f(x) Comeback “4 Walls” Review

26 Oct

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A major f(x) fan is back to give you a review of f(x)’s latest album 4 Walls. Honestly, I’d been so preoccupied with life that f(x)’s comeback creeped up on me without me even being fully prepared. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect.

After f(x) member Sulli left the group, I was a little worried about this comeback. I made up in my mind not to expect too much.

Like always, f(x) managed to surprise me…Which wasn’t surprising at the same time? But it was. DARN IT ALL! Just when I think I have this unexpected thing nailed when it comes to f(x), here they come with something I never even expected. They are very different from any girl group comeback this year. I can’t say that I was totally prepared. I didn’t have many expectations, but I did expect something upbeat.

I don’t think I was entirely prepared for what we fans actually were handed.

I’ve touched on f(x) before, so check out some of my links below:

Who is f(x)? Take a detour and click me!

f(x) Pink Tape Review

GN’s LEAST FAVORITE f(x) album?

Why f(x) of all K-pop groups?

The Most Unique Girl Groups in All of History (f(x) makes the list)

If you want to hear other f(x) albums, just to get an idea of who they are, you can listen below:

What isn’t unexpected about this album is the experimental sounds. I was prepared for that. Still, how can someone prepare for experimental sounds without feeling a little uneasy?

I’m going to start by reviewing their photo images for the comeback.

The images for this album have a 1970’s retro vibe. Still, the girls are quite natural. They seem chilled, relaxed, and fresh-faced. They are wearing comfortable clothes. I really like the natural and comfortable feeling. Really, it’s not as unusual as last year’s Red Light concept.

It seems f(x) keeps getting lost in forests. Electric Shock‘s images also put the girls in a forest. Only this time, their outfits aren’t as eclectic.

f(x) 4 walls krystal f(x) 4 walls fx 4 walls amber 2 fx 4 walls amber 3 fx 4 walls amber 4 fx 4 walls amber 5 fx 4 walls amber 6 fx 4 walls amber 7 fx 4 walls amber fx 4 walls fx fx 4 walls krystal 2 fx 4 walls krystal 3 fx 4 walls krystal 4 fx 4 walls krystal 6 fx 4 walls krystal fx 4 walls luna 2 fx 4 walls luna 3 fx 4 walls luna 4 fx 4 walls luna 5 fx 4 walls luna 6 fx 4 walls luna 7 fx 4 walls luna 8 fx 4 walls luna fx 4 walls victoria 2 fx 4 walls victoria 3 fx 4 walls victoria 4 fx 4 walls victoria 5 fx 4 walls victoria 6 fx 4 walls victoria

I love these photos. I really wish Sulli’s face could magically show up. She would do so much justice to such natural photos like these.

The album cover looks like a booklet. It doesn’t look like it holds a CD, but it does. I really like this design. It blends in well on a bookshelf. It’s amazing to flip through. There are random versions. There’s a red one and a white one. On the back, you can get any random f(x) member’s picture.

4 walls album booklet

The most amazing part of this comeback was the promotion. I covered that here —> f(x)s art exhibit

The Music Video was very unique. I really liked how aesthetic and different it was. I’m glad it was meaningful and not some generic dance number. The meaning is kind of hard to digest, but the visuals and imagery are captivating. I keep finding myself watching it over and over just to get the sense of it…

This is kind of what the video means: The video is showing the girls in their own world, or dimension. Victoria is first, Krystal is next, Luna, then Amber. They follow each other in the same patterns: wake up, fix their hair, look out the window, put a jacket on, head in the kitchen, get cup, pour tea. What’s interesting is that they are all doing the same things within this 4-wall dimension.

But Amber dropped the cup first, breaking the pattern. So when it was Krystal’s turn to pour the tea, she didn’t have a cup, so it spilled, which made Victoria slip and fall in her dimension. They don’t realize that what one girl is doing will affect the whole group within the walls because they aren’t aware that they are sharing this dimension.

