K-Pop

BoA’s Releasing a Japanese Album About Society’s Pressure on Women in Their Thirties

boa 私このままでいいのかな cd album art

BoA, Queen of K-Pop™, is back in a big way in 2018.

From her first-ever reality show in South Korea (Keyword #BoA) to an already promising-sounding single on the way later today (January 31) called “Nega Dola,” to a long overdue full-length comeback, she’s got more than enough planned for yet another South Korean industry takeover.

And, as if all that wasn’t enough, she’s just dropped a teaser for another full-length album…but this one’s coming to Japan.

私このままでいいのかな – or, roughly, “”I wonder if I’m fine as I am” (see this commentary on its meaning!) – is BoA’s nineteenth (!) original studio album, and her first Japanese record in nearly four years since Who’s Back?, due out on Valentine’s Day (February 14).

And, just so we’re clear: this girl is still very much on top – but she’s a woman now.

“The album concept of this work is ‘choice,'” BoA boldly declares on her official website.

“Through this single album, I express the shaking feelings of women in their thirties who are in the process of being forced to choose between ‘marriage,’ ‘work,’ and ‘friend relationships.'”

Be warned, societal expectations: BoA’s about to eat you up.

BoA Camo

Like her last Japanese record, this new album is a mish-mash of her most recent Japanese-language singles that she’s dropped in the past few years, plus a handful of new offerings including her recent release, “Jazzclub.”

The opening of this video, by the way, is nothing short of incredible: BoA puts her acting skills to the test in the middle of midtown Manhattan, finding out over FaceTime that her former flame is getting married, and doing what anyone would do in that situation: hopping in the nearest taxi and declaring “Take me anywhere fun!” To the jazzclub! (Side note: why the fuck was I not contacted to be an extra?)

Not only is the song a bop and the video an enjoyable romp, but it becomes infinitely more impressive when you find out from the choreographer that BoA learned the moves in a single three hour session before filming the video. A pro!

The music video for the album’s title track, “私このままでいいのかな,” was just released as well last week (January 25). It’s a beautiful, super vulnerable ballad (aren’t her ballads always show-stoppers?) that centers around a break-up and a lot of introspection. (Check out the English translation here, thanks to a commenter!)

The same mistake over and over again / I’m afraid of getting hurt / ‘Am I okay this way?’ / I’ve lived this far without asking the question.”

“It was difficult to express the content of the lyrics, but I like it very much,” BoA said.

It’s about to be full-on BoAmas for the next few weeks (Meri Kuri to you and yours!), but just to tide us over, we’ve got this album sampler to sort through, just so we can have a better sense of what we’ll all be sobbing to while eating chocolates and drinking red wine alone come V-Day. (Speaking of sweets, I have a lot of questions about the track titled “Mannish Chocolat.”)

So far, the music sounds so good, no one’s even going to remember to be bitter about being forever alone this Valentine’s Day. Besides, that’s just another one of bullshit pressures we put upon ourselves for no reason. Don’t give in! Just be…and believe in BoA.

私このままでいいのかな will be released on February 14.