4Minute – “Hate” Review

4Minute – Hate (Music Video)

4Minute – Hate (Live Performance)

4Minute – Hate

Reviewed
on February 7, 2015

Personal Message:
Though it is already a week into
February as of this review (and sentence), I have many reviews prepared and
plan to release all of them within the short month. For what is specifically
planned for this month and even March, I do wish to focus on artists that have
yet to be reviewed at all on the blog. Now, this may seem hypocritical
considering I am reviewing 4Minute, of whom have been reviewed generously:
their songs of “Whatcha Doin’ Today” though we do not discuss the “Dark Days” of reviews and “Crazy,” and an album review. Nevertheless, excluding this current review, I
desire to bring in new voices, even if it means skipping over popular comebacks
and instead focusing on the unpopular ones. To be specific, Stellar’s “Sting,”
G-Friend’s “Rough,” and Yezi’s (from Fiestar) “Cider” are a few examples, and
after those three songs, I have four male artists prepared. All seven artists
will be new to the blog and thus, I am excited for the upcoming content on the
blog. Furthermore, assuming I was accurate with scheduling, as long as I
dedicate at least one or half an hour per day to writing reviews, I can
definitely fill February with a total of six reviews (or eight if I am that
ambitious). As such, it seems plausible that the blog will finally be
relatively active, and of course, many important social digressions are still to
come along with the reviews.

On topic with this review, although
no social digression will occur (and again, many are coming; social digressions
allow me to give a more personal voice to the blog, and it provides moments of
critical thinking for readers, regardless if agreeing or disagreeing), it
nonetheless will still be a rather important review: this review will be
providing one additional perspective to “Hate,” a song that is going to dictate
4Minute’s future. This is the reason for why 4Minute is being reviewed even
though they have had more than enough spotlight on the blog.

To further explain the current
stakes the group is in (and readers feel free to correct me), 4Minute’s
contract is soon expiring, and what will determine their decision to renew it
is if the album for “Hate” sells well. Now, whether this is CUBE Entertainment (their
label company) or 4Minute enforcing this deal is unclear, but regardless,
emphasis is towards how well the album is perceived. What is unsettling about
this deal, though, is that the title track is indeed a risky take: 4Minute
collaborated with Skrillex, a dubstep artist, in producing a dubstep title
track. Thus, while this does allow “Hate” to be unique, it may perhaps be too
differing from their prior music styles, and as a result, “Hate” becomes disliked.
And, logically following from there, if “Hate” is in fact disliked by a
majority, then album sales will most likely falter, and that will ultimately
lead to 4Minute disbanding as they will not renew their contracts.

In reply, however: I am extremely
confident that 4Minute will be fine. First, their general popularity is high
enough that, even if “Hate” is a weaker song, many fans will still support them—and
“many fans” is quite enough for sells to flourish. Especially after “Crazy,”
4Minute definitely are recognized by many. Secondly, though Skrillex
contributed, “Hate” in truth does not seem to be dubstep at all; “Hate” lies,
at most, on the border of dubstep, but it moreover resembles EDM or at least
the genre that “Crazy” was, though more electronic based. Therefore, the fear
of “Hate” being too different from 4Minute’s prior music styles is not entirely
true. As pointed to, “Crazy” in some aspects resembles “Hate.” (Though
admittedly, I am not too familiar with dubstep and thus might not be able to
identify it. At most, I am familiar with Skrillex’s “Rock and Roll Will Take
You To The Mountains” and have knowledge in that regard. Dubstep is worth
respecting, though, as is every single music genre.) Thirdly, it is album sales
that CUBE Entertainment and 4Minute are looking at; individual music sells are
not the main concern (if they truly are focused on album sales). Even if “Hate”
does in fact render poorly with a majority of people, the album could contain
songs that otherwise make it worthy of purchasing, and thus, “Hate” faring
poorly is negligible.

But, despite the optimism I am
bringing, it is true that title tracks can definitely influence how a person
perceives an album. For example, as the review for Sistar’s “Shake It” mini-album
discusses (if I recall correctly), “Shake It” rating poorly did deter me from
listening to the album in whole. It took the motivation of a review to finally
hear the entire album, and thus, the same issue may exist for 4Minute’s “Hate.”
Focusing on the song specifically, many have been repulsed by the chorus, and
to leak, I agree: the choruses are horrendous. However, even if a crippling
chorus is possessed, other aspects still exist, of which can absolutely
compensate for a weaker section. With this in mind, even if many hate the
choruses, it would be hard to equally hate everything leading up to the
choruses. After all, I would hate to use “hate” to describe “Hate”—and readers
would also hate me for awful puns.

_______________________________________________________

Song Score: 5/10
(5/10 raw score) – “Average”


Vocals: 6/10


Sections: 4/10
(4.17/10 raw score)

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

1.     Introduction:
6/10

2.     Verse: 6/10

3.     Pre-Chorus: 3/10

4.     Chorus: 2/10

5.     Bridge: 5/10

6.     Conclusion (Chorus): 3/10


Line Distribution: 5/10

Jihyun:
Verse 1, Verse 2 (Total: 2)

Gayoon:
Introduction, Pre-Chorus 2 (Total: 2)

Hyuna:
Verse 1, Chorus 1, Bridge, Pre-Chorus 3, Conclusion (Total: 5)

Jiyoon:
Chorus 1, Verse 2, Chorus 2, Conclusion (Total: 4)

Sohyun:
Pre-Chorus 1, Chorus 2 (Total: 2)

Equal Value: 3 sections per member.  


Instrumental: 5/10


Lyrics: 5/10

Your eyes are telling me
Liar liar liar, don’t lie to me
I don’t wanna know anymore
I don’t wanna know know know
Not anymore, no no no, it’s over

Go, go, this is it for us
Get out get out turn around and go
Our love had only hatred left
I see the end of our seemingly endless love
Don’t drag for absurd excuses
It’s late, it’s over

Go go go, rather than being like this
Done done done, rather than fighting against each other
Go go go, I just can’t take it any more
Leave me alone, leave me alone

I hate you, hey no no
I don’t need you, hey no no
I hate you
Hate, hate, I hate you, hate
Hate, hate, I hate you, hate
I don’t need you
Hate, hate, I hate you, hate
Hate, hate, I hate you, hate

I write answers to the questions
which haven’t got answers
I now get to have doubt instead of crush
Rather than being like this,
we’d better break up
If I get lonely with you,
I get lonely alone

I don’t wanna know
all the same excuses everyday
I don’t wanna do
all the same arguments everyday
It’s meaningless
I am tired

We do not have an answer
I hate you, hate you
I hate you now

I hate you, hey no no
I don’t need you, hey no no
I hate you
Hate, hate, I hate you, hate
Hate, hate, I hate you, hate
I don’t need you
Hate, hate, I hate you, hate
Hate, hate, I hate you, hate

Go, go, get out, get out
Go, go, get out, get out

We fell in love like crazy
I was dragged by you like a fool
You did too much,
you crossed the line

I hate you, hey no no
I don’t need you, hey no no
I hate you
Hate, hate, I hate you, hate
Hate, hate, I hate you, hate
I don’t need you
Hate, hate, I hate you, hate
Hate, hate, I hate you, hate

Choreography Score: 6/10 (6/10 raw score)

– Syncing: 6/10

– Key Points: 6/10

Overall Score: 6/10
(5.5/10 raw score)

_______________________________________________________

Analysis: To
dive directly into the most prominent criticism towards the song, many resent
the choruses. Unfortunately, I do strongly agree and also consider the choruses
to be of poor quality. The beat-bass mixing come off with power, but that is
all. Factoring the occasional plain vocal lines, the lengthy duration, and the
lack of any other instrumental sound other than the beats, the choruses become
a chaotic, rough and monotonous mess. It is simply too stale and too long. If
there were more moments of deviating away from a linear form of beats, or if
the choruses were significantly shorter, then perhaps the choruses would have a
higher rating. But, neither of those are the case. At most, the choruses
provide “Hate” its signature sound and power. However, at the expense of
alluring tunes, sounds, and structure, it is definitely a mediocre section.

For
another culprit to “Hate” ‘s average rating, the pre-chorus and conclusion rate
poorly. The pre-choruses follow an extremely standard route of accelerating beats
to build up hype. Now agreeably, that is not inherently a flawed structure;
this method is nothing to instantly worth shaming just because it is indeed a
rather popular form (and arguably an effective form). Nevertheless, with
lacking uniqueness and utilizing sounds and beats that are plain, and on top of
all of that, to use an obnoxious vocal transition, the pre-choruses are worth penalizing.
As for the conclusion, with it being a recycled chorus, the same issues
translate over, though it is a point higher as at least “Hate” ends on its
signature sound. Finally, with the lyrics being overly repetitive and lacking
depth, and the line distribution failing to be more evenly divided when doing
so should be easier as the choruses are not vocally intensive, “Hate” does
indeed seem deserving of an average rating.

Regarding
other aspects, however, “Hate” is not in utter ruins solely because of the
choruses, pre-choruses, and so forth. Different aspects still thrive, though
admittedly the degree of thriving is partially limited. For example, the vocals
are respectable, especially during the verses. During those sections, 4Minute’s
tuneful, smooth singing is showcased, and furthermore, Gayoon’s introduction is
another great example. Adding on, during the pre-choruses, vocal power is also
unveiled, even if that contributes to the pre-choruses being obnoxious, as discussed
earlier. Nevertheless, as vocals are restricted to more passive moments and
sections, gaining any higher score is indeed difficult. Positively, though,
even if singing is limited to the smoother, slower lines, all of the singing
showcased is admirable.

Additionally,
for another strong point, contrary to its rating the instrumental itself is
nothing atrocious. Ignoring the choruses, the slower and deep bass line that
runs is exceptionally soothing, and complementing that with 4Minute’s vocals,
the instrumental is in fact seducing. What cripples the instrumental score,
sadly, is that the choruses are technically still the instrumental. Thus, it
drops from a seven to a five since, as addressed above, the choruses are
horrendous. Regarding another positive point to “Hate,” the choreography is decent.
Despite how it appears intimidating to find key points that would reflect the
choruses, 4Minute miraculously manages to. While the key points are still nothing
phenomenal, nonetheless, the key points remain appealing and varying.
Discussing the syncing as well, the same is said: the syncing may not be sharp
and precise to the milliseconds, but it definitely still links to the song and
that is certainly admirable considering the spontaneous, erratic beats that
occur during the choruses.

Overall,
it is true that many issues in “Hate” can be linked back to the rambunctious
choruses. However, even so, it would be shortsighted to entirely dismiss this
song on the basis of those sections. The verses and introduction, for examples,
are decent. Furthermore, the vocals offered by the members are not repulsive,
and similarly, the instrumental as well if ignoring the choruses. And, of
course, for the visual component to the song, the dance remains appealing and
upbeat. But, no matter how much optimism is implemented, “Hate” is by far
4Minute’s weakest song yet. Unless if other songs in 4Minute’s album help mask
over “Hate,” the title track will potentially repel quite a number of
listeners, and that is something to concern over given the circumstances
4Minute are in. In the end, “Hate” is not entirely worth disliking, but it is
certainly far from 4Minute’s standard quality of songs, and it is doubtful that
this song will reap the ladies the popularity that “Crazy” did. “Hate” is,
overall, a song to enjoy solely for its buildup to the choruses—or because one
is a fan of 4Minute. Personally, though this song will not be having anymore
replays (I have analyzed the song enough), I will still in fact support the
ladies. If 4Minute is to have a chance to improve from “Hate,” it is crucial
that fans continue supporting them, regardless if “Hate” is hated.

_______________________________________________________

For
those who read or skimmed this review, as I always say, thank you so much. I
appreciate any given time towards the blog and reviews. On a random note, this
review only took two hours, and that is actually quite surprising. If I had a
digression, I would anticipate three hours, but even then, it is much shorter
than my usual average of five to six (and even seven in some cases) hours per
review. Also, this style of reviewing is definitely more liberating than the
prior ones that were incredibly systematic and, to confess, boring at times.
Improvement is still necessary of course, but this review does provide some
encouragement to continue this format.

From
here on, reviews will focus on male and female artists that have yet to be
reviewed at all on the blog (and this will continue until March). This is to
provide variety in content and to hopefully give spotlight to groups that
oftentimes receive minimal attention—be it personally or generally with
popularity. That said, Stellar will most likely begin this trend. If I become
busy, however, I have other reviews in mind that, though digressions will be
included, they will be far more concise than the lengthy one that Stellar will
have (and many should suspect why this is the case; Stellar’s history of being
slut-shamed is something I will address). Look forward to upcoming reviews. This
month, I will not “drag for absurd excuses” regarding the lack of reviews as
there is no reason not to release six to eight of them in this month.

CLC – “Pepe” Review

CLC – Pepe (Dance Practice)

CLC (Crystal Clear) – Pepe

Reviewed on May 24, 2015

image

Personal Message: Though I have already begun deconstructing the song in a musical sense, I have yet to write at all for the review. Thus, I am writing this after my review on BESTie’s music video of “Excuse Me.” On topic with CLC, two readers did request this review, and with that, thank you very much to both for requesting it and for being utterly patient. I am hoping, and realistically, working, to ensure that this review is finished around the weekend or at least by an earlier part of the week.

Ignoring technical updates, this is, blatantly, the first review on the group, but moreover, the first time I have heard of their group at all. It appears that the 5 ladies of Seunghee, Yujin, Seungyeon, Sorn, and Yeeun, are newcomers to the K-Pop industry and, if correct, in the same company as their senior groups of 4Minute and Beast (readers should check my words and send in corrections if I am inaccurate). Nevertheless, despite being a newer group, and in fact, for being young ladies (their ages range from 17 to 20 if I am correct), they have already showcased decent abilities with singing and dancing (to an extent; the review below will analyze how “Pepe” holds).

Finally addressing “Pepe,” this may be the first song that I personally heavily dislike, but of course, that is solely personally; in a realistic, systematic perspective, “Pepe,” even if biasedly loathed, is relatively respectable and possesses its strengths (though overall “Pepe” is still a weaker song). Although reviews are overall based on opinion, bringing a logical, argumentative layer is essential or else it would be merely spitting feelings, not thinking. Somewhat archaic reviews are prime examples of such, though there is no need to talk of past, horrendous work (on a serious note, however, I am pleased to have embarrassing and awful work in my archive; growth is important to gauge and continue, and learning from past experience matters so that my reviews, which still have much room for growth, improve).

On a highly irrelevant subject (feel free to skip to the actual review now; the upcoming digression, unlike every other review, is not directly related to the song or group at all), one that does not involve the incredible, talented and intelligent ladies who have accomplished more in their lives than me despite being of a similar age, their group name, CLC, is a stylization (if that is a word) of “Crystal Clear,” and on that note, it does remind me of an arguably jocular situation, but one that is necessary yet rarely discussed: shaving. Out of every subject I have digressed about, shaving, correctly, is one that is vital to discuss, and of course, besides the blatant layer; I do not wish to focus so much on the act of shaving versus the social layers associated with it. To deliver context on what prompted this topic, in short, a friend and I discussed Fiestar’s shaving video, and the remark of “crystal clear legs” was made. However, for what matters, she became disturbed upon hearing my reply: “I do, actually” in response to “You wish you had the shaver.”

Elaborating this topic and its attached issues, for one, her response is not, sadly, surprising (and equally for readers who are also shocked); due to gender norms, the idea of males shaving is rather repulsive, and thus, reactions of disgust are foreshadowed. As for why male shaving is rendered as such, many previous reviews (examples are the earlier linked review and countless others) cover the overarching concept: valuing masculinity over femininity. With shaving being labeled as a feminine trait and act, males doing so are downgrading socially in rank, and furthermore, risking the standards of masculinity (this will be discussed as it is arguably the main catalyst for opposition), and with both of those factors, it is rather blatant that hostility will exist. Since many reviews have covered the idea of androcentrism (where masculinity is valued over femininity), I will not digress further on that, but the latter point is one I have yet to discuss in full depth, especially with a rather basic context of shaving.

For the subject of risking the standards of masculinity, male privilege, the highly subtle benefits given by simply being a male, is a concept akin to such, and is one that is also necessary to understand before deconstructing “risking masculinity.” In the context of shaving, male privilege works in a blatant yet disregarded method: the absence of needing to shave. Though I will later provide my opinion on whether shaving is essential or not, focusing on the main topic, males, noticeably, are bereft of any requirement to shave; males are free to possess hair over their legs, face, arms, and should females have any hair in the stated areas, utter backlash occurs in the forms of verbal, and in extreme yet unsurprising cases, physical (this will be addressed). Rather than viewing shaving as merely gender-based acts or attributes (that is already an issue in itself), through critically analyzing it via a social perspective versus a direct one, shaving is more than removal of hair; accounting for the social dynamics involved, the connotations of shaving are discreet messages that perpetuate gender inequities.

