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.

Nine Muses – “Sleepless Night” Review

Nine
Muses – Sleepless Night (Dance Practice)

Nine Muses – Sleepless
Night

Reviewed
on December 8, 2015

Personal Message:
It has been nearly two weeks since the last review, and I do greatly apologize for not
leaving any notifications. Currently it is “dead week” for my university and
thus, I am studying hard and pushing myself towards being prepared for finals.
As a result, I have had minimal time to write reviews, and for what was to be
the next review, I was amidst reviewing Hong Jinyoung’s “Cheer Up.”
Nevertheless, I will be making a quick change: reviewing Nine Muses’ comeback
of “Sleepless Night” of
which thoroughly describes my current days with studying and working
relentlessly
. However, as I am in the middle of university work, this
review will be moreover concise and I will not have time for any social digression
(though many are coming in future reviews; “Cheer Up” has one if there are
readers who are also interested in this side to my reviews). Optimistically,
once the semester is over, I plan to dedicate a lot of my free time towards
catching up on reviews, and furthermore, on catching up subtitling videos (a
few have requested for me to finish subtitling one video, for example).

Regarding Nine Muses and their
latest song, I will directly state: this song is the group’s best release so
far this year, and especially with having the current, different roster (in
reference to Sojin and Keumjo joining while Eunji, Lee Sem, and Sera left).
Admittedly, “Glue” is still Nine Muses’ best song, and this is ignoring the
overly sugar-coated review I had done for it a year ago when I was naïve with
song reviews (I would predict it being an “above average” song and that there
would be sevens but no nines, unlike what the current review says).
Nonetheless, “Sleepless Night” is significantly better than “Drama” and “Hurt
Locker,” both of which were released during this year. In fact, I have reviewed
“Drama” and I will confidently say I still
abide by the song’s rating: slightly above average. With “Sleepless Night,” it would,
most likely, score a seven, but I have yet to deconstruct the song and thus it
could in fact be higher or lower.

Overall, on a biased level, I am
very much satisfied with “Sleepless Night,” and I am hoping the ladies continue
to improve and to, perhaps, finally win first place on a music show. They have
gone through many setbacks, but despite them all, they continue to work hard
and to persevere. It is also heartwarming to find that Sojin and Keumjo are
welcomed and perfectly fitting the group. Given more time, I will not be
surprised if they release a song that certainly puts “Glue” to shame. All that
said, with my “Sleepless Night[s]” of homework, this review should uncover
whether this song is worthy of listening for my studying nights.

_______________________________________________________

Song Score: 6/10
(6.4/10 raw score) – “Slightly above average”


Vocals: 7/10


Sections: 6/10
(6/10 raw score)

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

1.     Introduction:
6/10

2.     Verse: 8/10

3.     Pre-Chorus: 6/10

4.     Chorus: 6/10

5.     Post-Chorus: 5/10

6.     Rap: 5/10

7.     Bridge (Introduction): 6/10

8.     Conclusion: 6/10


Line Distribution: 7/10

Hyuna:
Verse, Chorus 1, Chorus 2 (Total: 3)

Hyemi:
Chorus 1, Chorus 2 (Total: 2)

Euaerin:
Rap (Total: 1)

Minha:
Introduction, Conclusion (Total: 2)

Sungah:
Pre-Chorus 1, Post-Chorus, Pre-Chorus 2 (Total: 3)

Sojin:
Pre-Chorus 1, Post-Chorus, Pre-Chorus 2 (Total: 3)

Kyungri:
Verse, Pre-Chorus 1, Pre-Chorus 2 (Total: 3)

Keumjo:
Verse (Total: 1)

Equal Value: 2.25 sections per member.  


Instrumental: 7/10


Lyrics: 5/10

Can’t sleep, I’m hungry
Can’t sleep, I think of you

I think I am carried away
Wherever I look, I can’t find someone like you
Yes I was crazy, I was so crazy
Where can I meet a good man like you?
You remembered all the important dates
You were by my side in spite of everything
Whenever I got sick, without a single complaint
you would run to my side
What do I do?

I can’t sleep, I’m hungry
I am thinking of you again, I’m on the edge
What do I have to do?
I should let you go now
Oh no, whoa

I can’t sleep, I’m hungry
I am thinking of you again, this lonely, sad night
What do I have to do? I should let you go now
Just give me some time

Don’t forget me too soon
Don’t fall in love too soon
Just once,
I wish I could see you

I used to call you many times a day
and whine to you
I don’t know
Wherever I was you only looked at me
I didn’t know how precious you were
Do I have to say goodbye?
I am so empty, I can’t stop thinking about you

I can’t sleep, I’m hungry
I am thinking of you again, I’m on the edge
What do I have to do?
I should let you go now
Oh no, whoa

I can’t sleep, I’m hungry
I am thinking of you again, this lonely, sad night
What do I have to do? I should let you go now
Just give me some time

Can’t sleep, I’m hungry
Can’t sleep, I think of you

Choreography Score: 7/10

Overall Score: 7/10
(6.5/10 raw score)

_______________________________________________________

Analysis:
Before truly focusing on “Sleepless Night,” for upcoming reviews, I have
slightly revised the review outline once again. The Choreography Score will,
finally, include sub-scores in that “Syncing” and “Key Points” will be
categories that ultimately compose the Choreography Score. This will provide
more depth to the Choreography Score rating and hopefully make ratings for it
more justified. On topic with Nine Muses’ comeback, I will linearly cover the
categories due to time constraints (again, I am very busy with work and
preparing for finals). Unfortunately, I cannot dive into incredible depth,
though I will ensure that respect is still given for the song and review.

For
the vocals, knowing the group is Nine Muses, a seven or eight would be
expected. Specifically with “Sleepless Night,” that expectation is met: a seven
is granted. However, unlike prior releases where prominent, powerful yet
melodic singing was the highlight, this song showcases solely the latter: Nine
Muses’ tuneful singing. Even then, the vocals are still above average. Every
section remains melodic, and homogenously, vocals constantly maintain an upbeat
and diverse style. Ranging from the hasty rap, the passive post-chorus, the
whispering introduction/bridge, or the stronger verse, even if the given vocals
do not showcase powerful note holds and stretches, there is still nonetheless
diversity within the singing. Accounting that along with how the entire song
remains exceptionally tuneful, a seven is rightfully earned.

When
it comes to the song’s sections, the category does average at a six. In fact,
it appears that solely the verse is what surpasses a rating of six. Examining
each section in the song, to begin with the introduction, it excellently
establishes the song’s theme, style, and furthermore, the introduction’s vocals
are seamlessly transitioned into. Unfortunately, though sonically the vocals
and instrumental are far from negative, they both still fall short of a higher
standard. In terms of the verse, as the eight indicates, this section is
fantastic. Vocals are very tuneful, and additionally, are diverse in pacing and
rhythm. On that note, the verse’s structure is also praiseworthy as it provides
a flawless switch in flow. Elaborating, the verse is noticeably more upbeat
than the introduction, but certainly, where that actual switch occurs between
styles is extremely subtle, and thus, this allows the song to remain cohesive.
Overall, the verse is outstanding: the vocals are melodic and engaging, and the
structure accommodates both vocals and the song in whole.

