Pink Tape

It’s taken me some time to fully immerse myself in f(x)’s Pink Tape album because the girls inconveniently released it on the same day as Brown Eyed Girls’ Black Box. Not to mention the same week as other huge pop releases from the likes of AlunaGeorge, Annie, and VIXX. It was just too much to digest all at once.

After finally getting into it properly, I’ve concluded that Nu ABO will probably always be my favourite f(x) album, but that Pink Tape comes pretty damn close to matching it (if it was a mini-album with the five best tracks, it would for sure). Listening to it reminds me just how much interesting pop music people who don’t follow the bubblegum beats of the East are missing out on. But that’s their fucking loss.

Most people cite the twinkly “Shadow” as Pink Tape’s stand-out moment, but I’ve gotta give it to “Airplane” as the best of the bunch. It’s pretty, soaring euro-dance with J-pop electronics that sound like they belong in a Perfume song. It’s beautiful and euphoric, and the most infectiously-joyous thing the group’s done besides the Sweetune-produced “Love” (which just so happens to be Grimes’ favourite K-pop song, FYI). It’s so good that f(x) should’ve saved it for a Pink Tape repackage single instead of just delegating it to mere K-side status.

“Airplane’s” sheer magnificence is all thanks to Dsign Music, who are quickly establishing themselves as the best and most forward-thinking commercial pop music producers in the world right now. They’ve already knocked-out a slew of perfect pop gems like SNSD’s “I Got a Boy,” EXO’s “Wolf,” Namie Amuro’s “Fast Car,” and most recently, FAKY’s “Better Without You” — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. “Airplane” is just as good as any one of those songs, and in a perfect world, it’d be Britney or Kylie’s big comeback single.

Get into it, below.

  • Tetramorium jedi

    Glad it reminded you to Perfume, because it happened to me as well (Yasutaka Nakata FTW!!!!). That beatdrop sounds so much like Capsule´s “World of Fantasy”. Best song in the album, indeed. My top 5 are:
    1. Airplane
    2. Shadow
    3. Signal
    4. Snapshot
    5. Rum Pum Pum

    • I think my top five so far are Airplane, Rum Pum Pum, Signal, Pretty Girl, Shadow.

      • Andi

        So glad I’m not the only one who stans Pretty Girl!

  • unedefined,

    Personally I’ve been jamming to “signal” myself but this song is pretty cool too.

    • Reed Livengood

      Signal is definitely the brightest gem on this album for me as well.

  • lildarien

    You didn’t mention any of my favoutes, but then i’m just a basic bitch with generic tastes!

    Rum Pum Pum, Step, Kick, Toy <3

    • Well I already did a huge post on Rum Pum Pum anyway!

      Overall Pink Tape is really good.

  • Kris

    Yes! I stan for Yasutaka Nakata and his productions! Do you know if Dsign Music also did VIXX’s G.R.8.U?

  • UncleFan

    Trying to choose a favorite from Pink Tape makes my head hurt. I’m just grateful for an album I enjoy hearing all the way through!

  • love “airplane” but it’s “step” that’s been slaying me all over.

    actually i’m very pleased with “pink tape”, it follows the trend of great musical productions from SM this year, plus i totally agree with you about it being the best f(x) work after “nu abo”.

    that said, i think “step” is my fave track because it’s a full stomper club track that gives all kinds of life to my butt when i walk down the streets. but i’m totally in love with the whole album.

    • Josh Chinnery

      Step stanners ftw!!!

  • Cesar Santino

    do a review for alunageorge’s album it was epic!

  • Nicole Naeun

    I think both Shadow and Airplane are just damn epic, I couldn’t pick one out of those two. I play Pink Tape everyday and I keep getting immersed by it. One of the best albums released this year.
    The stand-outs to me are Rum Pum Pum Pum, Shadow, Airplane, and Goodbye Summer. Signal is amazing and Kick is super fun. The only songs I don’t like are Ending Page and Snapshot.

  • leesigh3

    Dude…I’ve listened to this song like 150 times on my computer AND it’s on repeat in my car. Help me (don’t though).

  • leesigh3

    Also, I love how each member has their own color in the live performance. I can almost read their minds.

    Victoria: “I look younger when I smile. Don’t we all look the same age?”
    Amber: “I don’t have many lines but I’m gonna dance these other fuckers off the stage. Watch me bounce”
    Sulli: “I should call Minho when this is over. I wonder what he’s up to?”
    Luna: “Check me out. I’m the best dancer AND the best singer.”
    Krystal: “I wish I was in T-ara.”

    • hahahahaha krystal in t-ara would be damn appropriate!

      • Josh Chinnery

        If K-Netizens are to be believe (which they aren’t 90% of the time), then her queen bee attitude would fit right in with T-ARA’s XD

  • Dhruv Angrup

    this is my favorite album by a girl group this year by a huge margin…..what about u guys??