Now, resurfacing an earlier discussion, there may be slight confusion in terms of females not shaving: if not shaving is deemed a masculine trait, females, according to the androcentric scale, should be praised as they are now in a desirable position, and essentially, ranking up. While this applies to clothing, behavior, and other aspects, shaving, rather than being an exception, falls into a new category: bodies, specifically, female bodies and policing of such by, expectedly, males. A female’s body is, disturbingly and perplexingly, “masculine.” This statement appears rather counterintuitive; a female body should be, based on logic of female versus male, feminine as it is blatantly a female’s body. Unfortunately, that is false and androcentrism falls in place: a female’s body is “masculine” since femininity is controlled by masculine standards; males decide what is considered “sexy” or “pretty” in a body, and thus, a female’s body is seemingly feminine, but once tracked to the roots, as depicted, masculinity is the originator for those traits. Therefore, to answer the very initial question, females not shaving is not considered masculine, ironically, since it highly combats what males have set up, and overall, serves a threat to masculinity and male superiority in that sense.

On that note, many have created solutions, and one in particular advocates for females not shaving. After all, doing so would challenge male’s policing of female bodies, and additionally, set females equal to males in that one aspect of male privilege is disengaged. To finally leave my opinion, although I may offer somewhat radical and controversial statements in my reviews, be it in the Personal Message or the song review itself, this will potentially be the most outrageous stance to date: I disagree with the idea of females not shaving. Females should shave. However, that is not all of my stance; to potently create a gender equitable situation with shaving, females and males should both shave. Realistically, of course, the true equitable situation is both females and males are bereft of any social pressure, and as a result, shaving is a choice based on an individual, regardless of gender, but as I believe in honesty for readers (and in general), I will disclose and explain my personal stance.

Often time, strangely, solving gender inequities revolves around the gender that is already dominant and advantaged: do not wear revealing clothing as a female or else boys will attack and rape, do not use makeup as there is no purpose to please males, do not act flirtatious or else males will slut-shame. And, of course, do not shave since males expect shaving. All of these acts, while seemingly against androcentrism, is, highly ironically, filled with exactly such, a society that revolves around males. Rarely is the opposite stance, one that places females to the standards of equality versus to males, given: wear revealing clothing if desired to since, as a female, a human, personal decisions can be made; use makeup as there is no issue with desiring to appear pretty in the standards of females; the decision to flirt should be done, as a female, if there is a love-interest. Following the trend, as a female, shaving is not an issue if desired since, rather than basing it on male standards, a new standard, one from a female point of view, considers shaving “pretty” and thus a desirable activity.

To now focus moreover on shaving and why I believe females and males should both be held accountable (once more, the most equitable situation is what I stated earlier; this is my personal opinion), unlike the plethora of examples that are orientated towards males, this idea focuses on females, and in specific, femininity; if males are expected to shave, an act deemed feminine, a new standard is in place as femininity would be held equal to masculinity (in this situation of shaving). Thus, rather than having females conduct a “masculine” trait that ignites hostility due to challenging the policing of females via not shaving (which, in essence, is still a viable idea), if the scale utterly flipped and males were expected to do a “feminine” trait, and in a few ways, became policed to follow such, in the context of shaving it would create an equitable scale as males must now value femininity equally to masculinity, and furthermore, the policing that would occur additionally perpetuates that ideology. If the inequitable standards of valuing masculinity over femininity is to be directly challenged, rather than attempting to depreciate masculine concepts so that balance is met, it would be more effective to instead empower femininity so that equity is met through equally cherishing feminine concepts, not because masculinity is equally dreaded as femininity.

Overall, with this digression being a topic that is rarely discussed, and furthermore, highly irrelevant to CLC (except, obviously, on the levels of how the group consists of ladies), I do apologize in the sense of it being a somewhat foreign topic. Nevertheless, I do encourage readers that read this portion to ponder over the section and to develop a personal stance. Though this review itself will focus on “Pepe” in an industrial, musical context, shying away from important, seemingly minor yet major topics is not an option, especially when, overall, this digression still stemmed from pop culture (and of course, day-to-day life in general). Due to time restraints, I will save another discussion for my next review. During EXID’s “Ah Yeah” review, the topic of challenging social issues will be glanced at. Also, for readers who are now genuinely curious on whether I shave or not, as always to be truthful, I do not since I am guiltily exploiting my male privilege, as of now, I place minimal emphasis on my physical appearance. However, that said, when I do begin to care and date (though slight irony in that my future actions will probably deter potential dates), shaving and, for another topic to be discussed in the next review, makeup, will not be alien materials. My review on “Ah Yeah” will dive into the topics of challenging social issues, and if time permits, cultural differences on “masculine” and “feminine” (such as in the case of personally using makeup as a heterosexual male).

Finally returning to the ladies of CLC and not an utterly random subject of shaving, “Pepe” has been requested by two readers and the wait has been excessively long. Thankfully, that will now change: “Pepe” will be reviewed, obviously. Reiterating earlier points, though this song is highly loathed due to biases, it still remains sufficient in a few categories, but overall, “Pepe” is still a somewhat weaker song.

_______________________________________________________

Song Score: 5/10 (4.6/10 raw score) – “Average”

– Vocals: 5/10 – Addressing the vocals of “Pepe,” for an overarching label, basicness holds. Diving into specific characteristics, in terms of stronger points, the pacing remains diverse. Different sections possess different singing rates, and thus, a lively flow exists for the vocals. Furthermore, despite being a newer group, CLC manages to disclose powerful singing: many sections showcase high, lengthy note holds. As for sections that are not orientated towards presence, much of CLC’s singing remains stable; in general, throughout “Pepe,” the vocals that exist are not frail or excessive, and as a result, provide a clean, smooth pathway for delivering adequate vocals.   

Nonetheless, even with stable singing and added tints of power, “Pepe” still possesses moments of substantial issues: powerful notes are overly exaggerated, and though the vocals are stable, the component of being melodic is absent. In terms of the stronger notes, strain is present, and though that may be beneficial if manipulated properly, in the case of this song, the existing strain pierces rather than pleases. As noted at the end of the choruses, the final, lingering note hold is not one that grants a delighting tune, but one that is overwhelming. Switching to the vocals’ lacking melody, though “Pepe” still blatantly possesses its tune, the degree of such is insufficient; the singing remains highly simple with the utilized pitches, and while a song is still plausible under the current vocals’ conditions, thriving beyond the standard is impossible. A prime moment of the unembellished melody is at the post-choruses: a melody clearly exists, however, it is highly plain and not enticing on a musical level.

Though the ladies’ singing are not stunning, neither are their vocals atrocious. The foundation of singing is in place; CLC is capable of delivering a song at a professional, industrial level. But, at most, the least is met. Thus, average will hold as the score. Impressive points are hindered by impairing points, and with both balancing out, average is suiting as the score. But, considering CLC is a newer group, room for growth exists, and hopefully, in the future, a different song will be reviewed and this score increases.

– Sections: 4/10 (4.29/10 raw score)

Introduction, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Post-Chorus, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Post-Chorus, Rap, Chorus, Post-Chorus, Conclusion

1. Introduction: 3/10 – The introduction consists of purely the instrumental. And a few seconds.

Due to being incredibly short, a full, comprehensive look will be difficult. For what is given, mechanically the instrumental remains incredibly dull: minimal, hasty and semi-heavier beats are played. Though the time limit is to blame, the mechanical side simply possesses no depth; solely beats are carried out. As a result, the mechanical aspect suffers as there is minimal exposure to any sound, let alone if the sound is even pleasing.  

Structurally, however, this type of introduction, though impairing to the mechanical layer, is positive. To an extent. With being incredibly short, “Pepe” is able to promptly begin, which is both aiding and damaging. Focusing on the positive aspects, with a short duration, a transition, or more accurately, the absence of a connecting pathway, occurs and thus the song flows seamlessly into the first verse. The drawback, however, is suddenness: “Pepe” begins excessively quickly, and thus, while the song progresses from one point to the other, there is minimal appeal attached. If more depth was added, whether in the form of seconds or a more complex instrumental, the intended role of transitioning would still exist, but furthermore, a musically alluring aspect would be included.

Below average will be the score. The utter lack of an appealing musical component heavily hinders this section, even with the most optimistic view of the structural component being beneficial.

2. Verse: 5/10 – Seungyeon and Sorn are responsible for the first verse.

Though the two verses slightly differ, an identical, overarching concept occurs: emphasis towards lower notes. Sonically, a deeper pitched melody is utilized and offers “Pepe” a soothing, lively flow. Furthermore, miniscule yet prominent note stretches occur, and thus, the rich, lower notes are accentuated to deliver an even more tuneful section, especially during the second verse. Also, though akin to the structural layer, in terms of the first verse, a unique rhythm takes place: the singing stutters in order to reflect the song’s piano beats. Due to such, an appealing, unique trait is created.

Swapping to the structural side, with the verses possessing a slower pacing, compensation for the introduction partially exists, but in addition, the slower rate allows expansion; “Pepe” ‘s verses beginning calmly grants the song a foundation for it to develop, as seen by the upcoming pre-choruses that build upon the prior section (the verses). Also, mentioned earlier, the chemistry of instrumental and vocals, in the context of the first verse, is admirable and augments both sonic and structural layers. Sadly, despite some diverse traits, the structural component remains, overall, stagnant; while the lower notes do fluctuate, the length per line, the pacing, and the entire format regardless of stutter or regular note stretches, are all identical. Solely the melody roams freely, but in terms of the verses’ outline, it remains relatively basic.

Overall, average will hold as the score. The sonic component, while incredibly infatuating, does not redeem the highly simplistic structure of the verses.

3. Pre-Chorus: 5/10 – Yujin and Seunghee handle the first pre-chorus, and Sorn, in substitution to Yujin, works with Seunghee for the second.

In terms of the pre-choruses’ sound, as presumed for a pre-chorus, the sections do become more upbeat in contrast to others, and thus, multiple traits become amplified: the melody begins to flow more fluently, the pacing starts varying, and the vocals’ power are finally showcased. For example, with the melody, multiple notes of lower and higher are now disclosed as “Pepe” possesses an energetic state, and furthermore, pacing variety exists to further reflect that. In terms of the vocals being impactful, towards the end with Seunghee’s final line, a lengthier yet perfectly balanced note stretch occurs, of which also follows the trend of a more hyped, upbeat section. Addressing another potent aspect, though related to the structural side, the occurring background vocals vastly aids the mechanical layer. Proper contrast, unlike in the post-choruses (to be explained later), incredibly refines the pre-choruses’ sound: main vocals against background vocals sound additionally prominent and stable, and vice-versa, background vocals against main vocals offer variety, but also, lower notes and a calmer style are gleaned aspects.

Continuing the topic of background vocals, as mentioned, the structural side benefits as variety is heard; main vocals produce the higher pitches and prominence, and background vocals offer the lower pitches along with a more relaxed state. As for other positive traits, in an overarching view of the pre-choruses, the progression remains impressive: the verse to pre-chorus remains fluid since the pre-choruses gradually uplifts, and additionally, with that smooth, natural advancement, the section itself allows “Pepe” to arrive to its chorus flawlessly. And on that note, the final note stretch at the end further depicts the exceptional progression. With a properly scaled note stretch occurring, a blatant transition to the chorus is provided. To finally address the weaker side to the pre-choruses, though the progression is admirable, overall, the section remains highly stale: main vocals occur which are then backed up with background vocals, and after recycling that format, a final note stretch takes place. This is also more impairing once accounting for the mechanical layer; although the vocals are not negative in any means, neither are the vocals outstanding, and thus, in the situation of a stale structure, dullness becomes rife.

Average will be the score. If the mechanical component was slightly more enticing, the structural layer would easily thrive, and equally, the section as a whole.

4. Chorus: 4/10 – A mixture of promising and languishing points are apparent during the chorus, which are conducted by both Seungyeon and Seunghee.

Mechanically, the choruses, jocularly, sound pleasing to dreading as the sections run their length. First, towards the beginning, the vocals possess an endearing amount of power; following the norms of traditional choruses, “Pepe” ‘s choruses bring the singing to a higher caliber. Because of such, the delivered upbeatness and vocals become welcoming, and furthermore, besides sheer power, a noticeable variety of higher notes, specifically of mid to high, are disclosed. Now, as stated, once the choruses drag to the end, the power does not follow through: rather than power that gradually fades, the vocals continually add onto its intensity. Although this would seem to be a desirable route, by excessively raising the vocals’ power, the melody lessens; since power becomes the focus, the tune begins losing attention and, overall, simply cannot compete with exploding vocals (however, this is not always the case as seen by, for examples, Ailee and Wheesung). For a transparent example, at the very ending of the choruses, with the final note hold containing a remarkable amount of power, strain naturally occurs but, as a result, utterly dampens the melody as an exasperated voice is left, not one of luxurious melody.

Continuing the topic of the final note hold that occurs, while dreadful in a mechanical sense, through the lens of the sections’ structure, a blatant transition does become provided, and thus, the post-choruses that follow up flawlessly flow with the song as a whole. Furthermore, on a general level, the choruses exhibit a proper level of intensity for a chorus: energetic and dynamic.

Sadly, while the structure is respectable and equally the mechanical component to some degree, the power added is unscoped. Should the vocals have been in proper scale in terms of power, the score, and ears, would not be as pierced. Slightly below average is the rating.

5. Post-Chorus: 3/10 – Yeeun and Seunghee, and the group as a whole during specific moments, contribute to the post-choruses.

Perhaps the song’s most prominent downfall occurs here. The post-choruses in “Pepe” are, harshly stated, appalling. For the mechanical attribute, it utterly falters; the singing that takes place is moreover vexing than melodic. Though the song’s tone, a mockery, sarcastic one, is created through the vocals’ style, musically, this style highly obscures the melody: an annoyed, sharp and high pitched whine is in place versus legitimate soothing, alluring singing. In addition, another pressing problem is, contradictingly, variety. Although the structural side will address this in depth, with the post-choruses being highly tedious, variety via background vocals is added in order to redress such. However, how the background vocals are utilized is not beneficial towards the mechanical layer; with the background vocals taking the form of a single, childish and whined word, the main singing that occurs, of which is already irking enough, has its poorer sound further emphasized. Two forms of mediocre vocals contrasting one another does not alleviate the weaker delivery, but instead, clearly highlights the weaker qualities of both.

To now address the mentioned point of repetition, for the structure, while repetition is not necessarily negative, in the scenario of “Pepe” ‘s post-choruses, it certainly is. If the vocals were respectable during this section, repetition would strengthen such, but with the opposite taking place, somewhat horrendous vocals are now heard for a longer duration. Also, regardless of the vocals’ rating, the structure during the post-choruses are incredibly stale: linear main vocals occur, then a sole word follows up. Of course, however, with the vocals already lacking, this type of format and repetition drains the post-choruses further. At most, a positive feature of the post-choruses is the overall role of providing an equalizing, calming bridge between the chorus and verse.

Below average will be the score. The mechanical layer is not pleasing, and the structure simply reiterates the poorer mechanical side.

6. Rap: 7/10 – Yeeun runs solo for the rapping section.

Truthfully, the rapping section may be the strongest section in “Pepe.” Both its mechanical and structural pieces are solid. Focusing on the first point, Yeeun’s rap in terms of its sound is equal to many other high caliber raps, as noticed by the excellent speed, flow, power, and melody. Expanding those aspects, her speed remains perfectly swift; the rate is not excessive so that the rap loses traces of melody, but also, it is not lacking so that the rap label would be inaccurate. In terms of flow, no points of awkward pauses occur. Every word flows seamlessly. Power, though more accurately coined would be stability, is another delivered, desired aspect. Throughout the rap, the vocals remain palpable with presence, and as a result of the given power, a lingering aspect is attached. Lastly, the rap remains highly melodic. Malleability plays a key role in allowing the melody to thrive; portions of the rap vary with traits, be it speed, power, and more, and as a result of those variations, the melody naturally transforms to accommodate such. Quicker segments have a lighter melody, and for the slower, rhythmic moments, a tranquil melody is in place.

Swapping to the structure, on the subject of diverse segments in the rap–the main reason for why this category holds well, rather than the rap being a pure, unchanging section, incorporation of different chunks grant it diversity. A prime example is towards the later half: one-word stutters become used, even if short, and once juxtaposed to the prior segment, both the rap’s mechanics and structure are enhanced via extra appeal. Examples: pacings become more abundant, the flow is more than sequential, and both power and melody fluctuate due to the change in style.

Overall, above average. Yeeun’s rapping remains remarkable, and while “Pepe” is seemingly a lower tiered song, its rap section does bring in a strong point.

7. Conclusion: 3/10 – Every member contributes for the conclusion, or at least it will be assumed so.

The conclusion, though its own section, is awfully familiar to the post-choruses. “Awfully” is also not simply meant to emphasize similarity in format. Ignoring the strident statement, to focus on the conclusion’s sonic layer, the concept in the post-choruses translates over: a repetitive, higher pitched tune is given, but in an even more downgraded fashion. “Lalala,” an exceptionally mundane line, is tiresomely repeated with a highly basic melody. In summary, the vocals in the conclusion are homogenous to the post-choruses, but with an even duller line, the lackluster vocals are even more absent of appeal.

Expectedly, the structural side also languishes. Once more, the issues apparent in the post-choruses reappear: repetition in the context of faulty singing emphasizes the poorer quality of both mechanical and structural components; the “lalala” becomes extremely obnoxious with its sound, and of course, the line itself as well. Now in terms of it serving as a proper closure to the song, that is met, miraculously. With the final solo instrumental, “Pepe” is properly closed, and in fact, has its lingering aspect, even if in the form of the instrumental and not vocals.