When Victoria falls, her “illusion” is breaking. She starts to see visions of them in a forest. She runs first, the other girls follow her in the dimension, but they start to see visuals of the last dimension that occurred, but was frozen because of the break in the dimension. Victoria was pouring the cup, which froze. Krystal began to realize that Victoria was in her dimension then. Luna frozen in the air was like when Victoria slipped and fell. Luna stepped on the cup that was broken by Amber. The girls are starting to realize they are part of the same dimension. Krystal runs, scared, and end up falling in water, she tries to emerge and Victoria comes up, then she goes back under, Luna does the same, and ends up coming up for air. She gets out of the tub, probably afraid this is crazy. She hurries and goes to sleep, to try and fix all of this. The next morning, the girls are now aware that they are in the same dimension. All are rushing, getting ready, and the routine is going back to normal. But Amber is about to drop the cup, and Victoria remembers when she was in the 4-walled dimension. Victoria reaches the cup first and saves it to stop things from happening again, showing that they are no longer in their own world. She is able to step into Amber’s world and save the cup.

The broken cup may represent Sulli, the fragile member that was broken away from the group. All of the other members were so busy in their own world, that they let her break, which affected the group strongly. Victoria, the group leader, in the end tries to prevent it from happening again.

But their choreography on MCountdown! That choreography was so polished and crispy like chicken, they snap, crackled, and popped! I was TOO impressed. Their outfits were sharp and the girls shined. I kind of hope they release a dance version just to please fans who can’t appreciate depth.

Now, let’s get down to the music. WOOT!

If you didn’t like Red Light for its strange trap beats, then you’re in luck! This album is ten times better. The songs are smoother and more addictive. It’s still experimental. I love every single song on this album. I feel that f(x) really adapted the EDM-electronic style of music well on this album. This is actually my second favorite album from f(x), still after Pink Tape though.

Most of the songs on this album seem like love songs. It doesn’t have the variety of topic that Pink Tape had, and yet, somehow, I don’t mind it.

1)4 Walls

The first song on this album is “4 Walls”. It is the title track and the lead track. Surprisingly, it has a smooth, EDM indie sound. It is quite addictive after the first listen. And with some nice speakers and headphones, too? It’s a melody you can listen to while going to the store or dancing at a hot club. I was definitely not expecting this kind of song to be the lead. But it really is unexpected in a good way. It’s a classy number and I love it.

It really reminds me of Utada. And I’m a huge fan of Utada! I can really see Utada taking this song and nailing it.

I’m sure f(x) fans would be deliciously surprised to hear a song like this as a title track. But guess what? It’s still a great song. Even Amber’s rap gives this song such a strong feeling. I’m just so…in shock right now. I hope all of this comes across clear.

4 Walls seems to be a hint at them being stronger four members even after the departure of Sulli. It’s supposed to be about falling in love for the first time and having confused feelings about it.

f(x) definitely shows that they are growing up, and they are growing up nicely. I’m really impressed with this song. I wasn’t expected to be this satisfied…And yet, I feel this isn’t the f(x) I knew before. And yet, I like it. It’s so strange…

The music video was quite unique. It was natural, and yet a bit mysterious. I feel that the events in the music video possibly distracted viewers from the actual song and it takes a few listens to really grasp it all. It’s so different from everything f(x) has done, yet it also feels like an f(x) vibe. The video may be a little confusing to people.

Maybe this explanation can help: http://jiyeonsulli.tumblr.com/post/131974252469/explanation-of-fx-4-walls-mv

2) Glitter

A song that brings me back to BoA’s old days. It’s light, and yet has that electronic style I’m really starting to dig from f(x). This has an amazing beat if you listen to this song with some headphones or speakers. This feels like an f(x) song. This sounds like it could be off of a Disney soundtrack to some people, but I would best describe it as a re-vamped version of the Rugrats’s theme song. This song is catchy.

This song is about loving someone so much that they shine in front of you.

3) Deja Vu

This song is really upbeat. It’s not at all what I expected when I first saw the title. I guess I kept thinking of Beyonce’s “Deja Vu”. It’s a happy, light number in comparison. It still has the electronic style f(x) has gotten comfortable with. It’s mixed with some funk. It seems suited to their 1970’s retro theme.

Clearly the song is about seeing someone you love everywhere, to the point it seems like deja vu.

