Review Summary: Japan's Scandal officially throw their promising debut out the window, and follow the mediocre path that "Temptation Box" created.
The one thing that made Scandal a promising band was that when they first started, they didn't rely strictly on sex appeal to get by. Initially, the girls had a very cutesy image, but were not whored out by any means. Not to mention, for high school students, the girls were pretty damn good at playing. Well, those days are long gone, and in 2011, Scandal released their third full length album, "Baby Action", which further pushes them down a mediocre path.
The album opens with the song "Glamorous You", which is essentially a pop rock cookie-cutter track that is not very impressive, and sets the album off on a rather poor note. "Sonotoki Sekai wa Kimi Darake no Rain" is a pretty good track, that together with a pop punk kick, is a flashback to Scandal's better days. "Love Survive" brings the album up pretty high, with an energetic sound, and a pop synth backing it up. A huge breakthrough for the album, however, the album is brought down a bit with "Sparkling", which is a very basic track, concentrating on a feel that is essentially 80% pop, and a mere 20% rock. A pretty plain track, but nothing too bad. "Burn" is a very interesting track, however, as it shows the band trying to experiment with an alternative sound, while maintaining a very pop-like agenda. "Apple Tachi no Dengon" is an equally interesting track, which introduces a horn-based track, combined with a pretty sick guitar lick. Chockful of entertaining progressive spots, the song shows off the modern day talent of the band. Without a doubt, one of the best tracks on the rather plain album.
"Tokyo Skyscraper" also attempts to bring the album up even higher, but gets rather boring a minute in. Nothing too plain, but far from being special. "Pride" is a track which kills the very brief golden sound of the album, and replaces it with atypical modern Japanese pop rock, which is flooding the radio waves (along with the mega pop groups, of course), so one could be very easily annoyed by the track. "Haruka" is a sweeter song, with a piano bite, and is a very solid piece of pop, which is a farcry from the previous "Tokyo Skyscraper" track. "Scandal Nanka Buttobase" is a decent track, but is ultimately another processed track. "Very Special" breaks the atypical pop sound once more with outgoing horns and an overall upbeat sound to match. Another very solid track in the mediocre selection of the album. The album then closes with "One Piece", which is fronted by a highly melodious sound, and attempts to bring closure to the listener by offering a sound that is not like their early stuff at all, but is not tedious radio music either.
Overall, while the album has a few golden moments in it, it still shows the band at a more vulnerable state, with various cookie-cutter radio jingles drowning the few good tracks. However, through all of this, Scandal still show they have potential, even with two highly mediocre releases back-to-back. Here's hoping their next album will be a step above a mere ordinary JPop album.