Should the final instrumental have taken the entirety of the conclusion, this section would be rather effective. However, with the addition of, overall, a modified post-chorus, this section falters. Below average is the score. The mechanical aspect is inadequate, and furthermore, the structural role would have still been met even if the “lalala” was removed.

– Line Distribution: 4/10 – Five members exist in CLC, and through assumptions based on the group size, a high score should be in place.

Seunghee’s lines consist of, absurdly and disturbingly, eight sections: the two pre-choruses, the three choruses, and three post-choruses. Four sections, from multiple reviews, have been the most efficient number; with four being the value, it is not lacking or dominating. Depending on the rest of her members, Seunghee’s lines may be overly abundant, and unfortunately, that anticipation might become reality.

For Yujin, a horrible disparity occurs: she possesses one section, the first pre-chorus. With a difference between one and eight (Seunghee), this will significantly and negatively impact the score. Even if the rest of the members provided an equalizing bridge between Yujin’s lines and Seunghee’s lines, the current difference is far too high to truly rectify.

Peering at Seungyeon’s lines, she is responsible for the two verses and the three choruses. Five is her total, and though it does instill a median between the prior members, the gap is still highly prevalent.

In focus of Sorn and in hope of her quantity providing a middle-ground, the two verses and the second pre-chorus are her sections, and therefore, three will be her total count. Though the number of lines currently consist of one, three, five, and eight, Sorn’s quantity, while aiding in terms of providing a bridge between Seunghee and Yujin, will not entirely fix the current, flawed issue.

Lastly, for Yeeun, her sections include, notably her rap, and the three post-choruses. Four is her count, and while there is now a spectrum (one, three, four, five, and eight), the minimum and maximum values are simply too varying.

On that note, for a score, considering 4 is roughly the average, equal number of lines that every member should have possessed, Yujin and Seunghee are mainly the two members who significantly deviate from such. If the other members further contributed to the prominent disparity, an even lower score would be possible, but with the opposite occurring, slightly below average will be the score.

– Instrumental: 5/10 – The instrumental of “Pepe” is average. While it does not lack in multiple categories, neither does it excel in any, and thus, average would be a proper label. Analyzing the mechanical aspect to the soundtrack, a main piano melody appears, and while decent in its tune and flow, it is not outstanding. Another aspect, the beats, follow suit: the beats in the song are moreover plain than intriguing. Overall, no major flaws or strengths exist in a musical sense for the soundtrack. Not surprisingly, for the structural piece, the same, homogenous, standard trend is in place: ordinary. Fundamental roles are covered, such as the instrumental providing transitions and accommodating the vocals accordingly to the sections, be it by becoming more fast paced to suit the rap, having a stronger, intenser stance for the chorus, and so forth. Nevertheless, nothing is utterly extraordinary; the instrumental supplies what is necessary to allow “Pepe” to function, but not necessarily to engross listeners.

Average, as throughout the song, will once more be a given score.

– Meaning: 5/10 – “Pepe,” though seemingly a name, is instead a sound, and one that emanates of mockery, or at the least, not one of affection. In credit to the following Korean-to-English lyrics, the story behind “Pepe,” whether it is a flirtatious plot or one of hatred, will, hopefully, become revealed. The following lyrics are not 100% accurate:

What can you give to me?
This is your limit
You’re stupider than I thought
You’ll always be like a child

Guys are all the same (what you want)
When you’re looking for it (you become impatient)
Are you a patient? Talk to a doctor
Stop pretending to be sick

Why are you provoking me, shaking me up?
Ooh ooh, what to do
You’re so crazy, your acting is amazing
Never look for me again

Hubiruae pepe pepe, you’re so funny
Hubiruae pepe pepe, you’re so funny
Hubiruae pepe pepe, you’re so funny
This is your level

Move back, what’re you looking at?
You’re a tree that can’t grow
Please, just quit it
Look for your girl somewhere else

Guys are all the same (what you want)
When you’re looking for it (you become impatient)
Are you a patient? Talk to a doctor
Stop pretending to be sick

Why are you provoking me, shaking me up?
Ooh ooh, what to do
You’re so crazy, your acting is amazing
Never look for me again

Hubiruae pepe pepe, you’re so funny
Hubiruae pepe pepe, you’re so funny
Hubiruae pepe pepe, you’re so funny
This is your level

Typical guys, howling like wolves
Poking around like they’re starved
I’m losing interest, losing heart
I’m not even getting mad now
After breaking up with you, I’m singing
Even my family and friends sing hurray
Bye now baby
Forgetting you is so easy

Why are you provoking me, shaking me up?
Ooh ooh, what to do
You’re so crazy, your acting is amazing
Never look for me again

Hubiruae pepe pepe, you’re so funny
Hubiruae pepe pepe, you’re so funny
Hubiruae pepe pepe, you’re so funny
This is your level

La la la la la la la la la la la
La la la la la la la la la la la
La la la la la la la la la la la

“Pepe” presents a story of a lady who, as predicted, is mocking her former love-interest, and more accurately, partner. Although the rap occurs later in the song, its lyrics provide an overview of the plot: the lady is frustrated with “typical guys howling like wolves,” and specifically addressing her former partner, she claims: “After breaking up with [him], I’m singing.” While it is unknown on why the couple parted, her insults are clear and sharp, of which is essentially the song. The main character vents her frustration, such as by stating that her former partner is “stupider than [she] thought” or that he will “always be like a child.” Other remarks are included, but addressing where the song’s title derives from, the main character’s mockery of “hubiruae pepe pepe, you’re so funny” is her most significant, direct comment. Furthermore, “this is your level,” the following statement after the latter, further unveils the main character’s hatred, and also, how pitiful her former partner was.

Scoring the lyrics, average will hold. While questions regarding the relationship exists, the song mainly focuses on the degradation of the boy, and thus, not much depth is given. In many ways, Fiestar’s “You’re Pitiful” relates; both “Pepe” and “You’re Pitiful” focus on a former partner and the pity of them after splitting up. Nevertheless, with that, both lyrics do remain average as complexity is missing.

– “Critical Corner”: Though I do wish to embark on the discussion of relationships, and more specifically, how males are socialized with, truthfully, a toxic idea of relationships (which is potentially why the main character in “Pepe” is frustrated), for the sake of time, I will simply redirect this “Critical Corner” to a review: Fiestar’s reality show, “Channel Fiestar.” Ignoring arguably the worst review and writing I have done for “Channel Fiestar,” I do digress to the topic of how males have been taught to date (in short, objectifying females and not being socialized to have a genuine intimate relationship). In the future, perhaps I will elaborate more deeply on this subject, but for now, the linked review will suffice.

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Choreography Score: 5/10 – Though I will explain at the Overall Score portion, this review has been written in the most incoherent manner possible. On topic, for the choreography of “Pepe,” as is the current trend for this song, average is suiting.

Syncing in “Pepe” is, for everything excluding the chorus, solid. Beats are reflected consistently for multiple sections, whether it is the verse, pre-chorus, post-chorus, or even rap. Furthermore, movements also reciprocate the song’s intensity; more energetic musical sections, such as the pre-chorus, are met with faster motions, and conversely, calmer sections follow a slower choreography. Returning to the earlier point of the chorus, though every other section remains in sync, the chorus remains bleak of any proper matchings; there is simply no correlation between dance and song. At most, the first few seconds have maneuvers related to the lighter snaps, but in terms of the rest, the following moves do not reside with any beats, and additionally, even the flow of the dance fails to reflect the song’s own flow.

Focusing on the key points of “Pepe,” the existing dance sets are relatively plain. Most of the choreography relies upon snapping movements, and while a flashier, powerful dance is seen due to such, variety lacks as predominantly one type of movement is spotlighted. Furthermore, many key points are repeated: the verses, pre-choruses, choruses, and so on, recycle the uniform dance set (or at least an incredibly similar one), and as a result, the lack of deviation impairs appeal. Although it may be considered a standard to relentlessly reuse the same key points, for a choreography to thoroughly thrive beyond average, as is the score for “Pepe” ‘s dance, variating key points are essential. The verses, for example, while technically different, could certainly divert more from one another. In addition, if repetition is to be kept, existing key points need to be distinctive in themselves; if every key point in “Pepe” was more than snaps, and therefore, already visually intriguing and unique per every section label, looping the same key point would be of no issue.

Overall, average holds as the score. The syncing renders averagely, though the choruses are to blame, and the key points are also average.

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Overall Score: 5/10 (5/10 raw score) – With both main scores holding a 5, the Overall Score will follow suit. CLC’s “Pepe” can be considered as average, and that, in a very optimistic and realistic setting, is what I do personally label the song (though as stated, I personally heavily dislike this song).

With the review now over, I will leave many messages regarding this review, and for readers, the lack of reviews. If correct, it has been ten days since I have last posted, and many excuses exist (yes, not reasons as I desire to hold myself accountable). First, however, addressing this review, I did not write judiciously at all. The quality of this review is significantly poorer than others, and considering this was a requested review by two readers, I do feel incredibly guilty. That said, explaining why that may be the case, I decided to write this review in an utterly random fashion; rather than logically and chronologically writing the review in a top-down form, I decided to write different pieces at different times. For example, I wrote the Vocals piece many days ago, and then the next day, wrote the Line Distribution, and then afterwards, skipped to the Instrumental, and so forth. After realizing the disorganization, it made writing even harder, especially when analyzing and writing the Sections part (for example, it is hard to truly gauge the choruses’ structural aspect when I have yet to analyze the prior section, and thus, cannot properly create context on whether it is a “suiting” section and such). Overall, with my poor decisions making the writing process and breakdown of the song significantly harder, it caused delay as I either took more breaks, needed more processing, or whatever else.

Mistakes, however, are not issues when learning occurs afterwards, and in this case, I have learned a valuable lesson. Lastly, I also did strip away about four or so hours away from writing; rather than using a dedicated time for writing, I ended up working on subtitling a video (feel free to watch it: T-ARA: Weekly Idol – “Sugar Free”). Due to that, a delay of about two days was added. And, of course, some finishing schoolwork exists, though that is a lesser factor than the latter two. Nevertheless, huge apologies to readers and requesters for this review’s delay.

On that note, thank you very much for reading this review, and for those who were anticipating it, for being incredibly patient. EXID’s “Ah Yeah,” the last requested review in inventory, will be finished as soon as possible. For the requester of that review, I apologize for practically a month’s delay, but considering the length of reviews, I would like to think of quality over quantity (though the current quality is still rather poor; I will continually work to improve my reviews). Of course, however, I will attempt to finish “Ah Yeah” in a couple of days (I typically need 6 to 8 hours worth of writing per review).

With this being the end, though many readers may now say “You’re stupider than I thought,” I hope that readers are not “losing interest” or “losing heart” due to a slower rate. EXID’s “Ah Yeah” will be finished shortly, and I will attempt to work diligently for it. Afterwards, as promised, many male groups are in mind, and thus, I hope many readers look forward to that. Thank you once more for reading. Keep checking back.

4Minute’s Mini-Album – “Crazy” Review

Reviewed on March 7, 2015

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Firstly, before beginning, I want to thank readers for giving feedback in terms of desired types of reviews. My previous album review was on AOA’s Mini-Album “Like a Cat” (Review), and though many readers enjoyed it (perhaps since it is a significantly quicker read), I believed, and more accurately, believe, it is disorganized in a few ways. As a result, I became hesitant on releasing album reviews, but due to a few readers liking them, I will continue to publish these types of reviews. That being said, I have two album reviews in mind (including this one), and through practice and trials, I anticipate these types of reviews improving.

Before diving into 4Minute’s album, I will leave a few remarks regarding my previous review on their release of “Crazy.” Interestingly, perhaps utterly coincidentally, a few readers displayed heavy dislike towards it: 5 followers were lost. Of course, this may be pure coincidence and completely unrelated to the previous review, but considering past instances, a chance that the two correlate is high. In an older review on Dal Shabet’s “B.B.B” (feel free to read it: Dal Shabet – “B.B.B” Review), though the degree was slightly less, 3 followers were lost after the review had been posted for a few days. Now, to clarify and before diving into my speculations on why these incidents occurred, I am not necessarily upset at the lost of followers (quantity-wise, there is a miniscule impact), but rather, the connotation behind such is what disturbs me; if it is true that certain reviews have prompted unfollowing, it showcases the general, inefficient response many people unveil when faced with disagreement or sensitive subjects: evasion. Before progressing, for further clarification, while I may be personally vexed at their decision, I am using assumptions (versus the chance of pure coincidence), and thus, I am most likely not accurate in the following claims. Secondly, even if my speculations prove to be true, though I disagree with the choice made, I still respect those individuals’ decision; often time people are lost in the idea of “right” and “wrong,” but realistically and as I constantly promote, it is not about two specific angles, but instead, the infinite angles in which a person may view a certain topic, and specifically here, how one reacts to it. Lastly, even with my own stance, I will apologize. If any reader was or has ever been indeed offended, I am sincerely sorry. While I will still continue offering my own perspective, I am not perfect, will not be perfect, and in fact, should not be perfect. That said, I may at times leave offensive remarks unintentionally, and while I could become defensive and argue I intended no harm, it is not what I say that matters, but instead, how a person perceives my message. As a result, I am sorry for those who did feel irked due to my previous review (and older ones).

With context added, I will now explain my personal opinion regarding those who did unfollow after my review on 4Minute’s “Crazy.” To potentially answer why a few have chosen to do so, there are primarily 2 reasons: for one, people might have heavily disagreed with my tangent, and secondly, many could have opposed my numerical ratings. Addressing the latter first, disliking my review of “Crazy” on the basis of my ratings is rather staggering; the purpose of my reviews (and reviews in general) is to offer my own personal opinion regarding a song, show, or whichever medium. Furthermore, while in the past I have arguably failed at this, in current times I remain as unbiased as possible and grade based on a systematic deconstruction of a song. As a result, what I rate a song is simply my stance of how solid or weak it is, nothing more, nothing less. A lower rated song does not mean a group/artist is bad and vice-versa with a higher score; the song itself is the focus, not necessarily how the group/artist themselves hold. Reiterating my final point, these reviews are based solely on my opinion. I am not a professional music producer or analyzer, I am simply a reviewer who breaks apart songs on a simplistic level. Additionally, music is exceptionally unique; what is deemed amazing by one may be revolting to another. What would have been more desirable, and in truth is what I hope, is that the people who did decide to unfollow me did so due to disliking my process of reviewing; perhaps my mediocre writing and analysis repelled them away. In that scenario, it is completely acceptable, but should it have been the lower scores that caused them to flee, that remains highly questionable. In terms of the other reason, my opinion regarding why it is an issue to criticize 4Minute for “too much makeup” could have been too extreme, and thus, I could have offended a few. Nevertheless, I will not shy away from putting forth my opinion. Rather than taking my stances as unequivocal facts, they should be regarded as my personal perspective, and hopefully, new insight is gleaned in the end.

On track with this review, considering I did potentially offend readers with my review on “Crazy,” I am hoping this review will clarify misunderstandings, and additionally, offer some extra showcase for 4Minute. Their mini-album titled “Crazy” showcases 6 sings. Unfortunately, as admirable as the ladies of 4Minute may be, while their skills with singing and rapping are definitely disclosed, many songs in this album are not too solid. On the positive side, however, a few songs do shine, but overall, this album is not necessarily the strongest I have heard. With enough background added, it is time to begin. Though I could make this transition “Stand Out,” I am afraid it will lead readers to being “Crazy,” and if not that, then certainly readers will “Show Me” their anger as if it was a “Cold Rain.” Due to that, I will now have to “Cut It Out,” but hopefully readers receive a “Tickle Tickle Tickle” feeling.

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1. “Crazy” – Crazy (Review)

Since I have already reviewed the song via my standard reviews, I will not cover it here. For those curious, I will link my review of it. Also, to bring in some cohesion for album reviews, I will use the following format: first, the lyrics will be briefly summarized, and after that, the vocals and the song’s prominent aspects will be elaborated on. Due to a less detailed approach, I will not leave numerical ratings as those are reserved for standard song reviews.

2. “Cold Rain” – Cold Rain (Audio)

Foreshadowed by its title, a sadder story accompanies “Cold Rain.” Additionally, due to the emotional atmosphere, “Cold Rain” takes the genre of ballad. Progressing past the title, “Cold Rain” depicts a lover who loses their love-interest. While death can be argued as to why the couple has separated, many details imply it was a typical breakup; the man/lady lost their love-interest, either on their own decision or the love-interest’s, after discovering many “warm lies.” With being naive and deceived, the lover fell upon “the sin of nicely being in love because [she/he] didn’t know love, [she/he] just believed in people.” As a result, the main character now remains in anguish; “without [the love-interest], [she/he] [struggles].”

Ignoring the melancholy lyrics, in terms of the song itself, it has its promising aspects as well as weaker ones. Focusing on the vocals, 4Minute proves how adept they are at singing. Every member showcases phenomenal vocals: Jihyun offers melodic humming and single lines, Gayoon continues her usual higher tiered singing, Jiyoon, surprisingly, sings versus rapping, and at that she excels, and lastly, for the members that do rap, both Hyuna and Sohyun unveil a soothing, smooth rap. Swapping to the song’s structure, unlike the mechanical aspects that excel, it slightly falters. Overviewing the entirety of “Cold Rain,” while it is a ballad, and thus, remaining calm and consistent, it proves to be stagnant; section to section, the same flow and style retains. As a result, the ballad does lose a sense of uniqueness and comes off as slightly repetitive.

