Olivia Short ’17
The term f(x) probably makes triggers thoughts of math class, confusion, and/or suffering. But I’ve got a more positive association for you: K-pop girlband f(x).
I’m not quite sure why that’s their name, but I feel it works. Their music has an geometric, synthesized vibe that’s fitting. It’s like those aesthetic pictures on Tumblr with vague phrases typed over grids. (I can only describe music in obnoxious tortured metaphors and I’m sorry in advance.)
This cool vibe is more present than ever in the group’s newest album, 4walls, that was released in late October. The album art is simple geometric art with prisms and planes and color blocking and I am in love. Look at it.
The fours and quadrilaterals are meant to reflect the group’s recent change from five members to four– former member Sulli left in August to pursue her acting career. Not every K-pop group can rebound from this, as industry and its rumor mill can be vicious, especially towards female artists. But f(x) has proved resilient and continued producing as a quartet consisting of members Amber, Victoria, Luna, and Krystal, hence the album art below:
And they’re still going strong with the recent full-length album. It’s got 10 whole tracks that are slightly different, so it’s kind of like an electronic pop sampler. The album as a whole just sounds so cool– like crisp-pressed white linen or polygons with sharply-defined edges. It’s neat, clean, and geometric, and I want to buy a thousand copies of it.
My two favorite tracks are definitely 4walls and Traveler, the latter of which features Zico, rapper and loveable mess. His rap with f(x) is tastefully geometrique and contrasts well with the girls’ soprano vocals.
You can check out the album for yourself via Spotify— which is itself a sign of f(x)’s success! Spotify doesn’t feature many K-pop albums
4walls topped the charts in Korea AND US Billboard’s “World Albums” the week it came out. But it also topped my heart. My electronic-music-loving, minimalist, color-blocked heart.