Glancing
at both pre-choruses and choruses, the two sections both score a six for nearly
identical reasons. Both sections showcase higher, frail vocal notes, and while
in an overarching view this provides “Sleepless Night” coverage of higher
pitches, within the sections themselves there are minimal changes. Although
this is not to say that lacking fluctuations of notes within a section or even
two is a negative trait, for “Sleepless Night” this does unluckily create redundancy.
Since both pre-choruses and choruses utilize similar melodies and pitches, and
furthermore, are after one another, the singing does begin sounding mundane.
Nevertheless, the vocals are still respectable and charming, but of course not
to the extent of, for example, a seven, and that neither sections possess an
alluring structure that further augments their quality.

Chronologically
the post-chorus is next. Scoring at a pure “average,” the predominant flaws to
this section are its absurd—yet understandable—placement, and that the vocals
are moreover “fillers.” Though “Sleepless Night” adopts a calmer, gentler tone
and style and therefore this post-chorus does seemingly fit, when factoring in
how relatively hasty and energetic the prior sections are, the post-chorus no
longer appears as utterly suiting. It provides an abrupt change in the song’s
pace as if it were a misplaced bridge. Now, of course having a bridge in the
middle of a song is not an inherent issue (in fact, an upcoming review on EXID’s
“Hot Pink” does exactly such and properly executes that), but context is key:
in “Sleepless Night” ’s case, it comes to a rougher stop and would have perhaps
benefitted from a slightly more upbeat style or even different vocals. Relating
the “filler” vocals, though the section’s singing is perfectly reflective of
how the section in its entirety plays out, the vocals can be labeled as dull.
Passivity does not require that vocals are lacking in tune or specialty, but
rather, that the vocals’ energetic state is one that is calmer to match. With
the post-chorus, the vocals are reflective but not attractive.

Focusing
on the rap, an unexpected five is in store—unexpected in the sense that, with
Euaerin conducting it, based on her skills alone she should be able to carry
the rating. Surprisingly, though her rapping talents are displayed, the section
still falters. Essentially, the rap remains unchanged: quick, shorter lines are
rapped after another, but that is it. There are minimal changes to the rap, and
thus, even if the rapped lines are enticing, without any other varying trait
the rap simply becomes dull and, as its rating, average. Lastly, for the
remaining sections of bridge and conclusion, a unique take is seen: the
introduction is reused for the bridge. Positively, this does result well as the
introduction naturally fulfills a traditional bridge’s role, and furthermore,
the sonic appeal exists—even if not to an exceptionally high degree. The
conclusion is also very similar in style to the introduction/bridge, and as a
result, the song closes with relaxing sounds and without abruptness.

Line
Distribution in this song was slightly difficult to grade in the sense of
deciding between a six and seven. In the end, and perhaps generously, seven
will be the score. If Euaerin and Keumjo received one additional section from
members who possess three, Nine Muses would reach a nine. Sadly, that is the
not the case, but considering that there is no significant disparity and that
the group nearly meets equality, a seven is reasonable.

“Sleepless
Night” ’s instrumental receives a seven in credit for its individual beauty yet
supportive functions. Individually, the instrumental remains harmonious and
soothing, and intriguingly, despite utilizing instruments and sounds that are
associated with slower and serene songs, it is still rather upbeat and exciting.
In a larger picture with the vocals included, the instrumental perfectly
complements the group—vocally and structurally. Nine Muses’ voices perfectly
blend with the instrumental, and every section in the song is properly
reflected, as seen by how the instrumental sounds different per chorus,
post-chorus, verse, and so on.

Concluding
the musical component to the song, for the Lyrics category, a five is earned.
Excessive repetition of ideas is what prevents any higher rating, but for what
shifts the lyrics beyond a lower score is that the plot holds as partially interesting.
Especially with the verse and rap, the plot’s background is further developed
and it does remain slightly unique. Nevertheless, with the same main ideas and
details of, to summarize, coping with a relationship breakup, the lyrics do
become lackluster. Squeezing in the very last category of the song’s
choreography, a seven is in place. Syncing remains sharp and accurate, and
throughout different points, there is in fact very impressive syncing. For example,
there are instances where every member may homogeneously perform a move, but
stunningly, all said moves differ for the eight members. Key points are also seducing
in that, for one aspect, there are props involved and thus, more variety is gleaned.
Generally, however, key points do differ per section (though this is a given
considering some sections are the only sections, such as with the verse), and
for moments of repeats, all still remain enticing even. At worst, during the
pre-choruses and choruses, the choreography, akin to even the sections
musically, can become dull as the key points are incredibly similar.

_______________________________________________________

Nine
Muses’ latest comeback finishes with an Overall Score of a seven, but if
excluding that and the song itself is gauged, then a six is the rating.
Regardless of the given ratings, biasedly I still hold the opinion that “Sleepless
Night” is a promising song and that Nine Muses are on the route to releasing
even better songs. Specifically with this review, I do admit to slightly
rushing towards the end and I do apologize for doing that. Once again, I am on
a rush for time and will provide more thorough yet concise reviews once finals
are over. To clarify, future reviews will absolutely not follow a linear
analysis as the one in this review (even prior reviews are less systematic).
Time was the reason for this writing style. I have found that a more open,
free-flowing analysis is more enjoyable to write, and predictably, more
enjoyable to read.

After
the semester is over, many songs are in schedule for review—many being
relatively recent comebacks. That said, thank you to those who read or skim
this review. Especially for readers who continually return, thank you for being
patient. Without doubt, once the semester is over, the blog will hastily catch
up in reviews for those who have been waiting. After all, “wherever I look, I
can’t find someone like you.” Stay tuned for Hong Jinyoung’s “Cheer Up,” and
from there, recent comebacks to be covered.

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.

Nine Muses – “Drama” Review

Nine Muses – Drama (Dance Practice)

Nine Muses – Drama

Reviewed on January 29, 2015

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Personal Message: I am quite excited for this review. Personally, with Nine Muses being one of my favorite groups, I have been anticipating their comeback for a long time. Now, before I begin “Drama” (hopefully no pun intended), I will say this should not have been the main song; “Jururuk” (this is its Korean title; I am unsure on the English translation, and from checking a few days ago, the English title is not yet out) is a significantly stronger song than “Drama,” and considering that it still follows a usual K-Pop style, it would have been preferable to the current title song. To address the link, it is their standard dance practice video. Thankfully, it provides the clearest form of “Drama” in both categories of the song and dance. On the subject of their dance practice videos, watching their video for “Drama” reminds me of how horrendous my fashion, or lack thereof, is all their previous ones, and hopefully even with a changing roster, these videos will continue to be made.