Overall, however, “Cold Rain” is a decent ballad. From what I am aware of, “Cold Rain” will be the first ballad they have released in a long time (if not the first, though I am certain they possess an older ballad). 4Minute’s vocals heavily shine in this song. The downfall exists predominantly in the lack of variety and fluctuation per sections. Ignoring that, however, “Cold Rain” is not too bad.

3. “Tickle Tickle Tickle” – Tickle Tickle Tickle (Audio)

With a highly absurd title, many will ponder over its meaning. As jocular as the title itself, the lyrics showcase, specifically, though as always the main character could be any gender, a lady who is “tickled” by a boy via a “touch that brushed” by and simply her feelings of infatuation. In short, it is a more flirtatious story of a lover “going crazy” over their love-interest.

For the musical aspect of “Tickle Tickle Tickle,” to already offer my stance, it is the album’s weakest song, and in general, a very weak song. While the bassline may be exceptionally catchy, it becomes abominable and vexing. Furthermore, the vocals lean towards the poorer side as well; obnoxious vocals equally exist, though there are moments where lower pitched singing is heard. Nevertheless, the lower noted, slower, charming lines do not compensate for the rest of the vocals nor the highly chaotic instrumental. In focus of the song’s structure, variations are minimal. Factoring in the endless bassline, the song becomes extremely sluggish and loses much of its strength, assuming it had some in the first place.

Overall, “Tickle Tickle Tickle” is moreover a sillier song. The vocals remain tiresome, the song follows a mundane structure, and most loathing, the bassline taints the song from any potential that could have existed. Arguably catchy, but certainly, humorous and pitiful.

4. “Show Me” – Show Me (Audio)

Truthfully, this was the song I highly anticipated. From a teaser before 4Minute’s comeback, the chorus of “Show Me” was revealed. Instantly I was captivated, but blatantly, a song does not solely comprise of a single chorus.

On topic, the lyrics of “Show Me” showcases a flirtatious story involving a lady and a scenario with her love-interest (as always, a male could also be the main character). Unlike, for example, “Cold Rain” where the main character is hurt from love, the depicted character in “Show Me” remains a sheer opposite: they are highly confident, satisfied, and in some ways, even arrogant. Relating specifically to the lyrics, a lady is attempting to win a boy’s love since “[she] knows [she’s] exactly [the love-interest’s] style.” Somewhat comically, her desired outcome seems be off-centered. Often time her frustration is shared, such as “Where are you looking? Look here,” and “I’m sick of the stupid boys coming at me” in reference to other males that desire her love, and in addition, even towards other females for “copying [her].”

Addressing “Show Me” in terms of the vocals, power remains a highlighted aspect. Remaining impactful versus soft and melodic is a style “Show Me” adopts. Nevertheless, even with power being moreover allocated than melody, the song still retains a tuneful nature. Individually, every member shines via her section; Hyuna and Sohyun fluently handle the rap sections, Gayoon, Jiyoon, and Jihyun offer solid vocals for the remaining standard singing parts. For what does hinder “Show Me,” the structure is partially at fault. The post-choruses leech a hefty amount of positive attention. “Eh eh eh eh eh eh” being tediously replayed becomes a drawback. Despite that, however, “Show Me” is not too bad. The choruses, raps, verses, and even pre-choruses are noteworthy.

In the end, “Show Me” is a stronger song for the album. In general, it may not be highly promising, but it can hold decently. Repetition remains the pressing issue.

5. “Stand Out” – Stand Out (Audio)

To clarify, from my knowledge, a person is technically featured in this song: “Manager.” For those considering that a strange alias for an artist or wondering who he even is, “Manager” is actually 4Minute’s manager. This would also explain his part being dialogue versus singing and such. Overall, however, “Stand Out,” in essence, does not feature any artist.

With that in mind, the lyrics for “Stand Out” do reflect, once more, a flirtatious scenario. However, in this song’s case, the story proves to be highly jocular, and in certain instances, even cute and sweet. Whether it was due to the boy’s “sexy voice” or, humorously, “fantastic butt,” “Stand Out” reveals a lady who is highly infatuated with her love-interest; she is in love with a boy who she labels as her “superstar.” She has “found [him]” to “stand out,” and in fact, “[she has] dibs on [him].” Other sweet details exist, such as desiring the love-interest to “come into [her] arms.” Furthermore, for where 4Minute’s manager becomes featured, it is a phone dialogue that provides extra details. For those curious on what was said, it should be similar to this (not 100% accurate, but seeing as no lyrics translation has covered it, I will):

Love-Interest: Hello
Lover: What’s up/What are you up to?
Love-Interest: I’m currently at my house
Lover: Come out here
Love-Interest: Yes? No, I do not want to
Lover: Come out right now, coming out?
Love-Interest: Noona… (“Noona” is the term younger males use to refer to older females)
Lover: Hey!
Love-Interest: Wait a moment…ugh…

In summary, the lyrics are indeed comical and sweet. Shifting to the song’s musical component, to instantly address a positive point, “Stand Out” does stand out via being diverse. Structurally, the song remains varied, and every section possesses its own niche. In addition, the progression of the song remains decent; transitions to the next section are fluent, and for the flow, “Stand Out” follows a standard path of calm to upbeat. Glancing at the vocals, solely the post-chorus remains questionable. During that section, the vocals do languish and become wearisome. Ignoring that, however, the rest prove to be solid. For example, the choruses, arguably the main highlight, remain highly impactful yet melodic, and other sections, such as the pre-choruses, possess their own charm via lower pitched singing.

Overall, “Stand Out” proves to be a decent song. The vocals and structure hold well, and additionally, the lyrics are comical and intriguing. For 4Minute’s album, this is one of the stronger songs.   

6. “Cut It Out” – Cut It Out (Audio)

Firstly, from the start, I will claim this should have been the title song over “Crazy.” The same concept is kept, but musically it is significantly, excessively significantly better (though the dance for it may be less fitting conceptually). Also, I am impressed by the versatility of 4Minute; Jiyoon has proven to be highly talented with singing, and in opposite, Sohyun has exhibited stunning rapping. Returning back to “Cut It Out,” this is the album’s strongest song, and even in general, this song is definitely respectable and to a high standard.

Lyrically, with the title of “Cut It Out” (or the Korean title of “Stop At The First Verse”), and considering every other song in the album being related to love, this song would automatically be associated with such. Surprisingly, it is not. “Cut It Out” can be related to love, but overall, it is more; “Cut It Out” discloses a crucial message: do what you want to do and ignore those who oppose you. Jiyoon’s moment at the chorus easily summarizes the lyrics: “Leave me alone, I have my own world. I’m gonna go my own way, with my own moves, with a natural rhythm. My own rules, a dream that’s different from others.” Overall, “Cut It Out” elaborates that idea and encourages people to truly follow what they desire, not what others believe. For a simple example, if someone, as a male, enjoys makeup, they should be able to do so without being put down. Relating back to “Crazy,” should a lady desire to use heavier makeup, she should feel free to do so without warranting hate. The message “Cut It Out” gives is one that deserves to be reiterated.

From a musical lens, the song still holds well. Structurally, a beautiful aspect is the utilized contrast: rapping versus singing. Viewing the song from an overarching perspective, the song is either in the form of a rap or standard singing. Though both may be significantly different, the difference that does exist augments both parties; the raps are more bold, fierce, smooth, and brisk, and the singing are additionally melodic, graceful, and even powerful. Another point worthy of acknowledgement are the transitions. Despite the rapping and singing taking significant shifts, “Cut It Out” does an excellent job keeping it all cohesive. Lastly, in terms of the vocals, 4Minute’s highest potential becomes uncloaked. Individually, every member completely aced their lines. Sohyun and Hyuna continue their streak of superb rapping, be it remaining melodic, fluent, and swift, Gayoon, as expected, flawlessly handles the more vocally-intensive lines at the chorus, Jiyoon exposes her versatility of being a phenomenal rapper and singer, and finally, Jihyun utterly redeems her poorer bridge in “Crazy” by granting an outstanding bridge.

“Cut It Out” is by far the album’s superior song. The lyrics are detailed and meaningful, the song remains unique with its distinct rapping and singing, and for the vocals, the 5 ladies continue to garner the ears (and hearts) of listeners.  

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Personal Ranking:

Offering my own position regarding the songs, here is my personal order, from best to worst, of the songs in 4Minute’s mini-album “Crazy.” Bear in mind, this list is based on my limited opinion and knowledge; a more thorough and systematic breakdown of each song to find their statistical value would provide a more accurate list (such as if I were to review every song through my standard review format).

1. “Cut It Out”

2. “Stand Out”

3. “Cold Rain”

4. “Show Me”

5. “Crazy”

6. “Tickle Tickle Tickle”

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With this being the end, I will now offer my general opinion regarding the album. A few songs are noteworthy, but many of the songs are either purely average or somewhat horrendous. Buying their album should mainly be done to support 4Minute as many of the songs are not too solid. Of course, a few stand out such as “Stand Out,” but other than those songs, I do not recommend this album. Nevertheless, I do believe 4Minute is a highly talented group, and biasedly, I do adore their current concept.

As I always say, thank you very much for reading this. This review is definitely a lot shorter than standard song reviews, and thus, I am certain many will enjoy it for its length. Truthfully, it is a huge challenge to write album reviews as I cannot make a sound conclusion due to not properly deconstructing a song. There are many layers to a song, and with album reviews barely reaching the sheer surface, I feel dissatisfied in terms of my analysis. But, of course, to summarize an idea by an amazing English teacher, the hardest writings are not the longest ones, but instead, the shorter ones. That said, I will still publish one more album review, and unless if any requests are sent in, I will not create more except for a special occasions (similar to show reviews). One aspect that does remain promising, however, for reviewing albums is, blatantly, they are much shorter, and thus, more time efficient. This all also reminds me, on the subject of requests, I did receive one. Although I am certainly going to review one of the sent in songs, I will gauge my current schedule and may review Fiestar’s comeback first before that (to the requester, if I do slightly delay the request, I am very sorry). Many songs are in mind, it all depends on my determination.

With this being the end, thank you once more for reading. Many reviews are in mind and I will do my best to publish them. For now, please continue to “Show Me” support and love. Though I may appear as “Crazy,” at the very least, I “Stand Out.” As long as I do not bring a “Cold Rain” such as through an appalling conclusion, I am certain that readers will feel a sense of “Tickle Tickle Tickle.” Perhaps this is a cue to “Cut It Out.” On a more serious note, stay tuned for perhaps a review on Fiestar’s new song, a requested review, and many other songs.

4Minute – “Crazy” Review

4Minute – Crazy (Live Performance)

4Minute – Crazy

Reviewed on March 1, 2015

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Personal Message: 4Minute’s comeback was one I planned to cover for quite a while, but due to time restraints and other work, it was delayed. Nevertheless, I will now cover their recent return of “Crazy.” To already address the link, it is a standard live performance, and as a result, for those who desire full clarity, searching for the official audio will provide that. Thankfully, though, the dance is disclosed (though for future readers, a potential dance practice might become released). For other news, despite February being a much shorter month, chances of meeting my personal goal of 6 reviews may be possible after all. But, of course, determination will be the deciding factor.

Focusing on 4Minute, I have reviewed their previous song of “Whatcha Doin’ Today,” and besides recalling how atrocious my review was archaic work, this provides a chance to see some growth and change by contrasting the two reviews. Even though skimming over that review gives a tremendous sense of embarrassment, in the far future, should I ever glance back at this review, I hope the same feeling of shame returns. Continuing to improve is always in mind.  

Now, to be truly on topic with 4Minute (feel free to skip straight to the review at this point), their current song of “Crazy” has been garnering a solid amount of popularity. The concept for this song is rather indescribable, but to vaguely breach the surface, fierceness, boldness, and confidence are summarizing adjectives for the song. Many have enjoyed this style, and in fact, according to 4Minute themselves, they have noticed that female fans, in specific, are the ones that have been going “Crazy” over their concept. Of course, there may be readers that find that irrelevant, but I will bring my opinion on why I find it beneficial that 4Minute’s female fans, and plain female viewers, are taking pride in their comeback. Bringing in an effective, transparent example as for why that matters, let us first address a common criticism that exists against 4Minute’s current concept: too much makeup.

Before revealing how 4Minute’s comeback combats that prevalent comment and significantly more, first, I will offer my own take on it. Though the remark of critiquing 4Minute’s stage appearances may be considered miniscule due to the idea of how they are idols or since it is simply offering opinion on style, there is a much greater danger to such; consistent, heavy, and ubiquitous judgement on the group’s appearances reinforce multiple negative mindsets, be it emphasis and value on purely physical appearance, but more vitally, the idea of policing females becomes unveiled (if 4Minute were males in the first place, much of the criticism regarding appearances would cease; refer to my review on Hyorin’s x Jooyoung’s “Erase” for a miniscule example). Taking a more critical stance, one must ask who is predominantly commenting on the group’s “excessive makeup,” and in truth, the general person to do such is most likely a boy. However, bear in mind, even if males are the ones mainly remarking such, it is true that ladies can still be equally guilty, even if less in quantity (later I will explain this).

Referring back to why a simple mere comment of “too much makeup” can induce a hefty of damage, if boys are truly the ones creating those comments, rather than defending their right to make remarks on a lady’s physical appearance, it is better to challenge why they deserve that right in the first place. Male privilege, and more clearly, sexism, comes into play, but before progressing any further, I will address this possible refute: “But females can critique a male’s look just as much.” Blatantly, both genders can, and do, critique one another’s appearance. While that contributes to the described issue of emphasis towards physical beauty (to save time, refer to my review of Juniel’s “I Think I’m In Love” for the beauty-related issue side), there is a very noteworthy disparity: males are more often the ones to do the judging, and thus, in that regard, they set the standards for how females should dress, but furthermore, in reverse, no beauty standard is ever set for them; seldom is a boy told to be “pretty” (but of course, there are still exceptions; some men are told and expected to be pretty). After all, recall the many day-to-day examples that have become, sadly, normalized and solely aimed towards ladies; females are told to “smile,” to “not get dirty,” and more. Now addressing the earlier piece of how a few ladies may be the ones to actually impose such comments, such as the previous two examples, this ties into another concept: internalizing sexism. The main idea of how males police and control females for the sake of themselves are not necessarily always imposed by males, but occasionally, and more accurately worded, once again, sadly, commonly, females have internalized that concept as well, and as a result, impose it onto other females.

Anyhow, since I have introduced too many concepts, let us focus back to the main, initial argument of why critiquing 4Minute for having “too much makeup” is exponentially negative. Ignoring the side of valuing sole physical beauty versus non-physical beauty, the idea I wish to challenge is how males tend to be the sole-center for everything. In an androcentric society, such as this case, the fallout of such is seen through this sheer comment of “too much makeup.” The main reason for why a boy would create that comment is, despite whether this reason is realized or not, they dislike the style. They dislike the excessive makeup since they prefer lighter makeup on ladies. They also dislike it when a lady dresses up in a certain way but not another, they also dislike it when a lady styles her hair in a certain way but not another, they also dislike it when a lady succeeds them and is smarter. Point is, that sole line, that single, seemingly harmless line of “I dislike it when 4Minute has too much makeup,” is the invisible, subtle privilege given to males that allows them to have, and to perpetuate, control and power over females, and in this specific case, control of females’ physical appearances. A male (or female) saying that comment is, in essence, claiming 4Minute’s appearance is not appealing, yet it should be pleasing, for males’ sake and enjoyment. For them. Again, the male-centered idea and concept is the catalyst for this comment, hence why it is extremely negative as it implies females should be set and held to the standard of males, as if females were purely dolls versus the incredible, beautiful, intelligent, and highly talented humans they truly are.

Assuming readers have not skipped this section or swore at my name and wished for my life span to be shortened, I will bring in some positivity. Firstly, while I targeted, and truthfully, nearly antagonized males, I do not want to correlate my previous words so that every male is guilty on an individual level. In fact, in truth, as long as one is a male, these hidden privileges are in place and unfair advantages are created. It is not the individual person at fault, but rather, a society and a system to blame (and the side of how ladies can also be equally guilty of the criticizing and therefore contributing to this issue). Also, if a person has made a comment, male or female, I am not here to insult and degrade perpetrators; rather than shaming and embarrassing, I believe a more vital and important scenario is possible. For readers who have commented on 4Minute’s or other ladies, men, whoever, for their physical appearance, be it makeup or fashion, this is a chance to simply self reflect and to improve from mistakes. Instead of shutting down and avoiding guilt, taking time to address and correct is highly more efficient, and in the long run, more meaningful. With all of this said, bear in mind, this is a very specific angle in which I personally viewed this issue from. I am certain that another person is in high disagreement, and in fact, many probably are. After all, some may simply claim I am being overly critical and sensitive towards a very genuine feedback on 4Minute’s makeup. Every opinion is worthy of acknowledgement, and thus, my point is not to necessarily convince readers to adopt my mindset, but rather, I hope to offer a new perspective, one in which agree or disagreement may occur.

