*Edited to include actual video and thoughts on the whole album
It just came out! I want to give my two cents before we get a review from McRoth - that's his department and he's usually on point, so I don't want to compete, lol
Overall, it's not one of those "OMG THIS IS AMAZING" songs, which was how I felt about Bonamana, but it's definitely a "I will play this song again and again" song. I really don't like doing comparative reviews but I haven't voiced my opinion on Bonamana, and I also think that this will be the general comparison since it's rookie vs. veteran and both tracks came out within a week of each other, so I figure it's appropriate. Either that or my brain isn't working well enough for me to write a proper review. Anyway, here goes.:
The two songs do different things for me personally - "Y" is of course a song about heartbreak, and "Bonamana" is about a dude trying to get a girl, but it's really just there to make you dance. And since I LOVE to dance, I got attached to it very quickly. Bonamana also brings a different sound to k-pop - i.e. syncopated beats, i.e. everything I love about African and Indian music."Y" on the other hand is in the vein of your typical electro-pop track, and that's not a bad thing at all. It's catchy, it's danceable, and it's done by one of my favorite k-pop groups - I LOVE IT!!!
Okay, so everyone has noted the "Again and Again" synths that dominate the backing track, right? Now, listening carefully, you can hear the beat pattern is actually much more complex than "Again and Again" and it switches up often enough that it keeps you listening, as opposed to getting bored. (I would suggest listening on good quality speakers/headphones if you want to pick this up, though. I recommend Koss Portapro headphones :) [Product placement!] It's way too easy to point out similarities in pop songs, so I like to find the differences :P
The song itself is about the mixed feelings involved in a heartbreak. On the one hand the singer's devastated and wants to make up, but he also wants revenge. The video's end is a bit controversial, as it's implied that Lee Joon (our leading man who can't keep his shirt on) shoots the girl in the head. I think he doesn't: him finally killing her doesn't fit the theme of mixed feelings: rather, him maybe shooting to the side her and her not actually being dead (as indicated by the girl twitching and opening her eyes in that last shot, which is what I saw) adds a nuance to the song that isn't there otherwise. The note he left at the end, which says "For the last time I'll give you a chance," makes much more sense if she didn't die, because then he'd actually give her a chance as opposed to killing her. I may just be arguing this point because I think it's stupid and unnecessary for him to have shot her, but I'll stick by it in the hopes that Rain and J.Tune did not just pull a JYP on me.
Anyway, I like this song, but the rest of the album is great too. "What You Want" has a laidback R&B feel that I absolutely love. "One Better Day" is an upbeat pop track with a distinctly k-pop vibe about it - not my favorite, but still nice, with good vocals and Cheondung rapping, which is rare on this album (he sings instead - and while he manages to hit the notes and sounds okay with the autotune, I think I prefer him as a rapper). And "Last Luv" shows off the pipes of the main vocalists (Joon, GO, Seungho) while delivering a solid ballad. This is probably the first k-pop EP that I've considered buying. I'm still debating the pros and cons of collecting CDs from foreign artists while looking for a legal download outlet for Korean music, so I might not get it just yet, but it's very likely I will. With Y, MBLAQ has most definitely earned my money, and my fandom :)