    • it’s my 3rd, maybe 4th favorite. second would come 9muses’ “dolls” and first definitely snsd’s “i got a boy”.

  • Josh Chinnery

    Airplane is dope, yo :3 I was honestly hooked on Shadow and Step till I really gave it a listen (it’s been hard to really digest all the great K-Pop that’s been flowing out of Korea for the past few weeks), and I am so in love it!!! The beat drop with Krystal and Amber repeating “Come with me, airplane, love” utterly SLAYS MY FACE!! Plus, Amber is actually singing :D Like seriously, SM is wasting that girl’s talent by always having her rap; I’m glad they finally got their heads out of their asses and gave her some lines to sing (especially in Shadow… that beat plus her parts are a total eargasm!!). It’s a damn shame that that special stage is so weak, though; the girls look tired and like they could careless about actually doing the choreography right. SM, what you have you been doing to these girls? I heard Amber fainted during the recording of their debut stage. Tis this true?

  • Marhaebwa

    Is it me or can you almost twerk to STEP and KICK!?

    Korean National Twerk Songs 2013.

    • Josh Chinnery


      • Marhaebwa

        The instrumental breaks in KICK are everything. Pussy-popping all over the place and what not.

        The beginning of STEP sends me mad…

        • Josh Chinnery

          I like Step a lot more than Kick, but Kick is definitely *that* kind of song. Re-record this in english, send it to club DJs, and watch the dance floors ASPLODE!!!!

          • Marhaebwa

            YAS and YAS. *watches Twerk Team on Youtube while muting it and playing Step through iTunes*

          • Josh Chinnery

            Mhm~ Fuck an SNSD english album, what we *really* need is an f(x) english album!!

          • Marhaebwa

            That would be golden! Surprisingly, I believe Amber would be the most accepted out of all of them. Also most of these songs were made for the English language so that would be so hot and could potentially make the International charts.

            Let’s take a moment and pray for an English version of Step and Kick.

            Don’t even start me on that elusive SNSD Engrish album. From when they’re still busy with their Japanese tour and everyone is looking scattered, I could not even put a potential date on it for you. I still anticipate it though.

            Can we also get a quick YAS for my Hyoyeon getting hers lately: face of Topshop HK and guest lead judge on a new dance show. They’d kill me with a solo debut from her…
            …but there’s more chance of that Engrish album coming out next year…
            …or Yoona making a solo debut. #imagine

  • oppar is not yours

    to be fair, they do know the song is good and promoted it even if it’s just two stages :D

  • oneclearnight

    Love is one of my favourite f(x) tracks too!!

    I’m stanning for Airplane and the underrated No More (vocals are a++ and it’s catchy as hell). Step is a certified jam. This is such a solid album, best thing SM’s done all year apart from Shinee’s Misconceptions of Me (Pt. 2) album.

  • KingBeaArthur

    “Pink Tape” is a flawless album! “Airplane” is gorgeous but my heart belongs to “Kick”.

  • Jeff Benjamin 제프 벤자민

    Flawless article!! It’s Luna’s favorite track too :) see here >>

  • Allen Alexander

    This album is INCREDIBLE. It builds upon everything that was good from their last full album and improves on it x10. I’m just a little bit upset though that nothing else seems to match the level of greatness the album exhibits. The stage for “Airplane” was GREAT up until the chorus hit and it turned into a campy aegyo love-fest. It should have kept it’s sign-language esque them throughout. “Shadow” was good but they sang it whilst sitting down. It just could have been a little better. But I guess that’s fine because the album is still boss.

  • my self

    WTF SM?
    “Shadow”and “Airplane”are such better quality songs when compare to Rum Pum Pum Pum. That piece of shit should have been left on the back burner. In fact, Rm Pum Pum is the worse track on the whole album. F(x) are k-pop hipster pop queens and all this time I thought it would be 2ne1 with this new comeback.

  • Blah

    It’s true! *crying and sobbing* this should be britney’s comeback single…

  • TakaMina

    That maths joke in the title of Goodbye Summer is giving me all kinds of life. f(Amber+Luna+Krystal) FTW!

  • Paola Bernal

    Airplane is my favorite song of them! Everythime I hear it makes me smile, I feel happy!

  • Natic Aliev

    I can’t express the amount of love I have for this specific album.
    I mean f(x) in general is the best thing that happened to kpop. ever.
    Red Light, Hot Summer, Electric Shock, Nu ABO, Chu. all great albums and mini albums. but…
    I can’t choose a favorite song, heck I can’t even choose a favorite in f(x) lol.
    sometimes I have no idea how they aren’t the most famous act in kpop history.
    I still get amped up every time I hear their song 아이 Love! beautiful song!
    even their worst songs are way better than most hits of other kpop acts.
    I come from Nine inch Nails and Marilyn Manson and Trip Hop. and f(x) is exactly what I needed in my life.