Anyhow, to relate back to the much earlier claim of why 4Minute’s comeback is highly popular, especially with female fans and viewers, whether intended or not, this comeback, in many ways, bestows a large amount of confidence to females in terms of challenging restrictions placed upon them. For one example, the idea of “too much makeup” is challenged as, blatantly, the 5 ladies are styled with such and showcasing how physically and non-physically beautiful they are with such. Also, as mentioned, and without going on another discussion (I will actually save this for my upcoming review if I remember), the concept of “Crazy” is seldom given to female groups; male groups are often time the one given an upfront, intimidating style, and even the style of music with the heavier bass, fierce rapping and such are reserved for males. However, in 4Minute’s case, that trend becomes challenged as they are indeed handling a concept that is rarely seen for female groups (and in the past, even “What’s Your Name,” though significantly less in degree, is a concept that contests the norms).

Hopefully readers were not repelled away, and for future references I will do a better job of restraining myself (though I do not believe in avoiding topics). With progressing after perhaps the most loquacious Personal Message section I have ever written, it is time to begin the review. While “Crazy” has, certainly, been making ladies and men going “Crazy” over their new song, in truth, this is one of 4Minute’s weaker releases. Although I do biasedly adore the concept, and in some aspects, the song itself as well, when deconstructing the song in a systematic fashion, “Crazy,” in reality, is not too solid at all. In my case, it certainly drives me “Crazy.”

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Song Total Score: 5/10 (4.6/10 raw score)

– Vocals: 6/10 – The vocals in this song are inconsistent, but not in a negative implication; rapping sections and plain singing sections are distinctively different. Although their past song of “Whatcha Doin’ Today” possessed both singing and rapping, the two styles were still akin, yet in “Crazy,” that is not the case. Nevertheless, despite the disparity that exists in the current song, on the structural level, the contrast provided augments the song. Rapping sections possess more of their ferocity and power, and in opposite, the singing that does occur comes off as exceptionally melodic and soft. Diversity and proper contrast exists due to the differences. In terms of whether the vocals are sound mechanically, yes, vocals are indeed a form of sound the skills from the ladies prove to be excellent. Gayoon and Sohyun provided excellent singing that showcased excellent melody, and especially with Gayoon, power. For the rappers, Hyuna and Jiyoon continue their streak of being a highly talented rapping duo; both ladies unveiled fantastic pacing, melody, and to fit the tone of “Crazy,” a heavy, strong and impactful presence is given. Now, while the rapping and singing are solid, exceptionally prominent issues exist: the vocals at the choruses, and for those who noticed the missing member, Jihyun’s part, are not too solid. Firstly, the choruses possess very chaotic vocals (more in-depth later), let alone the layout itself. As for Jihyun, while in the past solid vocals have been disclosed, for what is presented in “Crazy,” her part remains lacking in a multitude of perspectives, though specifically with the vocals, the singing is extremely lacking.

Overall, the vocals hold at only slightly above average. Individually, excluding Jiyoon, every member offers outstanding vocals. However, when factoring in the choruses, a major component of the song, and Jihyun’s weaker bridge, the score will be lowered.

– Song Structure: 5/10 (4.86/10 raw score)

The song goes in this structure and order:

Introduction, Rap, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Rap, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Bridge, Conclusion (Chorus)

1. Introduction: 5/10 – Hyuna and Jiyoon handle the introduction.

Conceptually, the introduction is solid. Ignoring that side, however, in terms of how it sounds, the introduction does suffer significantly. Firstly, in terms of the concept and layout, the rate at which it developed is suiting; the introduction hastily sets up the song’s overall energetic state, and thus, boldness becomes reiterated. Additionally, the “Crazy” concept is further constructed via Hyuna’s and Jiyoon’s lines. Both members neither sing or rap, but rather, they simply offer statements. Due to a more upfront approach, the concept itself is further developed in terms of boldness, confidence, and such. Focusing on the musical side, while the introduction perfectly sets the atmosphere for the song, the downfall, unfortunately, is seen by the lack of a more enticing musical aspect. Vocally, the duo’s lines are not captivating due to being regular spoken lines versus sung or rapped ones. For the instrumental, it remains equally dull; a lighter beat is utilized and its rate progressively quickens, but nothing else occurs beyond that. Furthermore, the beats themselves were not appealing.

Overall, average will be the score. The structure is efficient and excellent, but when accounting for what is sacrificed to grant that structure, the introduction results poorly and becomes heavily one-sided. An introduction should be mechanically and structurally captivating, but in “Crazy” ‘s case, solely the structure holds.

2. Rap: 6/10 – As expected, the ladies of Hyuna and Jiyoon handle the rapping sections. Hyuna is responsible for the first and Jiyoon for the second. I will be accounting for both their raps.

Addressing the rapping sections’ sonic component, with the rappers being highly adept, minimal issues exist. With Hyuna’s rap specifically, it contains practically every main component to a solid rap; a rhythmic melody exists, a prominent presence is felt, and most promisingly, her pacing remains exceptionally fluent and hasty which, in long-term, complements the given melody. In terms of Hyuna’s rap layout, repetition is utilized. For 4 lines, similar ending exists, and while in general this would create staleness, due to the style of the rap, the opposite occurs: it is beneficial. Chemistry occurs between multiple aspects due to the repetition; with 4 nearly identical line endings, the same consistency there reflects the beats, and as a result, the sonic aspect is aided in that the melody carries an exceptionally rhymatic tune.

Swapping to Jiyoon’s rap, it unfortunately does falter in comparison to Hyuna’s. Addressing the positive side first, the structure of her rap is decent. Coming after the chorus, a relatively less energetic section, to provide a solid transition for the more energetic upcoming sections, Jiyoon’s rap would need to provide a proper escalation. In this case, it is successful. The instrumental and rap grant that escalation via quickening, light beats, and from the rap itself, a surge of power. Now, in terms of the rap’s own structure, it leans toward being plain. The alternation between Korean and English provide a layer of contrast, and towards the end, the names of locations allow heavier, slower pauses, but overall, nothing of the structure proves to be supportive towards the rap’s biggest flaw: its sonic aspect. Unlike Hyuna’s rap that excelled in this category, Jiyoon’s rapping, while skill is blatantly disclosed, fails to be infatuating. Power is the rap’s sole strong point, but even then, it is the catalyst for why the rap is poorer; excessive emphasis placed on being impactful drains every other component of the rap: the flow could have significantly been smoother, the pacing could have hastened to reciprocate the instrumental’s beats, and more pressingly, the melody lacked. Despite impressive power given, when lacking these other crucial factors, the rap as a whole suffers.

Overall, with Hyuna’s rap holding an 7 and Jiyoon’s being a 5, averaging the two will result in a 6. Therefore, slightly above average will still be the score for the rap sections in summary. Though both ladies possess a high level of rapping talent, Jiyoon’s part will impair the score, but at least in opposite, Hyuna’s rap compensates slightly.

3. Verse: 6/10 – Sohyun is responsible for the two verses in “Crazy.”

Focusing on the verses’ sound, as the recurring statement seems to be, the individual skill appears, however, the sound itself is not too solid once multiple layers are accounted. Sohyun’s singing follows a higher pitched and melodic style. In fact, even some fragments of power are added. Now, while her tune is not necessarily negative, her singing lacks depth; the same melody is recycled for a total of 3, and even with the break that occurs near the middle, that varying line does not redeem the lack of diversity, and further, the varying line itself sounds poor sonically as it is moreover a statement than singing. Peering at the verses from a structural lens, the mechanical singing lacking variety might derive from the structure; homogenous to the singing lacking variety, the structure follows suit. The first two and final lines are practically identical, and thus, the only differing line occurs towards the middle. Unlike Hyuna’s rap that benefits from repetition, such as amplified power and flow, in the verses’ case, the opposite holds true: due to a slower and melodic approach, repetition drags out the verses’ tune rather than augmenting it.

Overall, slightly above average will hold as the score. Sohyun’s singing is not bad, and in certain ways, it is rather delightful, but once the lack of variety, both mechanically and structurally, is accounted for, the section does languish.

4. Pre-Chorus: 7/10 – Gayoon handles both the pre-choruses.

Being 4Minute’s main vocalist, Gayoon proves why she possesses that role. Mechanically, the pre-choruses are definitely respectable. Gayoon’s vocals showcase many layers: a fluctuating and pleasing melody, a slightly diverse range of notes, and adding on, stunning power. Being more specific, for the melody, unlike prior sections such as the rap and even the verse where the melodies remained relatively stagnant, during the pre-choruses, the tune remains dynamic; every line possessed its own melody and no recycling of melodies occurred. As for the notes, similar to the melody, the range of utilized pitches remain equally diverse; lower notes are used initially, but much higher notes are heard towards the later part of the pre-choruses. In terms of power, Gayoon brings forth exceptionally impacting lines, though the true beauty resides moreover in the progression than in how her powerful lines themselves sound.

On that note, for the pre-choruses’ structure, it is effective, but it lacks in remaining unique. With the role of a pre-chorus, creating hype for the chorus is its standardized task. Although that goal is met, the executed method to do so is not efficient. Firstly, however, to elaborate on why its role is still satisfied, the progression can be seen as the main reason.. A gradual and natural pacing becomes manipulated to create hype; a slower, calmer start becomes accelerated due to the beats, and vocally, Gayoon’s singing contributes as it becomes more intense via more power and higher notes. Now, because of this structure, the build-up effect is felt, however, while it grants the desired outcome, the method is exceptionally mundane. Beats quickening and even the vocals following a linear path of increasing power are extremely basic procedures, and while it may be pleasing mechanically, especially with Gayoon’s singing, from a structural viewpoint, it is not enticing.  

Overall, due to the sheer musical component being exceptionally pleasing, despite the structural component remaining lacking and unembellished, the pre-choruses will still hold a score of above average.

5. Chorus: 3/10 – For the choruses, Hyuna handles the first and last, and Jiyoon the second.

The choruses, admittedly, accomplish their goals from the concept’s perspective; the “Crazy” theme is definitely given, and more accurately phrased, ingrained into listeners. Ignoring that piece and focusing on the more important parts of mechanical and structural, both parties are heavily defective. For the chorus’ structure, though initial moments vary from the main body of the chorus, it is practically solely one line repeated: “Like you’re crazy” (but in Korean). Attempts to create variety is seen towards the beginning, but with that remaining nearly identical to the main body, minus spelling out “crazy” letter by letter, it still fails. Furthermore, considering the choruses run at a relatively sluggish rate, with the same key phrase repeating 7 times in that pacing, it becomes significantly dragged out, and thus, even more vexing. Regarding the sonic piece, no stellar singing or rapping occurred; in fact, no singing or rapping occurred at all. The choruses are conducted as simple speech, though an aggressive and bold nature are added to suit the atmosphere. Nevertheless, while lacking musically-orientated vocals is not directly bad (in certain cases, not singing is extremely effective), for how “Crazy” functions during the choruses, being bereft of those vocals is costly. Poor vocals are hauled for an excessive, tedious amount of time, and to add onto the disaster, the instrumental further taints the section. Incongruous to the pre-chorus’ instrumental of being graceful and tuneful, the pure opposite occurs; when the chorus arrives, it dissipates into dissonance. The utilized instruments sound horrendous, and overall, an extremely incoherent and chaotic vibe is given.

Due to the choruses failing in both categories of structure and sound, a low score will be given. Below average will be the rating. From what I recall, this may be the first song that I reviewed in which a very low score was given. It is unfortunate, but following protocols, it is the score.    

6. Bridge: 3/10 – If the choruses were not erroneous enough for a section, the bridge, sadly, also contributes. Jihyun is in charge of it.

The bridge remains closely related to the chorus; many issues that arose during the choruses return. For example, in focus of the structure, repetition and a lagging pace, a highly threatening combo if not properly carried out, roam the bridge. Initial moments are 4 identical lines, though there are some minimal deviations between the lines. Towards the later half, the lines do change, but nevertheless, the same format and repetition, overall, exists. Factoring in the slower pace, the exact issue at the chorus appears once more; very similar lines, sung in a lifeless manner, are recycled and repeated for a lengthy duration. On the subject of lifeless singing, firstly, while the instrumental does lose its chaotic nature in comparison to the chorus, it remains equally dull as the singing. Jihyun’s vocals, while they are truthfully solid as seen in their previous song of “Whatcha Doin’ Today,” in their current comeback, they definitely waver. Her singing is as if she were hypnotized; the melody is monotonous, the pitch does not fluctuate, and even the quickened pacing towards the end is miniscule. On the positive side, while her singing style connects to the “Crazy” theme, in a musical standpoint, it offers no beneficial contribution.

Overall, similar to the choruses, the bridge fails in both categories of how it mechanically sounds, and how it is structurally laid out. Below average will make a return.  

7. Conclusion (Chorus): 4/10 – The final chorus is by Hyuna.

An interesting case does exist with the chorus being the conclusion. For one, structurally, with the mindset of a conclusion, it does work, but considering how poor the choruses are, the score will still be negatively impacted. On topic with the strength of the conclusion, with the chorus being reused, a final impression is, with pure, undeniable certainty, left with listeners; the “Like you’re crazy” line will remain lingering. Furthermore, the overall theme of “Crazy” is reiterated once more, and in that regard, more contribution towards leaving remnants of the song. Now, while the chorus serves well in the role of a conclusion, it is still the chorus, and as a result, a mediocre section. On the sole basis of it being the chorus and how weak the section is, the conclusion indirectly suffers.

Perhaps if the final chorus had some positive variations from the rest, a higher score would be possible. For now, however, slightly below average will be the score.

– Line Distribution: 5/10 – With 5 members in 4Minute, a high score should be automatically earned. Though I honestly forgot how their previous song held in terms of the distribution, I have high expectations.

For 4Minute’s leader, Jihyun’s moment includes solely the bridge. Though opinions regarding it will vary, it is unequivocal that it is the only section she handled. This may prove to be an issue depending on the rest of the members, but considering it is solely one section, concerns do arise.

Gayoon’s spotlight exists in the 2 pre-choruses. With the current trend of every member possessing her own section (chorus, verse, etc.), this may end up working perfectly. As of now, no issues.

Jiyoon’s distribution may be concerning; she is responsible for some of the introduction, bits of the first and final chorus and the main body of the second chorus, and lastly, her own rap section. In total, 5 sections are covered, though realistically, it comes down to 3 as practically only 1 chorus was covered. Numerically, it is slightly higher than Jihyun’s and Gayoon’s, and considering she handled the introduction, chorus, and rap, she had more variety than the prior two members. As a result, slightly dominating may the rating, though it depends on the following members.

In Hyuna’s case, it appears to be exceptionally close to Jiyoon’s; the first half of the introduction, a rap, and 2 choruses with bits in another are her share. Totaling up the number, she has 5 sections, like Jiyoon, but considering one chorus is negligible, the final is about 4. Unfortunately, a disparity is seen, and coincidentally, chronologically as well (1, 2, 3, 4 sections is the current members’ order). This will be considered slightly excessive unless if Sohyun modifies the trend.

The youngest lady in 4Minute, Sohyun, covers solely the two verses. Likewise with Gayoon, she possesses 2 sections. Now that every member is disclosed with their number, a proper gauge can be made, and sadly, Sohyun is lacking slightly.

Jihyun significantly lacks as she holds solely 1, and Gayoon and Sohyun follow closely with only 2 sections. Jiyoon and Hyuna are slightly dominating, both with 3 and 4 respectively. As a result, the score will be lowered. Although it is understandable on why the distributions are in this fashion (based on group roles; every members’ section correlates to their singing position, such as rapping, main vocalist, or support vocalist), the grading will still follow through unbiasedly. At the very least, it is admirable that every member does possess their own section label, such as Jihyun with the bridge, Gayoon with all the pre-choruses, but due to the quantity disparity, the score will be held as average.

– Instrumental: 4/10 – The soundtrack for “Crazy” has potential, but due to how certain sections play out, the soundtrack does become affected. Specifically, negatively. Positive aspects are mainly the connections between vocals and instrumental; every section had a proper instrumental, regardless of whether it sounded pleasant on a mechanical level. Examples are blatant at the rapping sections, pre-choruses, and even choruses. During the chorus, for example, the vocals are synced up to in both style and the bolder approach. For the pre-choruses, Gayoon’s graceful singing is reflected with a soundtrack that, like the singing, is equally light and melodic. In terms of where the instrumental falls short, the choruses drain its potential. Every other section, such as the rapping sections, verse, and even introduction, had a soundtrack that was relatively appealing; it was either melodic and suiting to vocals, or more prominent via providing a heavy bassline and beats. When the choruses arrive, all the mechanically pleasing aspects disappear. The used sounds are chaotic, annoying, and though it suits the theme of “Crazy,” it does not quite correlate to the choruses’ vocals, even if the singing, or lack thereof, is poorer.  

Below average will be the score. The choruses, and in fact, even the bridge, are sections that degrade the song in multiple ways. In the instance of the instrumental, it is negatively impacted.