Sliding over to the topic of Nine Muses’ roster, two new members have been added: Sojin, seen earlier from the sub-unit group of Nasty Nasty, and Keumjo, a newly introduced member. Despite being a new member, Keumjo has already begun proving her vocal capabilities. Perhaps her skill comes from proper training and practice, and while Star Empire may be questionable with how they treat their idols, for what holds true, their training seems to be effective as many idols under the company are exceptionally solid singers (or perhaps Star Empire simply finds already talented people). For Sojin, the sub-unit showcased her vocals, and while they are not necessarily the strongest, they still remain solid. I hoped for her to possess a decent portion of lines in “Drama,” but that is not quite the case. Nevertheless, for lines she did have, they are splendid. Ignoring the musical side to the ladies, fans will hopefully uncover their personalities soon enough. Sojin has already had some exposure during Nasty Nasty’s “Knock” promotions, but Keumjo still resides in the shadows. Thankfully, though, Nine Muses’ reality show of “Nine Muses Cast” (refer to my review on it for more information) is now including the new members (from glancing at some recent episodes; I will need to catch up from episode 4), and additionally, should the reality show continue, fans should feel utterly familiar with them soon enough.

Shifting over to their recent comeback itself, “Drama” does mark a new era for Nine Muses. Biasedly, I am disappointed that Nine Muses did not keep their “Dolls” to “Glue” trend, but acknowledging that the group has vastly changed, swapping to a new style is understandable. Nevertheless, what I heavily adored in Nine Muses’ previous releases (ignoring the songs earlier than “Dolls”) were their style of remaining vocally oriented and utilizing “classier” instruments while retaining the standard pop style. For example, “Gun” remained catchy and upbeat as a typical K-Pop/pop song, but the addition of soothing, melodic, and powerful vocals and an instrumental that was based upon acoustic guitars and such amplified how delightful it was. Those factors are my personal preferences, and unfortunately, “Drama” loses that style. Of course, however, songs are reviewed (unlike in the past) without biased influences (in fact, “Piano Man” by MAMAMOO, an older review, would have suffered if I were biased). In light of “Drama,” it follows a mellower style; the vocals focus moreover on melody than energy and power, and, although the instrumental adds a catchy aspect, overall, it follows suit with remaining equally calm.

With enough background context, let us begin the review. “Drama” sadly holds on the weaker side if it were to be systematically broken down (as the review will do), but on the positive side, Nine Muses has the potential to reignite their previous growing popularity. Sojin and Keumjo are definitely holding their weight, and with the rest of the members being experienced, Nine Muses’ future comebacks should be highly anticipated even if their recent one is weaker.   

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Song Total Score: 6/10 (6.2/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories

– Vocals: 6/10 – Unlike older songs, the vocals in “Drama” are vastly weaker. The strength mainly resides in that the members are putting forth exceptionally melodic lines; every line comes off as light and delightful, and the post-choruses are prime examples of such: “Only you, dudurudu” becomes lingering and varying with notes. In terms of what cripples their vocals, it is exceptionally stagnant. While pitches vary, the overall style and delivery remain completely unchanged. The verses, pre-choruses, and other sections sound exceptionally identical to one another, and thus, the vocals lose their charm as the song progresses. At most, when the choruses arrive there is a slight increase in energy, but for every other section, the same style of singing occurs. If there was more diversity with the sections in terms of the vocals, be it more energy, a change of pacing, a different flow or melody, the vocals would easily hit an 8 or potentially higher. Sadly, with the lack of that crucial variety, the score will suffer.

Slightly above average vocals. The singing is highly melodic, but without any change of style in terms of the vocals, the singing depreciates, and overall, the song is impaired as well.

– Song Structure: 6/10 (5.57/10 raw score)

The song goes in this structure and order:

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

1. Introduction: 4/10 – Before beginning, there is an absurd section promptly after the first post-chorus. It is essentially a slower version of the verses along with having a rap line towards the end. For the sake of consistency and not inducing confusion, I will not grade that section since the regular verses and rap will already be analyzed. On track with the introduction section, it is the pure horn sounding instrumental, and congratulations to “Drama” for holding the shortest introduction I have yet to hear.

If my previous sentence carried a slight passive aggressive tone, that is correct. Firstly, to explain the negative aspects, the most prominent issue is the introduction is simply too short. There is no time for development. Without having the chance to construct itself, it lacks cohesion or, in this case, it comes off as simply unnecessary. Furthermore, for what is heard during the brief one-second span, it is an exceptionally obnoxious horn/trumpet sound (apologies for my ignorance on instruments). Mechanically the introduction falters; the horn sound provides no musical pleasure and its pure purpose is to provide both a filler and transition. For what does remain beneficial, as mentioned, it serves as a filler and transition. Firstly, with a more energetic and powerful rap occurring after, the introduction needed to bring the song’s intensity and atmosphere to that point. While the method to do so is questionable, it is unequivocal that the result desired was acquired; the following rapping section became rendered as natural due to the sudden horn sound. Also, although diving into the rap would have potentially worked and could have been more desirable, the introduction, regardless of its duration, still exists, and thus, an introduction is at the very least still filled in and existing.

Overall, however, the introduction holds as slightly below average. Its role of transitioning the song to the rap was solid, but individually it holds on the weaker side.   

2. Rap: 7/10 – Euaerin and Sungah handle the rap. Interestingly, Sungah seemingly now possesses a rapping role versus her previous one of being a support vocalist. Even in “Jururuk/Trickle,” the discovered English title (although the literal/direct translation would be similar to “Drip Drip”), she was rapping, and while she may be new to the role, she has been faring well.

In terms of the rapping section, as expected from having Euaerin, an exceptionally promising rapper, the section holds well. With the instrumental instantly arriving in whole, to properly mesh with the more energetic soundtrack, the rapping needed to emulate such. Both Euaerin and Sungah succeeded with that; their rapping came off with a perfect amount of power that replicated the instrumental. Furthermore, the flow holds equally well. Never did the rap hit a stagnant point. Line to line, all was fluent. In terms of the weaker components, while their rapping strength and energy suited the instrumental, the downfall appears in the melody: lines were moreover focused on remaining impactful versus tuneful. During certain moments, specifically with words such as “aninde” or even the line of “Yo this is drama,” extra presence became heavily invested. Although the additional power certainly aids with syncing to the instrumental, an overly amount of emphasis on power leaves the side effect of losing potential melody, and unfortunately, that result is seen in “Drama” ‘s rap.

Nevertheless, this section holds as above average. Synergy between both the rapping and instrumental was solid. Despite losing the potential to add a melodic aspect, in the large scheme, this rap section does suit as the rest of the song is primarily focused on being tuneful.

3. Verse: 6/10 – Kyungri and Hyuna handle the first verse. Keumjo and Hyemi are in charge of the second.

The lyrics, structurally, and the vocals allow the verses to hold well. Ignoring those factors, however, the verses do reside on the duller side. Firstly, addressing the vocals, each member sings in an exceptionally tuneful style. Now, overlapping the line structure with those vocals creates a desirable outcome; the softer, harmonious vocals follow simplistic lines, and towards the end of the lines, a pause with “hm” or “oh” further accentuate the section’s overall melody. Sadly, while the melody is catchy and soothing, there is little variation. The instrumental remains lackluster, and the notes, although individually varying between one another, in terms of being a set and system, are recycled twice. Coming off as dull is what prevents the verses from scoring higher. The melody in itself is delightful, but when accompanied by a dull instrumental and with reusing the same melody and line structure, the verses become stagnant.

Slightly above average will hold as the score.  

4. Pre-Chorus: 5/10 – Keumjo, Minha, and Hyemi are responsible for the first pre-chorus. Kyungri, Sojin, and Hyuna tackle the second one.

