely is pure talent, and the album gave them the opportunity to showcase such.