– Meaning: 3/10 – In truth, with the title of “Crazy” and the style of the song, I am expecting very minimal meaning. However, in a more optimistic setting, the meaning behind “Crazy” could be that someone went “crazy” after an incident related to love, be it separating or beginning it. To end the speculations, these lyrics will, hopefully, provide an interesting story. As always, the Korean-to-English translated lyrics are not 100% accurate, but the general idea should stay:

Yeah, I’m the female monster
You know that
Everybody, let’s get crazy right now
Le’ go

People around me call me crazy
You’re looking at me and calling me crazy too
I understand, I think I’m a bit crazy too
I dance to the rhythm
like I’m crazy

Once I go somewhere, people go crazy here and there
The deeper the night gets, we all get crazy
The answer is already there, you’re just okay
Just like that, you and me, go crazy

Don’t make yourself lonely anymore
Find your hidden self
in the world before you tonight
Go crazy, scream, enjoy it
The night is passing
so everyone jump and shake it

Look at me and go crazy
(C.R.A.Z.Y) Follow me
(C.R.A.Z.Y) Everyone go crazy
Like you’re crazy, yeah, like you’re crazy
Like you’re a bit crazier
Like you’re crazy
Like you’re crazy, like you’re already crazy
Like you’re crazy for me right now,
everyone, everyone, go crazy

I’m the crazy girl around here like gossip girl
If you can’t believe me, call me,
hey, call my boyfriend
You can’t come up to my class, I go crazy wherever I go
New York, Paris, Milano, Tokyo, London

Once I decide, people go crazy here and there
When this body passes, everyone goes crazy
The answer is already there, you’re just okay
Just like that, you and me, go crazy

Don’t make yourself lonely anymore
Find your hidden self
in the world before you tonight
Go crazy, scream, enjoy it
The night is passing
so everyone jump and shake it

Look at me and go crazy
(C.R.A.Z.Y) Follow me
(C.R.A.Z.Y) Everyone go crazy
Like you’re crazy, yeah, like you’re crazy
Like you’re a bit crazier
Like you’re crazy
Like you’re crazy, like you’re already crazy
Like you’re crazy for me right now,
everyone, everyone, go crazy

You’re crazy for me, just trust me
Go crazy for me
Trust yourself to me, just trust me
Trust yourself to me
Don’t ask anything and play with me
Just follow me for today
Just follow me for today and pretend to be crazy

Look at me and go crazy
(C.R.A.Z.Y) Follow me
(C.R.A.Z.Y) Everyone go crazy
Like you’re crazy, yeah, like you’re crazy
Like you’re a bit crazier
Like you’re crazy
Like you’re crazy, like you’re already crazy
Like you’re crazy for me right now,
everyone, everyone, go crazy

Speechless as I may be, the more pessimistic view comes to life. “Crazy” depicts a “crazy girl” (though “crazy lady” if we want to be nitpicky) who is, absurdly, simply encouraging others to go “crazy.” The main character seems to be “[called]…crazy,” though it is seemingly moreover a non-literal label. She appears to instill craziness into others as she encourages others to “go crazy, scream, enjoy it.” In truth, I do not comprehend the lyrics. A “crazy” lady is encouraging others to “follow [her]” with being so, and what being crazy might symbolize could be partying, living life in a positive, stress-free manner, and more. Nevertheless, in terms of rating the lyrics, considering the lack of details, confusing points, and practically a lack of a story, a lower score will have to be given. Below average will unfortunately hold. “Crazy” does, on the positive side, live up to its name in terms of the lyrics’ blatant meaning.

In terms of the “Critical Corner,” although the lyrics are, in truth, worthless in terms of analyzing it from a standard musical perspective, I do find some more deeper implications when viewing it outside of such. Tying back my huge digression earlier at the very beginning of this review, it can be seen on why this song is well received by females. The lyrics, though blatantly are meaningless, are actually rather empowering for females. “Crazy” does not necessarily mean insanity, from a literal or non-literal perspective, but rather, it could potentially address what females could indeed be labeled should they step outside androcentric societies’ boundaries. Though a more common term is one I absolutely refuse to use, I encourage readers to ponder a moment about the following scenario: A lady is highly confident, and it is to the degree in which she is willing to label herself a “female monster.” However, rather than being a monster in terms of creatures and beasts, she is simply a monster with a talent, such as dancing; after all, perhaps the lady “[dances] to the rhythm like [she’s] crazy.” Now, with her level of confidence and talent, some “people around [her] call[ her] crazy,” or for a more connecting label, perhaps the word that females are often labeled as if they are perceived as rude. Despite these remarks, however, the “female monster” lady decides to ignore them, and in fact, encourages others to do so as well; “don’t make yourself lonely anymore” might not signify relationships, but rather, the emotion itself. If a person’s life is filled with constant negative remarks, loneliness does indeed take place, and with the lady combating that, she is encouraging others to ignore those comments. Anyhow, overall, with a more critical perspective to the lyrics, the message could be more than the musical interpretation that it is simply nothing. A more in-depth glance could showcase that the lyrics are indeed encouraging females (and males) to ignore the people and even society that are against them, and that despite all the negativity, continuing to keep going “crazy,” whether that is in the form of a job, a hobby, a talent, or whatever, should occur. Now unfortunately, even though this interpretation is vastly more meaningful than the earlier, to be fair and consistent with my reviews, the grade for the Meaning is based on the more standard, musical and blatant layer. Nevertheless, I encourage readers to take their own approach to the lyrics.

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Choreography Score: 6/10 – In terms of the choreography for “Crazy,” with most dances breaking down into syncing and key points, in this song’s case, the latter is where it remains lacking while the prior flourishes. Firstly, in terms of the syncing, despite the weaker audio of “Crazy,” the syncing between the song and movements are incredibly accurate and precise. Beats are matched up with snaps and similar maneuvers, and for moments that are more melody-based, the flow from the song is reflected by actual flowing movements. The chorus at the start, for example, has hand motions to reflect the section’s overall flow at the beginning. Switching to the weaker component of the dance, the syncing may be accurate, but for what is executed as a dance move is not as solid. Many key points are weak, and in many, if not all sections, they are purely average in terms of used dance moves.

Due to the unique split of extremely methodical syncing versus average key points, the choreography will hold as slightly above average. While syncing is a major component, if the dance itself is not appealing, no amount of syncing can utterly redeem it. Nevertheless, the key points were not necessarily bad, and with solid syncing, the choreography holds decently.   

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Overall Score: 6/10 (5.5/10 raw score) – With averaging out 5 and 6 and rounding up, 6 will be the Overall Score. That said, 4Minute’s recent comeback of “Crazy” finishes with a 6, and that indicates slightly above average. Personally, while I do adore the 5 ladies, and in fact, I have finally recently finished the very last episode to Hyuna’s reality show of “Hyuna’s Free Month” (and no, I did not cry, though admittedly I slightly teared up when Hyuna did and even when she did cry, I only teared up decently more), their recent comeback is not too solid in terms of the song itself. As a concept, I am in full support, and additionally, I hope that 4Minute continues it. However, even with this concept, in the future, I hope for a more solid song. But, of course, feel free to disagree with my current take on “Crazy.” In many ways, I hope readers do; a review is simply an author’s perspective to whatever they are reviewing, and thus, it is not a strict, unmalleable and objective fact.

As I always say, thank you very much for reading. I have been slacking a decent amount, but with work coming in gradually yet surely, I have even less time for reviewing songs. Nevertheless, I will always invest time for readers, and in this review’s case, I am running past my sleep in order to finish it for March. For this month, due to upcoming album reviews, hitting at least the 5 review mark should be plausible, and as stated in my February 2015 reflection, I should have a lot more free time later in the month. Anyhow, thank you very much for reading this review. Regardless of agreeing or disagreeing or wanting to harm my physical being for my ratings, I hope it instills some thoughts about 4Minute’s song (and the other mentioned subjects brought up).

For upcoming reviews, with a new month beginning, I have a very popular solo as my next one, and after that, two album reviews. Now after that, a few songs are in mind, and after checking some K-Pop related news, it appears that many groups, especially the less popular ones, are making comebacks during March. Due to that, I will attempt to cover a few.

With this being the end, thank you once more. Although “people around me call me crazy,” I hope “you’re looking at me and” not “calling me crazy too.” However, “I understand, I think I’m a bit crazy too,” and while I may not “dance to the rhythm like I’m crazy,” at least I can claim I write like I’m crazy. Now unfortunately, this “crazy” might indeed be reckless, incoherent writing, but ignoring that and with a mindset of improving, I am not worried. Stay tuned for an upcoming review on Amber’s recent solo of “Shake That Brass.” Like this review, it should prove to be insightful. Keep checking back for it.

Apink – “Luv” Review

Apink – Luv (Live Performance)

Apink – Luv (Dance Practice)

Apink – Luv

Reviewed on January 17, 2014

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Personal Message: It has been, if I am being precise, about two weeks since I last reviewed a song. Therefore, if this review falters slightly, apologies, but I will do my best to prevent it from becoming horrendous (although it may be mediocre at best). Additionally, as of the time I am writing this, I am ill, but hopefully I recover quickly. On topic and ignoring excuses, I am somewhat excited for this review. Apink’s “Luv” has been on my list for a while, and I have never reviewed a song by them nor gave my opinion regarding their talent and such. However, as stated, I am only somewhat excited; arguably, my physical being may become jeopardized based on my words describing and rating Apink. Whether it is in the form of sending songs or preaching her love for Chorong, a friend has been advertising this group for quite a while. If my admiration and love towards T-ARA’s Soyeon (one of my role models) was ever considered obsessive, I am deprived of words to describe my friend’s love for Chorong. Of course, though, I cannot complain nor should any form of mockery take place; Chorong is the person she admires and looks up to, and, assuming certain comical incidents are excluded, that is perfectly acceptable as Chorong is an incredible, phenomenal lady.

On the subject of Chorong and Apink, I am still attempting to connect her as Apink’s leader. Before my lifespan is shortened misunderstandings occur, I am referring to Apink’s attendance at the variety show “Weekly Idol.” Their “Luv” episode proved to be one of the most jocular visits I have ever watched, and specifically, Chorong’s moments nearly induced tears from sheer laughter. Anyhow, since my mind’s concept of a leader is distorted, I struggle to associate Chorong with that position. With that role, I would expect the person to remain calm, serious, and authoritative regardless of a situation, and even if she were to be subjected to, for example, a shocking lie detector toy (a current trending Korean pop culture game; would be interesting to analyze how it became to be), she would hold her image and not dissipate into a fire alarm. Jokes aside, from peering at other videos, Chorong utterly deserves that position and takes great care of her members. This also reminds me of another comical scene on “Weekly Idol,” although more accurately described, it was a cute one. In summary, due to a game, Chorong had to kiss her members, and while Apink is definitely close with one another, expressing their love via kisses instead of their usual hugs proved to be humorous. With a kiss on the cheek to every member, squeals, slight embarrassment, and sweetness became scattered. Truthfully, however, even I contributed to the squeals.

Now, while the scene itself was adorable, after the game/kissing, one of the hosts left a questionable statement; in summary, he mentioned how he was surprised to find female groups were awkward with the game. According to him, male groups were not burdened at all and were rather playful with the activity, and thus, Apink’s erupted embarrassment comes as surprising (and note, I am not trying to insult the host, but rather, challenge and question his statement; he is by far one the better hosts I have seen). Firstly, this leaves an implication of how Doni, the host, expected female groups to be affectionate on the sole basis of their gender. His comparison unveils that belief: if male groups are capable of not being awkward, then female groups should automatically have no embarrassment with kissing. Obviously, this is utterly false and prompts a multitude of discussion points. To address one component, people have been socialized with categorizing certain traits on the basis of gender. Specifically here, Doni associated Apink with caring, affectionate and loving attributes since they are a female group. However, this association should be challenged. Society has, with the mindset of male or female, taught and crafted expectations on what a person’s behavior, interests, and more, should be. Blatantly, though, reproductive organs do not determine those traits, but instead, the person themselves.    

Overall, what would have been more desirable to hear would be the lack of gender labels during the comparison. If Doni had said it was interesting to witness Apink feeling embarrassed (this is another potential discussion point) since every other group that conducted the game was calm, it would have been less controversial. Anyhow, as stated, I am only challenging this statement and not Doni himself. It is absolutely vital to critique the world around us. And actually, to elaborate slightly on the highlighted discussion point, I am hoping Apink feels embarrassed due to a more intimate gesture versus the idea of kissing a person of the same gender. Socialization returns here; society has created a standard in which people of the same gender cannot be affectionate (and once again, another discussion point; someone may ask, “But why are females able to be more affectionate with each other than males?” I will answer this later) or else they risk feeling awkward, and diving deeper on why that feeling exists, it can be linked to homophobia. It is rather interesting that even with sexual orientation, different ideas have been taught on how certain sexual orientations exhibit different behavior. For example, we are socialized with the idea that homosexual males and females are inverses of the socialized gender norms; homosexual males are seen as “females” and vice-versa for homosexual females. Being critical, however, it is obvious that a person’s sexual orientation, like gender, does not determine characteristics. Truly, sexual orientation is simply who a person finds attractive, nothing more, nothing less. I am also reminded of another point to discuss: the different diction utilized to label sexual orientations. Personally, I am privileged with the ability to simply say, “I am straight” (and I have a whole mile-length of other privileges due to being a heterosexual). However, strangely, the equivalent for homosexuals follows as solely “gay” or “lesbian,” and while those words are not “curved/zig-zagged/parabola,” it is essentially implied as if that since “straight” is the label for heterosexuals. Perhaps I am being overly critical and nitpicky, but if the terms of “gay” and “lesbian” are to be kept, then at least the term “straight” should be reconstructed as something else in order to prevent the contrast of how “straight” implies “gay/lesbian” is “curved.” Since finding a substituting word for “straight” may be too difficult, at least coining “heterosexual” will work and will not provide a subtle layer of superiority.

Hopefully people follow through my explanation, and hopefully people are willing to take a moment to critically analyze society. And, as the last point to cover (if you have managed to stay and not avoid this topic, kudos to you), I will explain why males are not able to be as affectionate with other males as females are with their own gender. Firstly, an incorrect answer would be: “Females are privileged over males, therefore they can hold hands with other females.” Without diving into a whole other discussion, males, at least in androcentric societies, will always remain privileged (and hopefully “will” will be removed in the future), and thus, that answer is wrong. Correctly, the fact that females are underprivileged is why males cannot replicate the same affection towards other males. For a simpler example, let us use cosmetics. If I decide to utilize BB cream, foundation, concealer, or more explicitly noticeable, eyeliner and some eyeshadow, I would face a torrent of insults and comments; my sexual orientation would be questioned, I would be degraded, and interestingly, I would be called a “female” or “girl” as an insult. Now, the latter comment unveils the answer: males cannot do anything socialized with females since, in the androcentric social structure scale, it is a derank of status. This also explains why females can dress up as males and have that be accepted since, for the lady, she is “ranking up” by doing so. On the other hand, should I, for example, “wear a miniskirt” with “risky high heels” (apologies, I just had to reference AOA, an incredible group of ladies), then I am “deranking” in status since females in societies that are male-centered are, obviously, less valued. Although I focused on appearance, gestures and actions follow the same pattern. If I kiss a male, I am “deranking” by performing an act in which, through socialization, only females are “supposed” to do, and thus, that is why it is socially unaccepted for males to do such.

Anyhow, I have said way too much. If this was too lengthy, blame my favorite class for bringing in critical awareness and thinking. Point is, question society and challenge unfair ideas. No one, on the foundation of who they are, should ever be shunned and degraded.

Progressing to the actual review, and I am very sorry for the huge digression (and of course, feel free to agree or disagree with my perspective), I will review this song with my genuine opinion. I feel slightly regretful for potentially leaving a sour start, but to quickly address the links, the first link is a standard live performance. For the second link, however, it is their official dance practice. Unfortunately, the audio playback is based on the visual camera, and as a result, not too clear. But, of course, being a dance practice video, it offers the clearest form of the visual component to “Luv.” Also, interestingly, according to the beginning of the video, the dance practice only became released since their standard music video (I have yet to watch it) acquired a certain number of views. A clever win-win situation as both Apink and fans gain from the deal.  

Focusing on Apink, the group that should have been the main focus from the start (although it is good to remain critical), their most recent comeback is, if not blatant enough, the song “Luv.” The members of Chorong, Bomi, Eunji, Naeun, Namjoo, and Hayoung will be attempting to garner the “Luv” of ladies and men. With previous releases of “NoNoNo” and “Mr. Chu,” solid standards have been set, but hopefully through “Luv” (no pun intended), their trend will manage to sustain.

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Song Total Score: 7/10 (7/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories

– Vocals: 6/10 – Admittedly, I feel somewhat rusty with reviewing, but a dose of excitement does exist considering how long it has been. On topic, the vocals in “Luv” do possess qualities of being melodic, powerful, and varying. However, unfortunately, while the vocals are scattered with meeting different aspects, nothing is compelling; the melody is sustained but not utterly captivating, powerful vocals may be promising and lingering, but it remains moreover secluded, and the different notes utilized fail to be mesmerizing. Apink certainly possesses solid singing skills, but in this song, the execution of the singing is weaker. If the vocals were accompanied by differentiable, unique aspects, a higher score would easily be earned. More vocal variety per song structure would have been desirable; the verses’ vocals should have had their own traits in juxtaposition to, for example, the pre-choruses. Yet, in “Luv,” they remain too identical, and thus, create staleness for the vocal department.

Slightly above average holds as the score. A lack of diversity would be the crippling factor to the vocals in “Luv.” For the most part, solely the chorus is differentiable from the other main sections. Apink definitely have the skills as vocalists, but in the case of “Luv,” their talent was limited.