The pre-chorus takes an interesting form: in verse but inversed. In essence, the pre-choruses are the opposite of the verses; there is a diversity of melody, pacing, and even energy, but the melody itself comes off as dull. In terms of the diversity, every member grants a differing aspect. For example, the first singer, be it Keumjo or Kyungri, delivers energetic, rhythmic lines while the following member approaches with softer, slower paced singing. Even the following is different; Hyemi and Hyuna, separately and respectively based on the first and second pre-chorus, arrive with impactful and vastly more melodic vocals than the previous members’ singing. Although the variety is excellent and definitely desired, the melody drags down the pre-choruses. Specifically with the first two members of a pre-chorus, their style of singing was orientated towards flowing with the beat or remaining frail and soft, and while they are not utterly bereft of tune, in comparison to other sections, the melody degrades. Thankfully, however, the final member to conclude the pre-chorus does offer excellent melody and power. But unfortunately, due to the vast majority of the pre-choruses remaining dull in the perspective of melody, this section ultimately suffers.

Average will be the score. Losing melody to gain variety when the more efficient and yearned outcome would be the combination of the two impairs the score.      

5. Chorus: 5/10 – The duo for the first chorus consists of Kyungri and Keumjo, and likewise for the second chorus, the same duo returns, though the order is flipped.

As the current trending issue appears, the choruses in “Drama” follow with the issue of remaining stagnant. Especially with the label of “chorus,” some variation, in juxtaposition to the previous sections, should have been added. On where the dullness derives from, the line structure may be to blame. Attempts to create variety during the lines ultimately failed; “oh” was used as pauses, and similar to a previous review on Apink’s “Luv” (though in “Luv” it was a phrase if I recall), due to how insignificant and minor the pause was, it becomes negligible. Furthermore, with Kyungri and Keumjo replicating each other’s line exactly (ignoring the lyrics), the already monotonous lines become additional uninteresting. In terms of what does remain solid, though the lines are hindered with lacking variety, the mechanical aspect of the vocals themselves were respectable. The vocals were quite tuneful, and in fact the choruses are solid should solely the vocals be peered at. Sadly, when combining the repetitive line structure and how unvaried the lines are, and in addition the instrumental with remaining practically unchanged minus a miniscule increase the beats’ speed, the choruses do fall on the weaker scale.

Average for a chorus. The singing was solid, but every other aspect falls exceptionally short.  

6. Post-Chorus: 6/10 – Though it is unclear on who hums the post-choruses, it does sound similar to Keumjo’s voice. There is a chance, however, that the group as a whole contributes, but with lacking a vocal layering aspect, I cannot confirm such. Nevertheless, for this review, we will run on the assumption that Keumjo delivers the post-choruses. Also, Euaerin does appear at the end to conclude it.

Once again, the same vexing, ubiquitous issue occurs: lack of variety. In compensation, however, the vocal component redeems a large portion of the post-choruses; the most promising aspect to the post-choruses is how melodic Keumjo’s singing is. Her lines of “Only you dudurududu” become catchy and lingering. Adding on, her lighter pitch augments the section; utilizing a higher note allows for natural note stretching, and in addition, the instrumental becomes properly mixed with the singing. Disregarding the strong vocal delivery, however, the section as a whole falls into the current grave “Drama” has created. ““Only you dudurududu” may sound appealing, but after repeating for a cycle of 5 lines, and that is discounting the plain “Only you” lines, and, of course, not summing the total for the song as a whole, it hastily drains of its charm. Unlike other songs that are able to exploit repeated lines, such as AOA’s “Like a Cat,” or to use Nine Muses’ superior release, “Trickle,” “Drama” lacks variety in its post-choruses. What “Like a Cat” manipulates well is an exceptionally catchy, paced-varying, and melodic post-chorus, and thus, it properly works. Even in “Trickle” a significant amount of depth is given; the pacing differs, the energy and power of vocals fluctuate, and it still retains a melodic flow. “Drama” fails in that solely the melody is solid. The same line can definitely be repeated, as seen in the two mentioned songs, but without any notable diversive features, a hook-styled post-chorus transforms from being catchy and hypnotizing to utterly tiresome, and unfortunately, “Drama” falls in the latter.

Nevertheless, on the sole basis of Keumjo’s pleasing melody and singing, the post-choruses will hold as slightly above average.

7. Conclusion (Post-Chorus): 6/10 – The conclusion recycles the post-chorus, and thus, Keumjo and Euaerin are responsible.

The conclusion suffers from the form it possesses, which is the post-chorus, but furthermore, with the post-choruses losing their charm as the song progresses, a weaker, plain final impression becomes the result due to the section playing once more at the very end. In terms of what is beneficial of this conclusion, it leaves the key melodic, looping tune, though whether that lingering melody is pleasing or agitating at the end point is debatable. Another positive perspective to the conclusion is Euaerin’s line; her line of “I wil never ever give up, only you” offers a calming, restful moment for the song, and with the conclusion, that role precisely aids in fully closing the song.   

Slightly above average will be the rating. The somewhat dreaded post-chorus returns, but factoring in how Euaerin’s final line concludes “Drama” properly with no abrupt cuts, and that remnants of the song, in the form of the post-chorus melody, linger around, this conclusion is not too awful.

– Line Distribution: 6/10 – Although Nine Muses’ name inaccurately depicts the current number of members, the group still hits a higher group size of 8. With that, distribution of lines will be difficult, but considering the group’s previous songs, it is definitely plausible to have an equal share.

Hyuna’s lines involved the first verse, the verse+rap hybrid section, and the second pre-chorus. A decent spread is seen by her, though biasedly due to loving her singing it might appear to be on the lacking side. Keeping in mind there are 8 members, however, this should be a perfect amount of lines.

Euaerin, being the main rapper and certainly a solid one, has her rap section near the start and appears with one line towards the end of the post-choruses. No issues exist. A rap section was given, and additional lines were also granted.

“Good words” Sungah (referencing episode 7 of “Nine Muses Cast”; Hyemi told her to write “good words” for her poster, and behold, she did exactly her member’s request) had the rap section with Euaerin and some time at the verse+rap section. Considering the rap section was lengthier, sufficient time, for the most part, was given. Perhaps some additional lines beyond the verse+rap section would have been desirable, but overall there are no issues.

Kyungri’s moments involved the first verse, both choruses, and the second pre-chorus. Though having both choruses may seem excessive, it is nothing burdening to the other members. As of now, no issues are present. The rest of Nine Muses should still have enough lines.

In Hyemi’s case, she had time at the first pre-chorus, the verse+rap section, and the second verse. So far, three sections appear to be this song’s distribution as Hyemi further supports that trend. A perfect amount of lines were given to Hyemi.

Minha’s spotlight includes the first pre-chorus and the mixed verse+rap section. Unfortunately, she does lean towards the lacking side. The pre-chorus line she possessed along with the one at the verse+rap were rather short, and thus, little time was granted. Overall, Minha does lack sufficient time. One additional line would potentially amend this issue.

One of Nine Muses’ newest member, Sojin, possesses lines at the verse+rap and the second pre-chorus. Similar to Minha, with solely two lines, in comparison to the rest of the members, she is slightly bereft of lines. Although my memory of “Knock” during her sub-unit era is vague, I do recall her vocals being decent. More time would have been desired for her.

