Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sophia Moon-Staring Back At Me (2009)

ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: November 12, 2017

It's by pure coincidence that I should happen to be sharing this next treat while still in the midst of gathering up the 'S' artists in my music library. "Staring Back At Me", the only album that I know of to have been released by this Korean-American pop singer, had been requested—pun intended—many moons ago. And after getting my own first listen to it tonight—ironically, there was no moon for me to see outside my window due to the cloud-covered sky—I must shed some light on the many highlights that will soon be staring back at you! My ears and I were instantly ignited by the opening dance track, "Echo", which soon became a super-addiction with all of the glitzy production effects and way Sophia echoes the 'echo' in the catchy chorus. I can actually 'echo' that statement for several other fun pop tracks, such as the irresistible temptation that is "Irresistible" (I'm drawn to the techie electro-pop that sparks my senses while Sophia sings about a man whom she and all the other girls can't resist), "Tick Tock", "Reciprocate" (an irresistibly-bouncy trance beat gets me here while Sophia delivers some advice about there needing to be some give and take in every relationship), "Step" (this one so reminds me of DESTINY CHILD's "Lose My Breath" with the big-time drum beat; makes you wanna 'step' to the music alright!) and especially "Fly Away With Me" (I get that 80's funky throwback vibe all throughout this one; sounds exactly like those easy-to-get-into jams from my favorite decade). Though the songs aren't always about fun and games; it's serious times, for instance, when she breaks out with her five-star performance on "Five Star Recovery"—a personal anthem of celebration for having persevered through a rough time in life—and the equally stunning follow-up, "Unbreakable", where she puts on a brilliant vocal display as she vows to never be torn into pieces by anyone or anything ever again. On "Money Can't Buy Love", she offers up the total truth that things are much better and simpler when you have less. The interesting lyrics and like the mellow flow of the music captivate me all the way through (the chords, in fact, remind me of the Brian McKnight/Vanessa Williams duet, "Love Is" which, coincidentally, I've been hearing a lot of lately in my offline Brian McKnight listening binges). "Absent Father": the concluding acoustic guitar-driven piece s a brilliant performance as well, telling a sad story about a man who is missing from his daughter's life. But before that, I'd enjoyed two rounds of "Remember", another one whose lyrics stuck to me as she sings about going from having it all to nothing at all when it comes to love. The Track #10 version is great by itself with the twinkly lullaby sound above the pounding r&b beat, but the remix three tracks later takes it to a higher level in its high-energy thrills, and that's the way I topped it all off!

1. Echo
2. Caught Up
3. Irresistible
4. Five Star Recovery
5. Unbreakable
6. That's Just The Way It Is
7. Tick Tock
8. Reciprocate
9. Money Can't Buy Love
10. Remember
11. Step
12. Fly Away With Me
13. Remember (Remix)
14. Absent Father

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