Moon Hyuna – “I Like The Way Back Home” Review

Moon Hyuna – I Like The Way Back Home (Video/Audio)

Moon Hyuna – I Like The Way Back Home

Reviewed on November 30, 2014

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Personal Message: Considering I’m on a rush for everything, I decided to do a “bonus review.” This review will be vastly shorter, but it is a simple way for me to add more reviews to my archive and to not overwork my brain after a 4-hour session of writing a research paper share the incredible bond between the amazing member of Nine Muses and her cats. I am currently hopping all over the place with reviews; I am in the progress of reviewing T-ARA’s “Little Apple” as well as Girl’s Day’s “I Miss You” (yes, I am being silly and slightly idiotic for multi-tasking). For those unfamiliar, Hyuna is a member of Nine Muses. If this song is not sufficient evidence already, she holds a solid vocalist position in the group, and considering Sera’s departure a while back, that position is even more heavily enforced.

Anyhow, I think this song was self-composed by her, and if so, it shows off how talented and intelligent Hyuna is. This also reminds me, I need to start watching Nine Muses’ reality/fun show of “Nine Muses Cast” (future show review, perhaps). On the subject of her feline pets, for those following her social media accounts, many are quite acquainted with these cats. She has posted various cute, silly, and heart-warming videos and pictures of them. Now, for this song, she took it a step further and decided to write one for them; the lyrics express her love towards them.

Although this is not a fully polished, heavily drafted song that is expected to sell in the K-Pop industry, it is one that is personal and from Hyuna herself. Nevertheless, I will grade it as if it were the standard songs I review until I remember how sweet her cats are. But, even with the stricter grading guideline, I foresee this song holding well.

Without further wait, let’s see why Hyuna “[Likes] the way back home.”

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Song Total Score: 6/10 (6.25/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories

– Vocals: 7/10 – Even if the song lacks complexity and such, that does not hinder Hyuna’s decent vocals. For “I Like The Way Back Home,” Hyuna showcases sweet, soft, and melodic vocals. Nothing is drastic in terms of showing off power or high notes, but her smooth, soothing, and gentle style is definitely a pleasure to listen to. Even in Nine Muses, she has been known for splendid vocals, and in the group, her stronger vocals and higher notes are often time disclosed. Anyhow, all the work and practice she has done as an idol still translates over to this casual, self-composed song.

Above average for vocals. Hyuna’s voice proves to be very relaxing. If there were some extra varying lines to show off even more melody, an 8 would have been easily granted. Nevertheless, Hyuna possesses solid vocals, and as stated, in a standard Nine Muses song, she would be rated at an 8 with no issues.

– Song Structure: 6/10 (6.17/10 raw score)

The song goes in this structure and order:

Introduction, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus, Conclusion

1. Introduction: 6/10 – A very standard structure for this song. That is to be expected considering how this song is rather simple.

For the introduction, a piano melody plays out along with a background harmonica (probably wrong on that; forgive my ignorance).

While the introduction sets up the song properly with the gentle tone, it was a tedious and simplistic melody; there was little diversity if any at all for how the melody flowed. Furthermore, the harmonica only added a basic foundation; even that instrument failed to be compelling.

Considering how it did set the song’s mood, at least the role of an introduction was fulfilled. Nevertheless, for an introduction, it is rather plain and lacks a lot of necessary details to make it significant. But, considering how this song is rather simple, not much is to be expected. Slightly above average is the rating.

2. Verse: 6/10 – For the verses, Hyuna arrives with calm yet stable singing. Like the piano melody that occurs as she sings, her melody does remain simple and repetitive; the same pitches and flow is used.

Continuing the simplicity theme that was established at the start, the verses are slightly lacking. The piano melody follows a stagnant flow, and unfortunately, even Hyuna’s lines follow suit. Thankfully, her voice and singing is pleasing enough to earn some points, but overall, this section remains somewhat stale. Slightly above average is the score.

3. Pre-Chorus: 6/10 – The pre-choruses still possesses the same, tedious piano melody at first, but eventually there is a shift. In terms of the vocals, however, it does differ from the verses. This time, Hyuna is stretching out a word’s duration. Eventually, the piano slows down as Hyuna creates some hype, especially at the “lalala” part.