Finally, the second newest member, Keumjo, is truthfully leaving a solid presence. Despite being a new member, she is already in charge of a copious amount of sections: the first pre-chorus, both choruses, the second verse, and, whether accurate or not based on my labeling, all of the post-choruses. If my assumption holds true, then Keumjo is slightly dominating “Drama.”

Overall, the line distribution is equal for every member except Minha, Sojin, and Keumjo; Minha and Sojin are lacking lines while Keumjo possesses excessive lines. If Keumjo’s parts were split up, the balance of lines would, overall, be rather solid.

Unluckily, with some noteworthy disparity occurring, the score will hold at only slightly above average.   

– Instrumental: 5/10 – If the pattern of this review has not yet been established, it will be reiterated once more: lack of variety. Claiming “Drama” is dull is getting dull. On topic with the instrumental, as stated, it remains on the plainer side. The flow of the instrumental remains unchanged throughout the song. While that may be its style, with every section’s soundtrack sounding rather identical minus the exceptions of a quickening pace at the chorus or slowing down at the verse+rap section, it amplifies its boring aspect. Furthermore, since the song’s sections were already dormant in that little variety existed, the instrumental emulating such only further worsens the situation. Diving into the instrumental itself, nothing holds as appealing. The beats prove to be catchy, but there were no prominent instrument/sound that proved to be a highlight.

Overall, an average instrumental. Mechanically it falters in that no unique aspects are present, and even with its flow from different sections, the soundtrack proves to be rather stale.

– Meaning: 8/10 – To redeem the rest of the song, the lyrics will hopefully disclose an interesting story. With a song title of “Drama,” one may expect a love story; perhaps a couple split ways after “drama” occurred, for example. Through these Korean-to-English translated lyrics, though they are not 100% accurate, we will find out the dramatic story:

I pretend to be innocent, pretend not to know
But did I touch Eve’s apple without even knowing?
Did my lips touch it? This isn’t right, this can’t be
But I’m still falling for you, yo this is drama
We’ve become awkward, a triangle of evil
We’ve become dangerous, a lawless jungle
The risky tightroping is about to begin
Stop over, I need to prepare my heart

You and me, on top of the stage, just us two
Sad music plays behind us, hm
The stars in the dark night sky shines like lights
Under those lights, we crossed paths, oh

I liked you from the start
But my best friend said she’s in love with you
Says it’s going well
between you two
It’s like a story from a drama
What do I do now?

This cruel drama (oh), this drama that has already started
My love story with an unpredictible ending
This risky feeling (oh), my heart wants you
I can’t stop it every day

Only you dudurudu only you dudurududu
Only you dudurudu hoo hoo hoo~
Only you dudurudu only you dudurududu only you
I will never ever give up, only you

No way (no), we’re tangled up (no)
Wandering inside my dream
The boy standing at the end of the maze
The boy, past the field of thorns
Stay there, don’t run away
I’ll be right there, never mind

She says you two fought, that your personalities clash
My friend told me she’s gonna end things, hm
My bad heart said it can’t be, but wants it to happen
I said, it can’t be, but at the same time, oh

I check on you
several times a day
I can’t do anything
so I just look at you
My thoughts are so complicated, I have no one to talk to
What do I do now?

This cruel drama (oh), this drama that has already started
My love story with an unpredictible ending
This risky feeling (oh), my heart wants you
I can’t stop it every day

Only you dudurudu only you dudurududu
Only you dudurudu hoo hoo hoo~
Only you dudurudu only you dudurududu only you
I will never ever give up, only you

Thankfully, while the sonic component of “Drama” may be lifeless, at least the lyrics prove to be enticing. “Drama” tells a story that is, like its title, similar to a drama (many K-Dramas I have heard about often time utilize this scenario); there is a “a triangle of evil” between three people: the main character, the main character’s best friend, and the boy that she likes. The story unfolds with the lover liking the boy “from the start,” but with her best friend claiming she is “in love with [the boy],” her life starts emulating a drama show. Time passes, and while the lover is in anguish over her lost love-interest (she yearns for them to be happy, but simultaneously, hopes for them to split so she may be with her love-interest), she “never ever gives up” on the boy, and finally, that mindset comes into play; her best friend decides to “end things” with the boy, and thus, allows the lover to have a chance.

Due to completely unique and unexpected lyrics, the score will be on the higher side. Furthermore, with various details that draw a clearer scenario, the lyrics become even more solid. That said, solid will be the score. The plot is original and interesting, and the supporting details are equally pleasant.

Transitioning over to the “Critical Corner” (at this point, I may include it as a sub-category to the Meaning section), on the initial layer, nothing holds as questionable or worthy of heavy critique. Besides the obvious idea of how, despite the depicted main character being a lady, the main character position is neutral in gender, I am unable to find any aspects worthy of deconstructing. Perhaps a small discussion on this “Drama” scenario could be started. Should this scenario take place, though I hope readers will not be subjected to “Drama” ‘s lyrics, it would seem to be an emotional mess; a love-interest cannot be a love-interest as a best friend, someone that deserves support and love, is already in the relationship, but homogeneously, there is a “bad heart” that appears at times that yearns for them to split. My stance on this situation, overall, is, if the best friend and love-interest found their affection for one another, unlike the main character in “Drama,” instead of “never ever [giving] up,” facing facts and moving on is exponentially important. Prioritizing everyone’s happiness, both friend and love-interest and self, should be the main focus. In this scenario, moving on will yield the most joy as it allows the couple to remain satisfied and, after accepting their outcome together, self-happiness will be found once again. But, of course, this realistic and genuine love for every party involved is no fun; after all, it strips away the “Drama” involved, and thus, many K-Dramas would evaporate. Jokes aside, however, moving on and overcoming issues are prime skills in life, be it forgetting a love-interest or a more significant problem.

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Choreography Score: 6/10 – To already address whether or not the choreography is dry and dull, it is not, thankfully. Or at least, in terms of the positions and formations. On that subject, the positions and such prove to be outstanding. A variety of different formations were seen, and the only occuring repeats were the pre-choruses, choruses, and post-choruses, but in this case, that remains completely viable and acceptable. Now, for what impairs the choreography, the key points were not too strong. The dance sets could have been more charming, as seen during the post-choruses. Drawing an example, the post-choruses’ key point involved moving hips to the beat, and while the syncing was excellent, the maneuver lacked complexity and remained too simple. In terms of syncing, overall, it holds well. Movements involving beats were properly conducted and accurate, but for the dancing that attempted to sync to the song’s flow, there were multiple cases of losing the connection between song and choreography.

In summary, the formations prove to be “Drama” ‘s strongest asset. Aspects that could be improved include more captivating key points and, for what harms the score, more accurate, pinpointing maneuvers that properly sync to the song, in both categories of beat and flow. Slightly above average will be the score.