– Song Structure: 7/10 (6.67/10 raw score)

The song goes in this structure and order:

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

1. Introduction: 6/10 – The introduction is purely the instrumental.

Mechanically, the introduction is decent. The main instrument in the form of a piano controls the flow; a softer, slower pace is established. This allows a proper setup of the song’s tone and gentler side. Now, while those mechanical pieces were solid, the transition is somewhat undesirable. Quick beats consume the piano and instantly swap the song to the chorus. Unfortunately, a lot of the peaceful, slower setup becomes utterly obsolete; the transition disregards the initial moments. Due to the two conflicting styles, this introduction holds as somewhat incohesive. If the piano tune at the start was slightly more energetic, or if the beats were softer and more in touch with the established trend, a smoother start would have been granted.

Slightly above average will be the score. Individually, the piano and transitional beats were solid, but meshing the two provides harsh contrast.

2. Chorus: 7/10 – Some readers may notice the chorus promptly begins after the introduction. While this style is not utterly unusual, it is less common, but considering Apink’s style, for fans of the group, this is to be predicted. Eunji, Bomi, and Naeun handle all of the choruses (excluding the conclusion version).

A prominent presence exists due to added energy and strength, and additionally, properly scaled power is a highlight to the choruses; the vocals are perfectly measured in that they are not overwhelming to the song’s overall atmosphere, but likewise, not lacking and failing to maintain a choruses’ standard intensity. In terms of the lines, some lyrical structure is promising; “L.O.V.E, love” creates a catchy, repetitive phrase that lingers around. Additionally, the letters and word become landmarks for where stronger vocals occur. With that, a natural flow exists, and thus, it augments the overall fluency. On the subject of flow, the final line took a retracting step in the aspect of intensity; Naeun, the member in charge of the last line, sings in a stable yet gentler voice than the previous members. Transition becomes aided due to this. Overall, an exceptional flow and proper dose of vocal power are the main assets to the choruses.

Above average will be the rating.

3. Verse: 6/10 – Namjoo and Chorong handle the first verse, and the returning member of Chorong is paired with Hayoung for the second verse.

In light of the vocals, Namjoo and Chorong follow a lower pitch, softer and slower flow. Their singing aims towards constructing the song and remain soothing. For what holds the verses back, although biasedly I adore slower verses, the structure itself falters; the vocals are solid, but dullness becomes a rife issue. Firstly, the background vocals of “My love” were not effective at creating breaks and variety. By being very light, they held little weight, and furthermore, due to the rate at which they were heard/sung, their little presence and purpose are further whittled down. At the very least, the middle break of “L.O.V.E, love” provides a natural change of singers and structure to the verse. But, overall, one break in the middle does not compensate for the overarching stagnant flow of the verses. Vocally, the verses are solid as Namjoo and Chorong (and Hayoung if accounting the second verse) showcase excellent lower ranged notes in addition to a graceful, slow pace. The structure, in opposite, holds as exceptionally stale. Furthermore, the attempts to prevent such failed; the breaks of “L.O.V.E, love” were unsuccessful, and as a result, a higher score is lost.

Slightly above average will be the score.

4. Pre-Chorus: 6/10 – Hayoung and Namjoo handle the first pre-chorus. Naeun and, again, Namjoo, tackle the second pre-chorus.

Fulfilling the standard role of prepping and hyping the chorus, both the vocals and instrumental notch up the energy by becoming more prominent and energetic, and also, slightly increasing the pacing. While the singing is solid, as seen by the ladies’ partially stretched lines, once again, the structure holds as weaker. Vocal-wise, the melody proved to be diverse, and even power was added. However, the first three lines were practically identical, and furthermore, all three were stretched at the end. Initially, this may seem to be a solid idea; line endings being stretched creates the beloved diverse melodic tunes. In this case, if it were one or even two lines following that format, it would be perfect, but with a larger duration and quantity, that style becomes hindering. A sluggish, lagging flow is the outcome of three lines following the line stretching format. The melody may be augmented, but the flow becomes heavily clogged. On the positive side, the final line by Namjoo provides an exceptionally welcomed contrast as well as a smooth transition. Should there have been a different format for the earlier lines, the pre-choruses would potentially glean a higher score.

Overall, slightly above average will be the score.  

5. Bridge: 7/10 – Both Chorong and Hayoung simultaneously sing, but eventually, Eunji concludes the bridge.

Recalling the verses where background vocals failed, the bridge redeems that aspect. With background vocals of “Neon mal (means ‘Do you…’),” the contrast funnels attention towards  Chorong and Hayoung’s words in addition to adding diversity. In terms of the couple’s words/lines, the style followed an exceptionally soft and fragile stance. The purpose of such, in perspective to the bridge, is for buildup to occur. When Eunji arrives, her lines offer incredible strength and a delightful tune. As anticipated, a note hold is executed by her in order to mark a climactic point in “Luv.” Thankfully, despite the impactful note hold, it suited the song overall; it was neither too lengthy nor overly done, and thus, followed “Luv” ‘s general softer atmosphere.

Overall, with multiple layers to the bridge such as the background vocals, paired singing, or a satisfying note hold, above average will be the score.

6. Conclusion (Chorus): 8/10 – “Luv” concludes by recycling its chorus. Chorong, Bomi, and Naeun are responsible for it.

Considering the previous section was the bridge, remnants of Eunji’s note hold are left. With that, the chorus as a final section excels as it provides a middle ground; the bridge’s intensity is not utterly lost, but homogeneously, the song is not excessively energetic near the end. Additionally, with the choruses’ ending line, a proper, concluding closure becomes ensured since Naeun’s line provides a proper transition through gently ending.

A very natural and cohesive conclusion is met in credit to the final chorus. Since everything fell in place accordingly, a solid score will be granted.

– Line Distribution: 9/10 – With 6 members, a high Line Distribution score should be earned. Furthermore, since every member has proven her ability with singing, there should be a relatively equal share.

Apink’s leader, Chorong, was responsible for the first and second verses, the bridge, and lastly, the final chorus. While this seems sufficient, recalling previous reviews such as AOA’s “Like a Cat,” this may be slightly excessive. Depending on the rest of the group’s share, Chorong’s lines are either too abundant or adequate.

Bomi’s share involved all of the choruses. Due to this, her spotlight is spread all over, and with a significant song section and lengthier duration, there are no issues whatsoever. While the risk of slightly dominating is possible, it depends on the rest of Apink. Sufficient although potentially excessive is her stance.

For Eunji, her spotlight consists of the first three choruses and the bridge. So far, every member has four lines, and if this trend continues, then certainly her lines are perfectly measured and not excessive. Like the initial two, Eunji receives an ample amount of lines, but hopefully, it does not lean towards being dominating.

In terms of Naeun, all of the choruses and even one verse are her parts. Surprisingly, the trend still holds true, and if that is the case, her share is perfect assuming no one else lacks lines. Although she has one extra line (5 instead of 4 like the rest), due to them being shorter, her overall time span remains identical with the previously gauged members.

Namjoo was in charge of the first verse and two pre-choruses. Amazingly, the line share is still equal to the other members. Her moments were lengthy, and even if she holds only three song sections, the time overall remains identical to the rest.

With Hayoung remaining as the last member to gauge, there is a significant amount of pressure. Her singing time appears at the first pre-chorus, second verse, and the duo bridge moment. Even with having solely three sections, her time, as anticipated, remains equal to the rest of Apink. No issues exist.

To be true to the score, the Line Distribution will be rated at a 9. If every member had exactly 4 sections/lines or at least nearly that, then a 10 would be earned. Some members had 5 or 3, and thus, it cannot be rated at a 10 since it is not utterly flawless. Nevertheless, this is exceptionally impressive for a distribution. In truth, I anticipated the first three members to have excessive time, but that prediction has been proven wrong. Overall, while not completely perfect, their share in “Luv” remains astounding.

– Instrumental: 6/10 – To address the strong components of the instrumental, the gentle mood of the song can be credited to it; slower moments of the song utilized a serene piano melody to deliver that state. Also, despite aiding the softer atmosphere, it still manages to add energetic components in the form of its catchier beats, or when the intensity elevates, a quicker pace accompanied by a flute sound. For what is weaker, the instrumental may have provided Apink’s vocals a stable support, but for the soundtrack individually, it falters; stripping away the singing leaves a plain and lacking instrumental. Nothing holds as prominent and unique without Apink’s voice. At most, the verses instrumentally remain solid due to a main piano, but for other sections, additional instruments and sounds do not hold properly without the vocals.

Slightly above average will hold as the score. The instrumental provides for Apink, but without the ladies complementing it, the soundtrack downgrades.  

– Meaning: 7/10 – With a song title of “Luv,” listeners would expect a loving, flirtatious story. Accounting for the vocals’ style as well, that prediction becomes additionally supported. Through these translated Korean-to-English lyrics, that prediction can be checked as for whether it holds as accurate. As always, these lyrics are not 100% accurate with translation, but the general idea should hold:

Do you remember the time we spent together? L.O.V.E, love
Are you excited? Once it was everything L.O.V.E, love
The time we had comes to my mind sometimes L.O.V.E, love
Can we turn back the time?
I can’t believe our long past story

(My love) On a day I’m particularly tired
(MY love) There is no one by my side (L.O.V.E, love)
I want to cry
on someone’s shoulder, yeah

The time when we were not afraid of anything
Holding hands, yeah
The days when I needed nothing
if you were standing next to me

Do you remember the time we spent together? L.O.V.E, love
Are you excited? Once it was everything L.O.V.E, love
The time we had comes to my mind sometimes L.O.V.E, love
Can we turn back the time?
I can’t believe our long past story

(MY love) With many people I run into
(MY love) I will gradually forget about you (L.O.V.E, love)
But sometimes I smile
at the thought of that time, yeah

The time when anything made us happy
Looking at each other, yeah
You were my strength
when you trusted me

Do you remember the time we spent together? L.O.V.E, love
Are you excited? Once it was everything L.O.V.E, love
The time we had comes to my mind sometimes L.O.V.E, love
Can we turn back the time?
I can’t believe our long past story

(Do you) miss me?
(Do you) miss me?
(I) miss you
You are somewhere in my memory like that

Do you remember the time we spent together? L.O.V.E, love
Are you excited? Once it was everything L.O.V.E, love
The time we had comes to my mind sometimes L.O.V.E, love
Can we turn back the time?
I can’t believe our long past story

Contrary to the title, the lyrics do not depict a cheerful story that involves love, but rather, the absence of it. “Luv” showcases a character, either a man or lady, who, due to some unknown circumstance, unfortunately lost their love-interest/partner. The lover reminisces over past days and loving moments with her/his former love-interest, such as when they were not “afraid of anything” and were “holding hands.” Additional details also describe the couple’s previous affection and care for each other. In addition to reflecting over their history, the main character also attempts to forget it, but alas, the lover still misses their partner. Multiple questions exist: Why did the couple separate? Was the split due to their own decision or outside influences?

Overall, the lyrics hold as above average. While the details were not too compelling, the general crafted story remains intriguing. Many questions exist, and further, the irony of the title symbolizes the main character’s conflicting feelings; love is seemingly present (like the title), but the reality showcases that is not necessarily the case (the lyrics themselves).      

From the surface and minimal analysis, nothing sparks a critical discussion; however, for a substitution of the “Critical Corner,” I will offer my take on why the song title is “Luv” and not, for example, “Love.” I have two current positions: for one, it is due to pure stylizing, and for the second take, pronunciation. Elaborating on the latter, although I am not confident with this explanation at all, “Luv,” in Korean, would definitely provide the English equivalent sound of “Love.” Now, if the opposite occurred with “Love” being the title, in Korean, the sound in English equivalent would potentially sound moreover as “L-ooo-ve” (instead of an “uh” sound). Again, I cannot claim this is positively certain, but that might be the case.

For a digression on the subject of love, I find it interesting to observe how love is pressured. In many cultures, be it American or South Korean society(and of course many other ones), people are ushered and rushed into dating and marriage. This is concerning, however, as love cannot be necessarily rushed. While effort definitely needs to exist to begin love, the feeling and relationship needs time to develop. Occasionally, the idea of love is moreover promoted and fantasized versus the concept itself; people feel the need to date/marry in order to feel “whole” or joyful, but in reality, it is not the binding label that creates the feeling, but instead, the person themselves. To clarify that point, it is not the title of, say, “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” that creates joy, it is the fact that the partner is someone who brings in happiness and support. Often time, many people forget that aspect and focus moreover on the sheer labels as the origin of feelings.

One additional point to discuss could also be the pressure to obtain love due to gender. Females, for example, are typically taught they need a male in order to be wholesome. However, that should never the case as not only does it rush love, and thus, creates artificial feelings that backfire, but the idea in itself of females needing a male on the sole basis of gender is ridiculous. Love is not a requirement. Love is an emotion. Anyone, regardless of who they are, should be free to find their own love. In the end, that sole emotion along with dedication and support is what matters, not gender nor even the gender of who a person loves.

To share a personal story regarding pressure to date, although specifically it is moreover marriage, despite being a male, I have received my dose of it. I am reminded at times, and expected, to eventually marry. The reason, however, is that without a wife, I would be unable to take care of myself (similar to what females are told). Of course, it is exceptionally silly, and nevertheless, I still adamantly believe that love will come with time. In fact, I have never dated, and do not intend to until around 25 (unless if I somehow end up with an amazing lady sooner than that). Anyhow, while I hope to be in an incredibly happy, close, and supportive relationship one day, like T-ARA’s Soyeon current relationship, dating and marriage should never be pressured onto people on the foundation of anything else besides love and dedication. And for how this all relates to Apink’s “Luv,” it matches the title at least.

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Choreography Score: 7/10 – Glancing past my digressions (I will blame excessive sugar), let us return to the phenomenal ladies of Apink. From every song I have ever reviewed, “Luv” proves to be the most difficult to grade in terms of the choreography. Deciding between “above average” and “good/solid” is nearly impossible. A 7 will most likely be the score, however. Diving into why that is the case, firstly, the syncing in “Luv” is exceptional; every movement related to a beat, the melody, or even a combination of the two. Focusing on the aspect of transitions, although I seldom include it as a main point, for this song, they held as phenomenal. Switching the spotlight between members was very smooth and fluent, and thus, more time is spent being on sync versus getting into positions. On the subject of positions and formations, the key points of the dance is what deters the Choreography Score from hitting an 8. While every maneuver is on point and transitions are flawless, the key points themselves could be more interesting. For example, the choruses’ key point utilizes the same dance set of moving hips left and right to match the beats, and although the syncing is stunning, visually, it becomes stale. Furthermore, with the chorus occurring multiple times, the key point becomes even more lacking.

Overall, above average will hold as the score. While the choreography as a whole follows simplicity and remains utterly captivating due to the highly accurate syncing, the key points could have been slightly catchier and more varied at certain moments.  

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Overall Score: 7/10 (7/10 raw score) – With both categories scoring a 7, the Overall Score will follow suit. Apink’s “Luv” concludes with a 7/10 which represents “above average,” and I can agree to that, although I personally find the song moreover a 6/10. The vocal skills exist, but the delivery of such is on the weaker spectrum. Additionally, the song sections and instrumental were not too infatuating. Nevertheless, “Luv” is a respectable song and remains decent.

It has been a while since I reviewed a song, so forgive me for lackluster writing. Also, apologies if my tangents were too rife (but those are topics people should not shy away from). As I always say, thank you very much for reading this. It truly means a lot to me that you would take time away from other activities just to read my blog and reviews. Thank you very much. Reviews have been coming by slowly, but I am working hard to change that (I am currently busy with a lot of work). To compensate, I have a special bonus review in mind that I am hoping many readers will love. Depending on my speed and dedication, it should be out in one or two days.

Future reviews will consist of, as stated, a secret upcoming bonus one, but ignoring the special review, I have a ballad in mind along with an underrated/unpopular group. And once those 3 reviews are cleared, many male artists have released songs that I plan to review. This current review took 3 days of writing to finish, so I will attempt to be hastier.

Anyhow, thank you once again for reading. Stay tuned for a bonus treat that should be out extremely soon. Hopefully my rate will improve, and peering at everything, “I can’t believe our long past story” together with reviews. Let us continue this “story”; stay tuned and keep checking back for more content.  

Hyuna – “Red” Review

Hyuna – Red (Dance Practice)

Hyuna – Red

Reviewed on September 25, 2014

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Personal Message: I personally feel that it has been a long time ever since I last reviewed a song. Perhaps. There are some really exciting comebacks that occurred recently; TaeTiSeo made a return and the queen vocalist of the K-Pop scene, Ailee, comes back full force. For the most part, anyways. I will hopefully get their new songs out within a few days. I’m quite booked with work for the weekend but, I may squeeze in a review. 

One last note, T-ARA released an English version of “Sugar Free” a few days ago. Considering all of the ladies are solely Korean speakers, it’s very impressive to see a fluent, full English version of their current hit song. 

Bringing this review back on track, I decided to peer back at this song, “Red”. I planned to do TaeTiSeo’s “Holler”, but since it’s still a fresh, new song, I wouldn’t be able to critique it properly. On the other hand, “Red” has given me plenty of ideas. If I’m being honest, though, “Hyuna’s Free Month” (a reality show starring her; check out my review of it) definitely did its job of advertising her solo song. That’s how I personally ended up listening to it.