4) X

If you thought the last one was funky, let’s get down to this number. It definitely sounds like a re-vamped 1970’s song. It’s funky, soulful, and fun. I love it. From the very beginning, the sound was very distinct and different. This is just what I expect from f(x). I actually hope they have an MV for this song and set it in the 1970s. That would be epic and unique.

And yet, this still feels like an f(x) song.

When they say, “Chemical X”, I keep thinking of the Powerpuff Girls. XD What’s with me and 1990s cartoons?

This song is about some body to body, skin to skin action…Though I don’t think it’s sexual…At least I don’t think so…

5) Rude Love

Amber is singing…Enough said.

This is one of my favorite songs on this album besides the title track. It’s very catchy. It’s EDM, electronic styled with melodious voices present throughout. Rude Love is pretty self-explanatory. I really can’t help listening to this song over and over. The voices! Wow! I really just think this slays my heart into many pieces. It’s definitely going to be the song of the year for me. I feel so much talent in this song.

I think this may be a little sexual. 😉 A guy who’s polite during the day, but rude at night? Okay…

6) Diamond

This seems to be a favorite of everyone. I agree. This would be a very public-friendly song for everybody. But I’m so happy it’s not the title MV. I love f(x) for making their artistic splash wherever they are.

This song is definitely my jam. I think this will be on repeat until times get better.

The beginning of the song sounds like it has so much attitude, and then f(x)’s lead vocalist just comes out of the box to make her splash, as usual. This song is amazing. I really do hope they have a re-package and that this song becomes an MV as well. There’s so much potential with this album. The artistry is impressive. I even love Amber’s rap segment. OMAGAWD.

With f(x), music videos don’t make their group, their albums define them.

The meaning of this song is empowering. It’s about having a strong heart and learning to love one’s self without a man in your life. I think it speaks of a woman’s success and being happy with her accomplishments and not looking for someone to give her self-esteem. It compares a woman to a “diamond”. She’s worth a lot and should know it. I love this song, wow.

7) Traveler

This song is a bit quirky. It brings to mind a 1980s song. It sort of reminds me of Vacance from Red Light, though not in sound. It just reminds me of traveling in that same upbeat way. This song is a little more relaxed, but it’s still fun and light. Block B’s Zico is featured on the track. His raps are fresh. I really like this song.

To put it simply, it has a 1980s background with some 1970s funk, peppered with f(x)’s unusual splash.

This song is about traveling and exploring the world and branching out of one area. It’s a great traveling song.

8) Papi

Also a favorite of many people. Really catchy. It has a Latino theme obviously. But it’s also upbeat and pop-ish. It brings to mind some of Ricky Martin’s songs back in the day. It’s upbeat and fun. It’s a cool, upbeat, catchy dance number. “Papi, let’s go, I kind of like it!” That’s one of the lyrics, and I kind of like it.

This song is quite unique as well. This would be nice with a music video.

This song is about being a hot partner, possibly a dance partner (?), and appealing to all the fellows. They are looking for someone just as amazing.

9) Cash Me Out

From my understanding, this song was meant to come out in 2013, around the Pink Tape era. It sounds like it. It has an electronic feeling that is reminiscent of that time. This song is really catchy. It’s a really good dance numbers. f(x) has quite a few good dance numbers. But it’s always peppered with f(x)’s original flair. I really love this song. This is also on repeat.

There are quite a few songs about valuable things on this album. This is about finding someone so valuable, everything else seems worthless.

10) When I’m Alone

This song is dream-like and melodious in the beginning and strong in the chorus. It sounds like an f(x) song. It’s so catchy. I really love it. It sort of reminds me of a Madonna song…I can’t put my finger on it…

I hear that Carly Rae Jepson was the writer behind this song. WOW.

It’s a really interesting song to end with. But I’m satisfied.

This song is about being alone with one’s dreams. Though the outside world may ridicule or say something about your dreams, sometimes you can’t help but hide those dreams deep in your heart. Perhaps they have fantasies of someone they love and people feel it’s just a fantasy (?).

Overall, I feel this album is way better than Red Light on many levels when it comes to appealing to the public. Still, it doesn’t top Pink Tape in delivery (the cover was a pink VHS tape!) or variety (every song sounded uniquely different on Pink Tape; every song on 4 Walls has an EDM style or retro vibe, making them seem more related). And yet, I can’t stop listening to this album front to back…I love every song. I feel the music on this album is more addictive than Pink Tape. There isn’t one song that doesn’t feel like an easy listen. This album gets a 10/10 from me.