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Overall Score: 6/10 (6/10 raw score) – In the end, Nine Muses’ latest comeback of “Drama” concludes with a 6/10, which, in rating terms, represents “slightly above average.” In honesty, I would personally rank the comeback as “average.” Nevertheless, considering this is Nine Muses, a group consisting of incredible, hard working, talented, and exceptionally intelligent and humorous ladies, scoring a lower-ended number is absurd. I remain adamant that “Glue” is by far their strongest song, and while I believe they will eventually reach that standard or potentially even topple it, this comeback hardly scratches their previous song releases. However, as mentioned earlier, “Trickle” is a song that does manage to hold up to Nine Muses’ usual rating. “Trickle” is an incredible song that features the “Nine” in Nine Muses; if I were to review it (I will not), I foresee places where a 9 would be the score, such as the Vocals section and a song section (specifically, the post-chorus). Anyhow, “Drama” is a weaker comeback, but for the sake of the group, I still support their return to the K-Pop industry. Sojin and Keumjo are looking to be excellent members in both departments of dance and singing and personality. In fact, I recommend people watching their reality show of “Nine Muses Cast” to get insight on the new members and the group’s affection for one another (and their obnoxious, mischievous yet jocular side).

As I always say, thank you very much for reading. I planned to release this review sooner, but due to becoming rather ill and studying for finals (which are done on the positive side), I have not prioritized reviews. I am currently running a bad cold it seems. My throat has been exceptionally painful (to the point where I cannot talk, or at least, the maximum volume of speaking is heavily limited) and there are the standard symptoms of a stuffy nose, coughing, and such. Missing important academic days irritate me (as well as the inability to talk), but not much can be done besides hopefully resting and recovering quickly. Anyhow, thank you very much for reading and for waiting on this review. I will do my best to bring in one more review before this month ends in order to reach my personal goal. Also, if the analysis and writing are lackluster in this review, forgive me. I will blame being ill and that, of course, I am still improving and learning.

Upcoming reviews will include Dal Shabet’s “B.B.B,” but considering I am on a rush to publish one additional review, I may review a recent ballad I stumbled upon. Whichever one offers the easiest or quickest review will be done first. After that, for the month of February, a new milestone may be created, and to bring some more diversity of artists, I have many male groups in mind and other groups that have yet to be reviewed. A January blog reflection will dive into more depth on such.   

Once again, thank you very much for reading. Stay tuned for a review that should hopefully be finished before January ends. Although that seems intimidating with what little time remains, “I will never ever give up” since “only you” deserve it. Keep checking back.

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

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

Moon Hyuna – I Like The Way Back Home

Reviewed on November 30, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The song goes in this structure and order:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. 

SBS MTV’s Reality Show – “Hyuna’s Free Month” Review

Reviewed on September 11, 2014

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Before we dive into this show review, allow me to have a brief update. As many of you can tell, I’ve been quite busy with schoolwork, paperwork, E-Sports, and more. Nevertheless, I am still alive. I have three reviews lined up; T-ARA made a very exciting comeback and I have so many things to critique about their latest song, so the review for “Sugar Free” will hopefully be out soon. In addition, I haven’t forgot about Nasty Nasty’s debut with “Knock”. The only thing that has held me back about it was I haven’t been in the mood for reviewing a sexy concept, but I will still get “Knock” out shortly. Another song for review is going to be Hyuna’s “Red”, although that will be later. And actually adding one more song, I did receive another song request, but goodness have mercy. I won’t reveal that song yet, but I will claim it’s the most atrocious K-Pop song I have ever heard.

Anyhow, moving past the quick update, I’m finally going to be reviewing another show. To be honest, I doubt I’ll do more show reviews unless if they involve a group/idol. As a result, I have no template on how I’m reviewing the show. I’ll probably point out the highlights, as I did with “Jessica & Krystal” (check out that review if you haven’t). 

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On to the big question of, “What is ‘Hyuna’s Free Month’ about?” Well for one, it is a free month in multiple aspects. From the start, she was given a special black credit card with no limit on expenses. Viewers will already get a quick taste of her silly personality from the beginning teasers; despite her idea to “monopolize” a store and to purchase a brand new TV, she ended up spending as little as possible. 

For other perspectives on “Free”, this reality show brought the audience down to her own personal life. Partially. Her free time was revealed, although quite limited. She would go around shopping, swim around, and play with her extremely adorable puppy. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much else revealed in terms of her hobbies. This also brings me to my next point: free promotion.

While “Hyuna’s Free Month” has a slight objective of showcasing Hyuna versus HyunA (stylized name for stage/industry work), it doesn’t do the best job at all. In comparison to another reality show, “Jessica & Krystal”, this show falters on getting audience members to truly connect with Hyuna. What I personally gleaned from this show was more of a behind-the-scenes look for Hyuna’s solo era of “Red”. Nevertheless, it still shows different sides of our sweet idol, even if it’s not as efficiently done.

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 For what’s personally revealed about her, “Hyuna’s Free Month” showcases her sweeter, kind side. Many people recognize Hyuna for her sexy concepts and stage images, however, underneath all the heavy lipstick and eyeshadow, one must remember there’s a hardworking, smart, and talented lady. Despite the cameras being on, she wasn’t afraid to show her sillier acts, such as dancing on bed with a fake mustache. 

Another aspect about Hyuna that was unveiled were her feelings toward her family; she cherishes them greatly and in fact, shed a few tears after reminiscing about them. And no, for those wondering, I did not cry here nor elsewhere for this reality show. Hyuna reflected on how her family is the driving force that allows her to live her dream. This would also explain her tattoo of: “My mother is the heart that keeps me alive." Family is important, and Hyuna is here to remind us all of that.

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Continuing on, the first episode is practically as close as viewers will get in terms of connecting with Hyuna. The other episodes were primarily focused on her work during her solo comeback with "Red” (which I will review in a week or so). As compensation, however, there are footages of her adorable puppy, Passion (although that might be false translation, so forgive me if I’m wrong). Anyhow, the hectic schedule of training, practicing, and working hard to have a successful stage is shown. For many days, she is seen in the practice room tediously rehearsing the choreography. In addition, she’s constantly monitoring each dance; every movement must be in sync with the song, and every backup dancer must follow suit. 

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Besides dance practice, there are other tasks to handle. As her job is being an idol, photo shoots are quite common. For an entire day, morning to midnight or so, she was subjected to constant camera flashes. Nevertheless, she tackled the job with optimism as she aided the camera crew by offering her own opinion and feedback, and thus, allowed the shooting to progress quite smoothly. 

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Peering at the highlighted components of this show, my final stance is this show is worth watching for those who are fans of Hyuna. Even then, “Hyuna’s Free Month” does a mediocre job at truly showcasing her personal self. This reality show came across as a promotional piece for “Red”, and although there were funny, cute scenes, it focuses too much on her song.

Another issue of this show was it came across as pure fun; there were little to no challenges presented. While it’s understandable that no label company would ever reveal the harsh atmosphere of being a K-Pop idol, I find it completely one-sided to display an idol’s work as utterly glamorous and joyful. There were primarily two struggles presented: composing one of her own songs, and roaming the streets. For the first struggle, a conflict was recorded between her song producer and herself. Hyuna composed her own song with a key phrase similar to, “Screw the haters”, which does come off as rude. Due to that, her song producer tried modifying the lyrics. As expected, Hyuna became heavily upset and some tension was created. When it comes to her second problem, it was rather interesting. Since a plethora of fans recognize her from only her stage persona (extremely heavy makeup, stage costumes, etc.), people around her were dubious on whether she was a random lady, or if she was their loved idol. This proved quite jocular. The only time she became surrounded was when she spoke; her casual makeup and clothing may be vague, but the moment she speaks, everyone knows it’s her voice. Nevertheless, the second issue is something every celebrity faces in terms of becoming followed and crowded. 