Anyhow, coming from a pop-styled group, 4Minute, Hyuna made a solo return during the summer. Although that time has passed, Hyuna’s “Red” style still prevails. Let’s take a look at her colorful song. 

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Song Total Score: 6/10 (5.5/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories, separate so Choreography Score doesn’t affect it.

– Vocals: 6/10 – Considering Hyuna’s main role is being a rapper for 4Minute, crazy vocal talent shouldn’t be expected. Nevertheless, Hyuna pulls off stronger vocals towards the chorus and even during the pre-chorus; those two sections spotlight some solid singing. Unfortunately, her nasally voice does become quite dull; this is a huge issue when it comes to specific sections, such as the rap and verse. While I feel completely guilty to mark down the vocal on the basis of simply her voice, the nasally tone doesn’t sound too pleasant; it comes off extremely stale, and at certain times, slightly annoying.

In the end, a very slight point above average. Let me be clear, Hyuna’s usual voice is completely normal and at times, even cute. However, when it comes to singing and for musical purposes, there are definitely more capable singers out there. 

Before any Hyuna fans decide to eat me alive like a pack of wolves, “Red” can take blame for faltering vocals; although in general, I render Hyuna as an average vocalist, she can still hold her weight and in fact, with Trouble Maker’s “Now”, her singing there was fantastic. But, in terms of this song, the vocals don’t give her justice. 

– Song Structure: 7/10 (6.875/10 raw score) – Going to have scores for “Verse score”, “Pre-Chorus score”, “Chorus score”, etc.)

The song goes in this structure and order:

Introduction, Verse + Rap, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Post-Chorus, Introduction, Rap, Chorus, Post-Chorus, Bridge, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Conclusion (Post-Chorus) 

For “Song Structure”, I’m going to go through each section (Verse, Chorus, etc) and give a score per section. After that, the average is the “Song Structure” score.

Note: Alright so, it turns out “Red” is definitely unique when it comes to the structure; the only verse has a tint of rapping towards the end, and the introduction is actually reused in the middle part of the song. In terms of the post-chorus, while I could be lazy and mesh it with the chorus as a whole, I feel that it holds its own. The “(Oh~ Eh Oh Eh Oh)” part is what I’m considering the post-chorus.  

1. Introduction: 7/10 – The introduction for “Red” isn’t too bad; the instrumental does a phenomenal job. Sadly, Hyuna’s vocals are on the lacking side. As mentioned earlier, her nasally voice does impair this part, but it’s nothing too drastic. Credit towards the instrumental for doing a short yet sweet job; quick beats are utilized at the start to set the tone. As “Red” progresses, the instrumental does a nice, speedy build-up for hyping up the song. Near the end, though, it quickly dies back down to create a solid transition towards the upcoming verse/rap. 

Also, the introduction does make a return at the middle of the song; it remains identical to the first introduction. The only difference, however, is that the second introduction’s instrumental slightly differs. Considering its placement, it works out very well; it allows a moment for the song to relax itself in preparation for a rap.

Overall, slightly above average for an introduction. The instrumental fulfills its role with setting up the song, and in addition, allows a smooth transition. The only issue derives from Hyuna’s vocal work here; it’s nothing impressive at all. There wasn’t any catchy melody added, it was simply her nasally voice.

2. Verse + Rap: 7/10 – Firstly, this is probably the first “mixed” section I’ve dealt with. The verse has some rapping towards the end, but in summary, I would still consider this predominately a verse. 

This section is perhaps where a lot of the vocal issues stem from; the singing at the beginning was exceptionally nasally. Due to that, a lot of the melody seemed lost; if the vocals itself wasn’t mediocre enough, the instrumental at the start was just as plain. It was a heavier bassline with some heavy beats added. This is a recipe for disaster. Nasally vocals, lackluster melody, very plain bassline and beats, everything needed for a boring section comes to life. 

Now thankfully, the song does recover when “Hyuna’s back”. Ignoring perhaps one of the worse puns I’ve made in a while, once those lyrics occur, a shift is felt; the instrumental finally begins to pick up some more energy, and Hyuna’s singing follows suit with adding on a lot more melody. After all of that, Hyuna spits off an impressive rap; short and impacting. When it comes to her rapping skills, it’s actually quite top-notch. Anyhow, her rap contained a very slick flow. More will be mentioned at her true rapping section, but for this verse-rap hybrid, the rapping was exceptionally smooth. Furthermore, it provided a simple and efficient transition the pre-chorus. 

Overall, slightly above average. The extremely stale start does hurt the score, but with the shift that occurs within a few more seconds, it ends up redeeming the verse/rap section. 

3. Pre-Chorus: 8/10 – Now this is where Hyuna gets to shine with her singing skills; a solid pre-chorus.

Firstly, the instrumental and vocals complement one another well. During this section, both parties did a standard build-up phase; the vocals became lighter and sweeter, and luckily, a lot less nasally. Hyuna was able to put forth a very solid melody as well. In terms of the instrumental, in comparison to the other parts, it became a lot more passive and focused moreover on the beats along with the softer bassline. Towards the end, the beats fasten its pace to create an easy transition and Hyuna throws in a solid, final line.

The only issue within this section is the obnoxious monkey noise at the very end; although seemingly random and purely silly, it does relate back to the song’s lyrics. Nevertheless, it was ridiculous and harshly contrasted the softer, calmer vocals and instrumental.

The pre-chorus comes out to be solid. Hyuna shows off some splendid singing talent here. Adding on to that, the instrumental became rather elegant and meshed well with the vocals. Solid work here.  

4. Chorus: 8/10 – The chorus of “Red” shows off the true color of the song.

When the chorus arrives, the song is finally in full force; there are energetic vocals and a catchy instrumental, the melody lingers around, and there are some interesting lyric structures. 

For this part, after a line, backup vocals are used to create a unique, yet effective, contrast. To show an example, “ppalgan geon Hyuna Hyunaneun (Yeah)” was a line. The “Yeah” differed from the ongoing melody of the rest of the lyrics. This plays out perfectly as it allows a subtle change from a pure melody; without the “Yeah” and “What” backup vocals, the chorus would potentially sound a lot more plain. 

Focusing slightly more on Hyuna’s vocals, I’m quite pleased with it. The nasally vocals disappeared; instead, we are hearing some very melodic singing from Hyuna. It’s nothing too impressive vocally, but nevertheless, she showed solid singing. 

Overall, a solid chorus. This part is where the song hits a climatic range. Lots of energetic singing is seen here as well as catchy lyrics and melody. If both the vocals and instrumental were more stunning, this would be a higher score. In the end, though, it still comes out as solid.

5. Post-Chorus: 6/10 – As mentioned above, this could technically be counted with the chorus, but I feel a significant enough change to create a separate section for this part. This post-chorus here is the “Oh~” part.

“Red” possesses a typical post-chorus; typically, most post-choruses’ job is to bring down the song’s intensity so that it flows into the verse/another song section smoothly. It makes sense, after all, considering that if a song has a hyper, upbeat chorus, a sudden switch to a calmer verse or rap would be way too abrupt. This is the role of the post-chorus in “Red”. It allowed an easy transition back into the next song section.

In terms of actually analyzing the post-chorus, it contained mostly basic note holds; examples are with the “Oh~” and “Eh Oh Eh Oh”. While they were note holds, unlike a vast majority of other ones, these holds produced by Hyuna were lacking solid melody. Furthermore, it did not show off any intensive vocal work. Of course, there were other lines, but similar to the note holds, they possessed no catchy melody whatsoever.

Overall, very slightly above average; I’ve heard a lot of solid post-choruses, and unfortunately, “Red” does not make the standard. On the positive side, the post-chorus achieves the goal of bringing the song’s energy/intensity down so that it becomes a smooth transition to the next part.

6. Rap: 7/10 – I’m actually quite flustered on what to give for a score. It’s either a 7 or 8. Overall, I’m leaning towards a 7.

Firstly, this is the most smooth, slick, fluent rap I’ve ever heard; the flow is exceptionally solid. Hyuna had words rolling off her tongue in both a natural and speedy manner. Very impressive in this regard. Unfortunately, this is more “blind” flow than anything else. While the flow is superb and top-notch, the rap felt as if it was purely, and quickly, executed with a sole focus on being as fast as possible. What is sacrificed from this style is the lack of melody and power; it didn’t feel as impacting nor did it have any catchy melody. The rap was a list of words being shot out. Nothing more, nothing less. 

As a result, slightly above average is the score. This rap is a double-edged sword; on one side, the flow and pacing is fantastic. On the flip side, due to such speed, it loses any ability to carry forth a melody and to have any power. Nevertheless, the skills required here is shocking, and Hyuna definitely impressed me here. Not too bad for a rap.

7. Bridge: 4/10 – To be blunt: a poor bridge.

Perhaps it is a 4Minute curse, but once again, there is another bridge that is seemingly placed for the sake of having a bridge. Actually, I take back the 4Minute curse part. They have some other songs with beautiful bridges, but unluckily, for their group song of “Whatcha Doin’ Today”, the bridge was awful. Anyhow, peering back at Hyuna who’s running solo instead of being in 4Minute, the bridge in “Red” is similar to 4Minute’s “Whatcha Doin Today”’s bridge. Not good.

Firstly, the transition to the bridge is extremely abrupt; despite the numerous times I’ve listened to “Red”, the sudden tempo change and shift is still too rough. In addition to a questionable transition, the bridge itself is quite stagnant; with the only lyrics being a lifeless, echoing, “Hyunaneun ppalgaeyo” (translated as “Hyuna is red”; at the Meaning section, we’ll take a deeper look) and some “Ooo~” sounds, it does not keep the exciting state that the chorus contains. As for how the instrumental does, it reciprocates the same, plain vocal work done. The beats become slower and heavier.

Looking at everything this bridge offered, it comes out as mediocre; it’s a weak bridge. The strength of the bridge is the fact that it transitions to the upcoming pre-chorus extremely well; the bridge itself, however, is not up to standards. Below average for a bridge.

8. Conclusion (Post-Chorus): 8/10 – While the post-chorus wasn’t too solid, it works out perfectly as the conclusion. 

The role of the post-chorus becomes useful for the conclusion. After all, bringing the song down to a clear, yet smooth stop is the goal. Thankfully, the post-chorus is able to fulfill the task. The post-chorus leaves listeners a final taste of the energetic chorus, but at the same time, it also allows “Red” to end smoothly. No cuts or stretched end; the conclusion goes well.

A solid wrap to “Red”.

– Line Distribution: X/10 – “Red” was Hyuna’s summer solo release. Her 4Minute members are not with her, so this can’t be graded.

– Instrumental: 6/10 – Personally I am not a fan of the soundtrack; it’s either too obnoxious or too plain. Nevertheless, I will highlight the pre-chorus’ instrumental; during that section, it was quite graceful and nice. Other song sections, though, do not have the same luxury as the pre-chorus. For parts such as the chorus or bridge, the instrumental can be seen as slightly lacking or too absurd; it’s mostly a pop based soundtrack, but some tints of electronic can be seen heard through the bassline or the quick, robotic sounds. 

– Meaning: 3/10 – As I revealed earlier, the lyrics have “Hyuna is red”. Now what is that supposed to mean? Let’s find out through these translated lyrics; not 100% accurate but close enough:

Make it so cool, make it more hot
Red lipstick, make it more red (red)
Make it so cool, make it more hot
Red lipstick, make it more red (red)

I put on red lipstick, I’m red (red)
My cuteness that makes you wanna bite me is like art
Every night, you think of me like spicy ramen
Come in first if you like me

Hyuna’s back A better body than anyone else
is a full option for me
I’m gonna warm up and run
Because that red thing, that’s me
Now I’m gonna go up on stage

Don’t leave me,
I’m so lonely right now
At least you don’t leave me,
I’m the only one here
I might change right now

A monkey’s butt is red, what
Red is Hyuna, Hyuna is yeah
A monkey’s butt is red, what
Red is Hyuna, Hyuna is ah

(Oh~ Eh Oh Eh Oh)
Uh, uh red is Hyuna
(Oh~ Eh Oh Eh Oh)
Uh, uh red is Hyuna

Make it so cool, make it more hot
Red lipstick, make it more red (red)
Make it so cool, make it more hot
Red lipstick, make it more red (red)

Everyone stop,
I’ll punish you so stick out your butt
You won’t be able to handle me every night
Say H Y U N and A
A killer dance, I’ll kill on stage,
My confidence reaches the sky
I won’t say much more

Don’t leave me,
I’m so lonely right now
At least you don’t leave me,
I’m the only one here
I might change right now

A monkey’s butt is red, what
Red is Hyuna, Hyuna is yeah
A monkey’s butt is red, what
Red is Hyuna, Hyuna is ah

(Oh~ Eh Oh Eh Oh)
Uh, uh red is Hyuna
(Oh~ Eh Oh Eh Oh)
Uh, uh red is Hyuna

Red is Hyuna

Hyuna is red, Hyuna is red
Hyuna is red, red is Hyuna

Hyuna is red

Don’t leave me,
I’m so lonely right now
At least you don’t leave me,
I’m the only one here
I might change right now

A monkey’s butt is red, what
Red is Hyuna, Hyuna is yeah
A monkey’s butt is red, what
Red is Hyuna, Hyuna is ah

(Oh~ Eh Oh Eh Oh)
Uh, uh red is Hyuna
(Oh~ Eh Oh Eh Oh)
Uh, uh red is Hyuna

I honestly have no idea on what the lyrics mean. Extremely ridiculous. I could try to uncover the symbolism behind “red”, but, looking at the other details, I doubt anything significant will come from that. (Side note, while we’re speaking of symbolism and red, a quick advertisement for a book called “The Handmaid’s Tale”. Now if you want some genuine, sophisticated and rich symbolism on “red”, that’s a book you’ll want to read. Search around if you become curious on the actual plot and such.)

Back on track with “Red”, what are the lyrics about? It seems to be about the stage persona of HyunA (versus “Hyuna”) and being silly and somewhat arrogant. The meaning is HyunA talking about herself using the color red…? Either the lyrics are terrible or I lack the needed intelligence to decipher what red represents in the lyrics. Perhaps it’s to represent sexiness (red lipstick, makeup, etc.) and love (we associate love hearts with red, etc.). Overall, pretty awful lyrics. I was expecting some flirty story, but instead what “Red” delivers is an abstract story. I’m also being generous to even add “story” after abstract. 

Again, this is all obviously my opinion and I was not the song producer behind “Red” (then again, what would I be doing here if I was the song producer). Perhaps someone out there with a larger brain capacity could figure out some 10/10, hidden meanings for this song. I personally cannot find anything significant. 

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Choreography Score: 8/10 – Although I’m not in favor of the song, that doesn’t stop the choreography of “Red” from being solid. 

The syncing was well done; throughout the entire song, every movement and motion matched up to the music. When it came to matching up to the song’s energy, the dance reflected it back flawlessly; the chorus had more exciting maneuvers while other parts, such as the pre-chorus, had a very relaxing dance. Dance is probably an overstatement when it comes to the pre-chorus. For the backup dancers, they were essential as Hyuna was running solo. They did an excellent job; the formations and such were well done and although I’m not in favor of a large choreography, the dancing was not chaotic. 

Overall, a solid dance. Lots of different scenarios happened, and it was delightful to see that nothing repeated. The male backup dancers added a nice variety and in general, the choreography comes out as well synced and executed. Even though “Red” may not sound too pleasant, at least the dance came out as solid.

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Overall Score: 7/10 (7/10 raw score) – This is the first song in which the Choreography Score boosts up the Overall Score; Hyuna’s “Red” finishes out with a 7/10 or 3.5/5, so slightly above average.

I am not a fan of this song, but it isn’t the worst song ever. Then again, “the worst song ever” does exist in my book, and I doubt any other song will ever reach the abyss like “Hangover” did (check out my review on the worse song I’ve heard). 

The choreography definitely overpowers the song itself by far; even those musically “Red” isn’t too solid, Hyuna and her backup dancers manage to ace the dance. Nevertheless, check the song out and check out her group, 4Minute. 

This review was done over two days; hopefully I can start finishing reviews in one take as I did way long ago during the summer. A funny fact, I started to write this yesterday, but it was extremely late at night. Once morning came, I decided to finish this and was quite horrified at what I was writing; my thoughts were cut off and I never finished an idea. Moral of the story, get your sleep. Anyhow, I edited the earlier sections and now everything should be tidy. Keep in mind, though, there is always still room to improve my writing. Lots of room. 

As always, thank you very much for reading, and thank you for waiting. I’ve been quite slow with finishing reviews, but school over reviews. I appreciate all the support and time, thank you.

For those wondering what my future reviews are, I am definitely giving the ladies of TaeTiSeo, a sub-unit of Girls’ Generation, some spotlight by reviewing either “Holler” or “Whisper”. The latter is a very beautiful, charismatic ballad while the other one contrasts that by offering a jazzy, pumped-up style. I’ve also been getting really into “The TaeTiSeo”, a reality show by OnStyle (same producer for “Jessica & Krystal”, see my review of that). Once that show is over, I’ll end up reviewing it.

The end has arrived, thanks for sticking around. Expect some TaeTiSeo shortly. Hopefully you “Don’t leave me” and continue to check back. Stay tuned.