After we heard the Jay Park-assisted Tattoo, we were really interested in hearing the rest of ELO’s 8 Femmes. The album appeared to be inspired by the personality aspects of eight different women and promised to offer an interest collection of sounds. The singer did not disappoint.
If we were rating ELO’s collection among the other kpop sets we’ve heard so far this year, he would rate right behind Jonghyun. His lyrics offer some interesting content as well, being similar to Tattoo in that there is a mixture of the poetic and the straightforward for something a little different but still relatable. His understanding of his voice and how to use it effectively is excellent for someone who is still relatively new to the wider music scene. At first listen, he seems to be remaining somewhat stationary in octave and tone on many of the songs, but you realize that he’s using the background harmonies and adlibs to add the color that the lead vocals initially seem to lack. The overall effect is an EP that seems short in its runtime despite the number of tracks.
Of course, the production plays a large part of this EP, being different enough to give every song its own distinct feel but all managing to be rooted in R&B, something we didn’t completely expect from AOMG. While the label has plenty of R&B tracks among its signees and bosses, they haven’t done a full R&B project in quite a while. There are no hip-hop beats in this set and it never veers over into pop either. This gives the set an overall soulfulness but still manages to remain danceable. In some ways it reminds us of Mayer Hawthorne’s more recent work in that it’s going for the fun sound without compromising the intended genre. Add to that the fact that many of the songs have a bit of an eighties throwback feel without feeling dated and ELO may have to send some champagne to Cha Cha Malone and Gray for doing such a good job for him.
Our favorite tracks are the Hoody-assisted Friends With Benefits, Tattoo, and Day N Night with an honorable mention going to The End.