Overall, I would still recommend this show. From an entertainment point-of-view, it does its role. Behind-the-scenes are revealed, there is an exceptionally cute, fluffy puppy, and there is Hyuna being her comical self. Scrutinizing it a little more, however, and one can see that the show fails to truly show any significant sides of her life. Furthermore, I’m not in preference for shows disclosing an idol’s life as pure fun and games. If “Hyuna’s Free Month” showcased more of her free time and allowed her to have moments to speak personally to fans, that could potentially help. Also, while I didn’t address this earlier, I was hoping to see some interaction between her and 4Minute. 

“Jessica & Krystal” will still hold its throne of being the best reality show I’ve seen. “Hyuna’s Free Month” remains quite entertaining, but falls short in some places. As always, thank you very much for reading. This review may be quite disorganized or lacking details. My excuses lie in the fact that I have no show review outline (as I don’t intend to review shows) and that I refuse to spoil the show. 

As I mentioned before, I have many song reviews to release soon. Look forward to them. Feel free to check out “Hyuna’s Free Month”. Once again, thank you and I hope this review is still entertaining and sufficiently insightful. Stay tuned for T-ARA’s “Sugar Free” review.

4Minute – “Whatcha Doin’ Today?” Review

4Minute – Whatcha Doin’ Today (Dance Practice)

4Minute – Whatcha Doin’ Today

Reviewed on September 6, 2014

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Personal Message: Finally, the first review of September. I’m on a ridiculously busy schedule, so forgive me for not putting out many reviews lately. Anyhow, the song we’re looking at today was one that was requested for review. We are going to take a look at the adept dancers, singers, and clever, intelligent ladies of 4Minute. They claim it takes 4 minutes for boys and ladies to fall in love with them, however, it took me 30 minutes to truly become infatuated. Then again, the person who recommended this song fell in love in exactly 1 minute and 7 seconds. 

Silly jokes aside, I personally am not familiar with 4Minute; from what I can tell so far, they’re a “poppier” group in the K-Pop scene. Nevertheless, they have their set style and bursting personalities. While we’re on the topic of personalities, I’ve never seen such clever, cheap ladies. For the variety show of “Weekly Idol”, they did whatever it took to win the games, even if it involved a little cheating. Anyhow, despite their witty actions there, they certainly won me over for their silly antics. On the serious side of the show, they definitely impressed me with their dancing; 4Minute killed the “Random Dance” section with superb movements and cohesion.  

Bringing the review back on track, “Whatcha Doin’ Today?” Personally I will be reviewing this song, and I hope you follow as well.  

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Song Total Score: 7/10 (7.4/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories, separate so Choreography Score doesn’t affect it.

– Vocals: 7/10 – Rating this either a 7 or 8 is something I’m struggling to decide. Overall, I’ll push it towards a 7.

The vocals in this are great, but that’s assuming they’re individually singing. Member by member, each of them sounded wonderful. Gayoon aided the song with her sweet, melodic voice, Jihyun and Sohyun had solid vocals for their part, and Hyuna and Jiyoon were very impressive with their rapping voices.

What does prevent me from confidently claiming the vocals in “Whatcha Doin’ Today” are amazing is when they sing in unison; whenever they’re singing as one, it sounds extremely stale. In fact, there’s almost a tint of autotune at use. Luckily for them, since I can’t properly gauge if that’s their vocals sounding as one or if it is autotune, I’ll have to let it slide. Nevertheless, 4Minute simultaneously singing is disappointing; they lose a lot of the flow and melody they individually possess. 

4Minute doesn’t possess the strongest vocal talent in comparison to numerous groups, but they hold their ground adequately. Slightly above average vocals. 

– Song Structure: 7/10 (7.125/10 raw score) – Going to have scores for “Verse score”, “Pre-Chorus score”, “Chorus score”, etc.)

The song goes in this structure and order:

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

So 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.

1. Introduction: 8/10 – Hyuna is in charge of leading the introduction. 

The introduction starts off with a saxophone/trumpet instrument (once again, forgive me for my ignorance on instruments). This key instrument will remain prominent throughout the song. Now a few more seconds in, Hyuna does the usual 4Minute introductions of “Yeah, It’s 4MINUTE and Brave Sound, Let go” (for those unfamiliar with the Brave Sound part, in short, he is a song producer/writer and he always includes a labeling at the start of every song he produces).

So far, “Whatcha Doin’ Today” gives off a strong start; the key instrumental is already given along with some confident-leaking words from Hyuna. This sets a nice atmosphere on how the song will play out; stronger vocals can be expected.

Progressing on, after Hyuna finishes her main lines, her final one is “Let go” which provides a smooth, blatant transition to the next part of the introduction. The following part is where 4Minute throws in a few melodic phrases of “A-ha”. To transition to the next song section, there’s a strange “Brrrr” sound. And, unfortunately, I am adding a connotation of bad to “strange”.

Looking at the introduction as a whole, it does its job. It sets up the mood, delivers forth the melody, and it contains 4Minute’s traditional greeting of introducing themselves. The transitions are well done, although the last part is questionable. Overall, a solid introduction that hops straight into the song. 

2. Chorus: 5/10 – Perhaps 4Minute hopped in a little too soon. The chorus is sung by the 5 ladies of 4Minute.

Firstly, going straight into the chorus when the song is hardly developed is an interesting decision; typically, the chorus is held off until later. The reason behind that is due to how choruses tend to be the core part of a song, and in many cases, is where a climax occurs. For “Whatcha Doin’ Today” using the chorus prematurely, it limits any build-up potential in the future. 

Now analyzing from the vocal perspective, it is rather mediocre. While every lady has proven their skill individually, when it comes to singing a single, cohesive voice, they utterly falter. 4Minute’s combined vocal sounds quite robotic, whether that’s due to autotune is too vague to decide. Either way, with such a monotone sound, it creates a dull chorus. The instrumental remained quite neutral, so its role did not hurt nor help the chorus. 

Overall, the chorus in this song is disappointing. With a repetitive flow, uninteresting vocals, and a plain instrumental, nothing is exciting at all about the chorus. The only strength that emanates from this song part is how it slightly lingers around and becomes catchy. Disregarding that, however, and we have an average chorus.  

3. Verse: 9/10 – While the choruses hold as faulty, at least the verses remain very delightful. Sohyun is responsible for the first verse while Jihyun tackles the second verse. 

I will be criticizing the first verse, as Jihyun’s verse remains quite identical minus lyric modifications.

Sohyun does an outstanding job with this part. The transition into the verse is completely smooth. It’s a natural flow into this part. Sohyun follows a catchy melody with her voice; while she doesn’t show off intensive vocal work, it’s still catchy. Another key part of the first verse is an incredible play on sounds. Even if this remains a minuscule detail, it provides an extra flow of her lines. Every ending line has an “oh” sound, as seen by the last words of: “eomnayo…hanayo… sirheoyo”. Through this, it augments her flow. By having a repeated sound at the end of every line, it creates a pleasing, lingering effect. 