The first section of the pre-choruses are relatively plain; the piano still carried over the repetitive melody, and while Hyuna’s style differed, the stretched out words were still not too appealing. However, towards the end, the piano slowing down along with Hyuna adding in some extra energy to her singing gave a significant, welcoming shift. That piece not only allowed a smooth transition, but it added the necessary change of pacing and flow in order to prevent the song from becoming even more dry.

Slightly above average is the score. The ending section of the pre-choruses gives a decent boost to the score.

4. Chorus: 7/10 – Now if the sections leading up the chorus were dull, this section redeems that; this part is flourishing with a variety of melody and pacing. Hyuna’s vocals continued the gentle style, but at the same time, extra energy was added. A cheery, relaxing, and upbeat mood was given. In terms of the piano, the melody became more layered than a simple, repetitive one.

This is where Hyuna’s song shines. The vocals are full of diverse melody, the piano became vastly more complex, and perhaps the strongest aspect is how well the vocals mesh with the piano and vice-versa. Hyuna’s vocals were more energetic, but the piano reciprocated that and thus, the choruses sound very soothing and delightful.

Overall, an above average section. This section is very relaxing and peaceful. Hyuna’s singing was solid here, and likewise, the piano instrumental.

5. Bridge: 6/10 – Hyuna begins the bridge with a slower pace. The instrumental also becomes passive to emulate her style. However, towards the end of the bridge, Hyuna does toss in a significant amount of power and does hit a higher note. Upon that, the piano escalates back to the usual flow.

While the vocals and piano were solid, this bridge is nothing outstanding. There were no prominent aspects that push it as incredible. Nevertheless, it holds its ground of being decent. The initial seconds were appeasing, and the follow up of the stronger vocals were welcoming, and thankfully, still within the realm of the overall softer, gentler tone.

Slightly above average is the score. The singing and instrumental were decent, but unfortunately, there was nothing too stunning.

6. Conclusion: 6/10 – The ending in “I Like The Way Back Home” reminded me of some childhood memories; a lot of the songs my parents listened to had this type of ending. Instead of an actual concluding part, the song simply faded out until nothing was heard.

Specifically on what occurred, the conclusion of this song had Hyuna singing a sweet, melodic tune of “Nanana/lalala” (I personally cannot differentiate if it is a “Na” or “La” sound) that eventually became more quiet until, as expected, nothing was heard.

In focus of the singing, it was a melodic and soothing way to finish. Unfortunately, however, with this type of ending, it did leave a slight abrupt feeling; after the last chorus, the song randomly transitions to the “Nanana/Lalala.”

Overall, slightly above average. The song itself was solid, but the method of ending remains questionable. The change to the melodic sounds were surprising, and even at the very end, it does not leave a sound conclusion, but rather, an ending that feels unfinished.

– Line Distribution: X/10 – Hyuna is singing alone, so this is not graded.

– Instrumental: 6/10 – Although I am biased towards the piano (I personally find it, in terms of sound, the most pleasing instrument), that does not automatically mean a good score will be given.

In light of the instrumental itself, it was predominantly the piano and harmonica. By itself, they stand as decent although somewhat repetitive. Adding in the vocals, however, and the instrumental holds well. The biggest asset to the instrumental is how well it supports Hyuna’s voice. In the end, slightly above average is the score. The lack of different melodies will impair the score, but nevertheless, the piano significantly added to the tranquil, serene atmosphere.

– Meaning: 6/10 – If the video itself is not a clear enough indication, this song will probably be about Hyuna’s adorable cats. Perhaps the title is “I Like The Way Back Home” due to anticipating her beloved cats’ attention and presence when she does return home. Anyhow, let’s find out what Hyuna is singing about through these Korean-to-English translated lyrics. And, unlike a lot of other songs, I will toss in that these lyrics may be inaccurate by a larger margin; since this is not an “official” song, but rather one that Hyuna composed, there are not multiple translation sources at all to check with. Nevertheless, it should be close enough, and adding in my own knowledge, I recognized multiple words that were correct per line. At the very least, the general idea is accurate. Anyhow, here are the lyrics:

Samsung Station, Exit 2
30 minutes walking distance from home
I’m so tired today for some reason
I feel pretty down too

I’m so tired but
This familiar street, this familiar town
I sing lalala

I like the way back home
I like your soft eye smile
Your soft tail and your light steps
My white cat, Moya
I like the way back home
I like your awkward eye smile
Your rubbing body, your meowing sound
My talkative cat, Hoya

I feel you even before I open the door
The flower has blossomed
Pretending that nothing’s up, that you don’t care
But inside, you’re going crazy

I’m so tired but
This familiar street, this familiar town
I sing lalala

I like the way back home
I like your soft eye smile
Your soft tail and your light steps
My white cat, Moya
I like the way back home
I like your awkward eye smile
Your rubbing body, your meowing sound
My talkative cat, Hoya

Stay by my side tonight
Stay by my side tomorrow night
You’ve fallen asleep and your small weight
makes my steps go faster

I like the way back home
I like your soft eye smile
Your soft tail and your light steps
My white cat, Moya
I like the way back home
I like your awkward eye smile
Your rubbing body, your meowing sound
My talkative cat, Hoya

As predicted, the song is about her cats. Hyuna is expressing how her cats give her positive energy throughout her day. Even with being tired, she knows she is coming home to a pair of loving, adorable, fluffy pets. Furthermore, she also describes some special attributes of each cat; Moya, the white cat, has its tail, eye smile, and steps praised, and Hoya, the brown cat, is expressed via being very “talkative” with the constant meowings and being cute with rubbing its body.

Overall, slightly above average for the Meaning Score. Different details are given regarding her cats, but nothing is extremely extraordinary. Also, some additional details could have potentially garnered this section a 7. But, of course, the overall meaning is something very admirable and sweet; Hyuna truly loves her feline companions, and through singing and composing a song for them, she truly showcases that bond.  

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Choreography Score: X/10 – Being a ballad and self-composed song, no dance exists. The purpose of the song was for Hyuna to express her love towards her cats, Hoya and Moya.

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Overall Score: 6/10 (6.25/10 raw score) – With purely the Song Total Score, Hyuna’s composed song of “I Like The Way Back Home” concludes with a 6, so slightly above average. Considering this song was simply made as an ode towards her cat, that score is impressive enough. Once again, this was moreover a bonus and fun review than anything else, so the scoring should be taken lightly; after all, the main focus of this song is about love, as cheesy and silly as it sounds. If everyone was genuinely happy and everyone knew how to love one another, this world would be an extremely joyful place (obviously, right?).

Personally, I enjoy this song despite how simplistic it may be. Perhaps the ballad side of me cherishes it, or it might be the Hyuna-loving side in addition to loving her pets, but regardless of the reasons, I find this song worthy of listening to.

Anyhow, as always, thank you for reading this review. Even if this review was vastly shorter than my usual ones, I decided to do it for a bonus/filler review, and primarily, to share the video. The world has enough things to get angry and sad about (although it is still very important to tackle the things that create such feelings), so why not have a video of adorable cats to create some smiles?  

As said earlier, I am currently working on T-ARA’s “Little Apple” and Girl’s Day’s “I Miss You.” After those reviews, I will begin my requested song (apologies for the delay). Now, in regards to the songs after that, I plan on reviewing a male artist (plenty are on my list). Considering how I have been very busy for November, I am disappointed at my current quantity of reviews, but of course, quality over quantity. My current plan is for a strong, finishing push. At the very least, if I fail to publish a few reviews before November ends, I will have a head-start advantage for December.

Stay tuned for T-ARA’s “Little Apple.” It should be finished by tomorrow the end of today. Truthfully, I am writing this while it is 12:45 in the morning, so technically it is already November 30th. Anyhow, I apologize for the lack of reviews. I have been busy with finishing some work, and in honesty, I did put some time towards watching videos and other activities. Randomly switching subjects, that reminds me, I have a month reflection to do, so that will be something to look forward to.

I have said enough. Thanks for reading, enjoy this video and Hyuna’s singing. Keep checking back for my review of T-ARA’s “Little Apple,” and remember, I feel very grateful to have you “Stay by my side.”