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On her third album in as many years, Korean/Japanese singer BoA put together a safe set. The sounds are well within the realm of contemporary J-pop, and the vocal demands never become too great. The songs here are nice, they're largely sugary little ballads making full use of a sweet and slightly warbling vocal, and they tend to show off components of a lot of American R&B circa 1996 or so. The album opens innocently enough, with a strong bit of disco thump in "Aggressive" and some basic SWV-style R&B in "Sweet Impact." A collaboration with WISE comes out as overly produced, uber-slick urban music that never quite hits its mark, but a collaboration with Yutaka Furukawa works out better soon after. "Girl in the Mirror" could pass as a Southern-tinged club anthem if it were in English, while "Happy Birthday" comes halfway to where it should, showing off some good prettiness in BoA's voice, but still not stretching it anywhere. A collaboration with Seamo has a very nice bit of give and take between the two styles and stars. Throughout the album, there are some moments of entirely enjoyable music. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of moments of purely mediocre music. It may be somewhat par for the course among the starlets of the J-pop scene, but more exploration of her range and abilities at the very least would have really raised the level of The Face upward to a better place.

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