Unlike with Red Light, I honestly feel satisfied at the end with just 10 songs. Great job girls.

If you want to purchase from Yesasia, follow the links below:

For the United States and Canada: Click Me

For other countries around the globe: Click Me

WHAT HAPPENED TO SULLI?

For those of you who don’t know what happened to Sulli, I will explain:

Fans, especially fans in Korea, ran her away. She was never on bad terms with the group or SM. This all started in 2013. Sulli became bogged down with both her acting and her music career. She started to seem tired and “lazy” on stage to some people. During Rum Pum Pum Pum performances, people noticed she did the choreography different. They assumed it was because she was lazy or assumed she lost her passion for the group. According to her, she was actually uncomfortable in the short skirts, as she was always put in the shortest skirts during that performance.

But fans can be ruthless. They slammed her, calling her talentless, lazy, and claiming that she was unimportant to the group. One fan even made a Twitter account as a “campaign” to remove her from the group. Well, things got even worse when pictures leaked showing her dating Dynamic Duo’s Choiza, a man several years older than she is and with a name translated to mean “Big Dick”. Her representative from SM kept telling people that she’s not dating and that someone’s spreading false rumors. Then, in the later half of the year, around the time of Red Light promotions, word got out that she actually WAS dating him. So people felt Sulli lied to the public, and that made them lose respect for her. Soon after that, Sulli was missing from the live performances. She said it was because she was sick, but pictures were released showing her out on dates with Choiza. People assumed she was skipping out on promotions to be around Choiza. Soon, Sulli went on a hiatus, saying she was mentally exhausted from all the malicious comments. Soon, all of f(x) went on hiatus, causing all RL promotions to be halted. This angered fans more. F(x) only comes out with one comeback a year, so people were devastated. They blamed Sulli for it, but actually the girls could’ve just continued without her. All of f(x) were actually busy with schedules, so they all thought they needed a break.

Still, Sulli couldn’t shake the anti-fans. She left the group this year to focus on acting. Fans of her Kdramas don’t give her as much grief.

Sulli still loves her members and SM. She still wanted to be a part of the group. But what is an idol without fans?

So now f(x) is back as four members, and they have done really well actually.

To Read More About f(x):

f(x) the Korean “Spice Girls” + Amber Liu in the Spotlight

f(x) Summer on GN!

Which f(x) member are you? quiz

f(x) Around the World

f(x) in the USA

f(x) on Olleh: Korea’s most Unique Girl Group

Just how Talented is f(x) Sulli?

Just how Talented is f(x) Victoria?

Just how talented is f(x) Amber?

Just how talented is f(x) Krystal?

Just how talented is f(x) Luna?

GN’s Top 10 F(x) songs (so far)

Girls’ Generation vs F(x): Chocolate Love

Why does GN love f(x) so much?

Who is your f(x) bias?

GN’s LEAST FAVORITE f(x) album?

EXTRAS

Top 15 Most Unique Girl Groups in History

USA’s Nylon writes about Girls’ Generation’s Jessica and F(x)’s Krystal, Jungsis!

F(x) Amber and Got7 on We Got Married Global! Which man wins Amber’s heart (Natal chart reading)?

F(x) Gets treated unfair by SM? And EXO is treated better?

Make Your Move, SM’s first American movie has songs from F(x) and Girls’ Generation in it!

F(x) Amber, a part of androgynous inspiration!

The Korean Wave

Venus signs and Love Stories, F(x) Amber Liu is mentioned

Music Core, f(x) mentioned

Jackie Liu, Amber Liu’s Sister, Gets Hurt by Fan

f(x)’s Amber in a parody Korean drama for A Song for you!

SM TOWN WORLD TOUR 2014! f(x) will perform!

