Maybe is the second album released by Dana. Unlike her first, this album fared poorly despite all the promotion she had since her first album. Both the title track and What is Love? were used as the promotional songs.
Released: October 1, 2003
1. Friend VS Lover (길들이기)
2. Maybe (남겨둔 이야기)
3. What is Love?
4. Fight Till the End (바램)
5. N&N (End and And)
6. Love All I Need (너를 꿈꾸며)
8. How 2 Love
9. I Will
10. Kiss Me
11. Unhappy Day
12. My Melody
13. What is Love (Modern Rock Ver.)
15. Wanna Be
The album starts off in a different way than her debut, which had the icy dark Until the End of the World. Here, we open with the sweet Friend VS Lover. This isn’t a bad song by any means, but I feel like it is a bit of a regression from the more mature attitude her debut had and this sounds like something more in tune to BoA’s Atlantis Princess album (which was released the same year). It’s a pretty sweet song, but not particularly catchy as the hooks get a bit blunted by the music.
Coming in next is the title track, Maybe. It’s a gentle ballad that focuses more on Dana’s voice. At this point, Dana’s vocals have improved a lot and she has more control over her voice compared to her debut, and it really shows here. My only problem is the weird pitch jump that goes into the transition of the course, which comes off a little odd. The melody is nice, but it doesn’t quite go anywhere either. Even the end doesn’t quite hit the power I want it to.
What is Love? (Original Ver.) was used as the first promotional song and it is a bright and fun pop song like Friend VS Lover. However, this one is much stronger and has much better hooks than make me enjoy coming back to it. The chorus is rather repetitive, but it’s the pre-chorus that really shines and has a great quality to it that makes everything feel quite sweet. I think this is a good precursor to some of SM’s later tunes for groups like Girls’ Generation. I just wish Dana’s voice was a bit more engaging.
I’ve been waiting for a song like this and it has finally come. Fight Till the End is an upbeat dance/pop tune that brings back the sound of her first album. At this point, it feels a bit out of it because of its sound, but it is definitely one of the stronger album tracks. It has a weird early 00’s beat that reminds me of BoA’s Double, but the melody is a bit more melodic. It’s not as impacting as I want, but it is definitely a solid tune.
N&N (End and And) is another interesting change because here we are given a slower R&B ballad. I mean I love songs like this, but I’m always a bit hesitant heading into these kind of songs for fear that they aren’t as good as I want them to be. The beat is nice and the build-up into the chorus is quite nice, but that chorus is a bit a mess. The background vocals help to bring some life, but Dana just adlibs over it and doesn’t quite sing a lot and there is an odd contrast between her and the background vocal voices. Could have been better.
Love All I Need is more upbeat but still has some light R&B/pop vibes going on that make me think more of the late 90’s pop. The verses are pretty cool and I like the touches of attitude here in the vocal arrangement. The chorus is a bit of a let down as it loses that edge and goes for a fuller and brighter pop sound. It’s still pretty catchy, but I feel like it would have been better if it kept that groovier vibe for the melody.
Another ballad to pop up is Dream, but this one has a touch of R&B in it as well. Like its name, it is quite dreamy in its overall delivery. Unfortunately, it just sort of treads between dreamy and too fluffy to really deliver anything that’s memorable. The melody is lackluster and the song is just a snoozefest after a while.
How 2 Love is a stronger song. While it does bring us back to that upbeat dance/pop sound, I don’t think it has the same punch that the last one did. The music is pretty similar, but the melody just comes off a bit lazier. It doesn’t really match with the energy of the music. It’s just a bit of a disappointment.
I really thought it couldn’t get more boring, but I Will is just another disappointment. At this point, it is getting more difficult to get through this album. This one even lacks the dreamier atmosphere of Dream. It is a sweet song, but the song just doesn’t quite have much energy to it until the bridge where it becomes a power ballad. With that said, it drags on in the beginning and really only Dana’s voice saves it (even if she is screaming a bit).
I was really hoping that Kiss Me would save the album a bit and it is definitely one of the album’s more interesting songs. It isn’t as refined, but it does have some cool ideas. The music brings back the catchy dance/pop sound and there is a lot of energy to that. The melody isn’t bad either, but once again, the melody just seems to be sung in such a tiring way that there is no energy to it. It really relies on the music.
Unhappy Day is a bit of a throwback to early 90’s R&B and I quite like this change. The touch of rap is also a welcomed change because there is some energy. The best thing about this song is that the melody finally has some energy to it and Dana plays around with her voice a little more. Not the greatest tune, but it is solid.
Not sure what to think of My Melody. By this point, I’m a bit tired of listening to this album as it sort of just drags on without many strong points. This song isn’t too bad though. It’s a light midtempo pop tune, but it isn’t particularly strong in any area. The melody is a bit lackluster and the overall delivery of the song is that it just floats by.
What is Love? (Modern Rock Ver.) is a weird change from the original as it basically just has an annoying beat replace the more charming original. I was looking forward to hearing this, but this just makes the song much more worse. I much rather listen to the original.
Swear is a slow R&B ballad. This kind of song is quite common in the early 00’s K-Pop albums and they are always hit or miss depending on the melody. Unfortunately, this one doesn’t quite do it for me. The melody just isn’t that interesting and I don’t quite like it is sung as the song swerves a lot and Dana doesn’t quite transition as easily.
Wanna Be is a fast-paced summery pop tune and I actually like it, especially when compared to the majority of the songs on this album. It’s at least catchier than a lot of the upbeat songs on here and it brings some much needed energy. I also quite enjoy the music as there is a touch of brass and sparkling synths that brings a nice feel-good vibe.
Overall: This…What happened? I quite enjoyed Dana’s debut album as it had some stellar songs and despite Dana’s screechier vocals at the time, there was a lot of energy and intensity that was felt in the songs. Here, everything just felt so lazily done. Certainly I kind see a lot of these styles of songs being popular at this time (which they were), but there was just a lack of good songs. Really, the only song I would revisit is What is Love? and even then it has nothing on the best songs from her debut. The rest of the album just felt like a drag to get through. The songs were sung in a way that had no energy and the melodies felt weak and the music just boring at times.