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5 Responses to “f(x) Comeback “4 Walls” Review”

  1. ycxox 2015/10/28 at 10:21 #

    Great review! I love 4walls (song) but it’s one of my least favorites in the album, which says a lot about my love for the album. This album is my favorite. I like pink tape as well but there are songs there that I don’t dig. With this album, I can listen to all the songs all day. I like thr retro vibe that they’te giving in this album, it’s just unlike any other songs that you here nowadays. I think that it’s kinda like 1989 album korean version. :)) my favorite song here is X. I like the sultry sexy feel in chorus. And I’d like to add that diamond has that pretty girl feel. Especially with those vocals that luna and krystal executed. Also, traveler for me is like a cross between shadow and airplane. It has that mysterious creepy aura from shadow and that same inspiring feeling from airplane.

    Like

    • generationnext 2015/10/28 at 12:35 #

      I agree 100% and actually after the first listen, this album is way more addictive than “Pink Tape”. It took time for some songs to resonate with me. But I’ve found myself humming to every tune! It’s wild, but I love it.
      Still, I feel like “Pink Tape” had better delivery in the fact that the cover was molded into the shape of a pink VHS tape. This album cover was just a booklet. That’s kind of boring in comparison. I also feel each song in “Pink Tape” had a different style every time the next track came on. All the songs on “4 Walls” seem to be similar in genre, even though they all don’t sound alike. Still, there was more variety on “Pink Tape”.

      4 Walls is actually ONE of my favorite songs off of the album, but there are others that I would like to see a video of because they are also so good.

      Thanks for commenting! I’m glad you enjoyed the read. 🙂

      Like

  2. #9 2015/10/29 at 12:44 #

    Great review! I always love to read your articles. I think everything is spot on. This comeback is probably their strongest to date, and it has only JUST started! The teasers, the exhibit, the MV, and now the choreography! It seems too perfect! XD The only thing that I miss is Sulli’s voice (in the harmonies especially), but f(x) showed that they could be strong with or without her and I think that’s admirable! (Although my heart aches for her~ Ahaha) Not to mention, they are finally getting a solo concert… f(x) is on FIRE! As far as I know it, there’s nothing f(x) can’t do! Can’t wait to see them on variety shows now~

    Like

    • generationnext 2015/10/29 at 16:01 #

      So, so true. Thank you so much for reading my articles. 🙂

      Honestly, everything was beyond expected and I’m just so grateful to have had the opportunity to contribute to this girl group’s success! I love to hear from other fans who understand how hard this group has worked. They really do deserve everything they are getting. 2015-2016 is their era.

      They have truly shown us that they’ve all grown and matured. I strongly miss Sulli though. 😦 I think she misses the girls too. Her instagram had a sad face next to her support of f(x). I think she’s just afraid of what fans might have done if she’d stayed with the group. She didn’t want to drag the rest of the members. Yet, Sulli brought energy to the group. Without her, the music is slower in tempo. Each of the members can actually do fine on their own now, and with just three members. They have shown they only need three members when Victoria couldn’t make it to one of their performances. They did well when it was just Luna featuring Amber in one song. They did well when it was just Luna and Krystal singing together in Dear Daddy and You are My Destiny. Still, all of the girls are stronger as one.

      I feel f(x) is like the Spice Girls. When Geri left, Spice Girls had their first world tour, too. However, eventually, they all came back together. I think a couple years from now, when all is forgotten about this petty incident, all five will be back. I’m crossing my fingers. Sulli never left on bad terms with SM or her members, just fans.

      Again, thank you so much for commenting #9. 🙂

      Like

      • #9 2015/10/29 at 17:19 #

        You’re very welcome! And I’ll continue to read here! I think you’re very talented! 😀

        I feel the same about Sulli and the reason why she left. I personally think that she was under a lot of pressure to try to shake off the unnecessary bad image she had gotten (not to mention: the movies, rehearsals, the idol work in general… All mixed together.) Fans were being ungrateful and she was overall exhausted (giving off the impression of being “lazy”)… Either way, she looks much better now, and she seems to still have a good relationship with f(x) (which makes sense, because they always looked close)! 😀 Hopefully we’ll get to see them together again. (I mean, didn’t they promise to go back to New Zealand together in Amazing f(x)?)

        And one of the greatest things about f(x) is definitely how talented they are. How easily (it seems) that they can change choreography, and manage without member(s)! It feels great to support them! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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