In terms of Jihyun’s verse, it follows the same, slower pacing in Sohyun’s part. The only change are the lyrics. Melody and such remains quite similar.

Looking at the verses, they are very solid. With decent vocals from the two ladies and a catchy, slower pace, it compensates for the weaker chorus.  

4. Rap: 9/10 – There are two rap sections in “Whatcha Doin’ Today”, however, I will be grading them in one take. Jiyoon and Hyuna are the rappers for this group.

For the first rap that occurs, Jiyoon handles it. Jiyoon does an exceptional job with her part; this is one of the better raps I’ve heard in songs. She has flow, power, and melody. For a rap, that is, in summary, all you would ever desire. Her flow was quite outstanding with being able to spit out word after word. In addition to how smooth her words were, she had a phenomenal impact with her lines. This becomes apparent with her endings of “bwa” which leave a strong, lasting impression on listeners. Lastly, she still carried on the song’s melody. The melody did not become lost nor did she go off track. As a result of this, the chemistry between the instrumental and her rapping played off one another and strengthened the rap. 

The second rap that occurs is with Hyuna, arguably the most popular member of 4Minute.

Hyuna initiates her part with some English. Sadly, it doesn’t go too well in terms of fluency. Everything goes well until she hits the sillier parts of the lyrics: “Show me the lol face”. And while I’m at it, “lol” at the lyrics she has to handle here. I’m not sure on what the idiot music producer had in mind for this. Perhaps it was to create a play on words for Korean and English, but I could not locate that. Anyhow, what goes wrong in terms of fluency here is “lol” sounded unclear. Furthermore, “face” turned into “race”. Keep in mind, however, English is quite difficult for Korean speakers. The mistake on “face” is completely understandable as Korean possesses no “F” sound. 

Ignoring some pronunciation errors, Hyuna’s still rocking the rap. Her pacing and flow was sharp; her nasally voice definitely became a helpful tool in making her words flow quickly and smoothly. What she lacks in power in comparison to Jiyoon is redeemed through even stronger pacing. Speaking of Jiyoon, she makes a return to rap once more. Towards the end of Hyuna’s rap, Jiyoon’s entry allowed the second rap section to gain extra power along with a clear, crisp conclusion. Jiyoon’s ending of “We gon’ rock it, kill it, that’s how we do it” was perfect with flow; the chopped “it” sounds worked out very well. 

Overall, extremely impressive rapping from these two amazing ladies. Both of them are highly talented rappers, and these two raps aid the song as a whole. I couldn’t say it better than Jiyoon; “that’s how we do it” is well said.

5. Pre-Chorus: 8/10 – Gayoon is in charge of every pre-choruses. 

In this section, Gayoon showcases a wide range of vocals. She’s able to hit the middle pitches as well as the higher ones.

 For the pre-chorus, she’s utilizing her sweeter, softer voice to carry on the melody. At “hamyeonseo~” she hits a high note on the word. The last word of “jeonhwahalgeyo” was also sung in an exceptionally high pitch. Impressive vocals. Focusing on the pre-chorus as a whole, the biggest asset is how she was able to maintain the melody in a gentle, soft tune. The instrumental also became lighter and due to that, created a nice connection between the soundtrack and vocals. 

A soothing, sweet part by Gayoon’s vocals. A solid piece.

6. Post-Chorus: 7/10 – Gayoon is heard once again. She’s also in charge of every single post-chorus. A quick disclaimer, while this is arguably part of the chorus, I think it deserves its own spot since it differs completely from the core of the chorus (the horrendous, autotune-like part).

In comparison to her pre-chorus parts, for this section, her singing becomes slightly rougher. It works out well, though, as the instrumental is heavier as well. Her section her does contain some short, high note holds being used, such as at “…geoya” and “party tonight”. Even with some talented vocal work, this part still remains pretty stale. On the bright side, thanks to Gayoon’s high note ending, it allows a smooth transition to other parts.

The post-chorus sounded too similar to another section, such as the pre-chorus. Essentially, the post-chorus is a “heavier” version of the pre-chorus. It loses the softer tone, but it still follows a similar flow and pacing. Due to that, this score remains only slight-above-average. Impressive vocals here, but the staleness brings it down.

7. Bridge: 4/10 – This song seems to be the complete opposite of other K-Pop songs; normally the verses and pre-choruses are weaker, with the choruses and bridge being extraordinary. Here it’s the inverse. Strong verses/raps, weak choruses and bridge. 

Looking at “Whatcha Doin’ Today” as a whole, it would potentially benefit without the use of a bridge at all. This bridge was almost added as a filler. 

This bridge here is quite poor. The transition to it is somewhat abrupt. Almost out of nowhere, the instrumental becomes “funkier”. In short, the beats become heavier bass-wise and the same “A-ha” at the introduction is heard once again. Eventually a “Come on let’s party, yo” is heard, which isn’t too abstract from the song’s theme. That line was able to add some diversity. Now to transition back to the song as a whole, there’s a counting of “1, 2, 3, go”. An easy, cheap transition, but it works.

What gives, then, for a low score? My reason is that what I wrote pretty much sums up the bridge; bass-heavy beats become the main instrument, the “A-ha” comes back, and other phrases are thrown in. This part felt like a filler. This bridge was seemingly created just to fill in a spot for a bridge. It’s plain with the instrumental, the phrases are obnoxious, and it doesn’t seem to do anything but extend the song’s length.

A very boring, horribly crafted section. Very little instrumental work here. Vocals weren’t good here, either. 

8. Conclusion (Chorus): 7/10 – For the conclusion, the dreaded chorus is recycled. Thankfully, though, this chorus does work out well to conclude the song.

Since the bridge was relatively low in intensity, having a chorus with a similar level would be perfect. It works out in this song’s favor as the chorus wasn’t energetic, either. As a result, the transition is perfect and as a whole, both sections mesh very well.

At the very end, there is an extra line of “oneul mwohae” (translated roughly as “whatcha’ doin’ today”) and that allows a final, clear and simple wrap up. 

Mechanically looking at the conclusion, it fulfills its needed roles. The only thing holding the conclusion back is the sheer chorus itself. If the chorus was stronger, the ending would be even more momentous. 

– Line Distribution: 9/10 – 5 members in 4Minute, let’s see how they divided their lines.

Jihyun had her solo part with the second verse. Other than that, nothing else (excluding the chorus).

Sohyun is in a similar situation; she had the first verse to herself, but that was it.

Jiyoon had a solo rap section and made a return during the end of Hyuna’s rapping part.

While we’re mentioning Hyuna, she had a solo rap section as well. In addition, she was also in charge of the introduction.

Gayoon had both the pre-chorus and post-chorus, and given how numerous those sections were, it allowed a lot of time for her to shine.

Something else to keep in mind, however, is that the chorus involves everyone singing. 

Overall, looking at this, the members all had a fair share. The only issue would be Gayoon slightly has more time than the members, but nothing too bad. 9/10 for Line Distribution.

– Instrumental: 8/10 – The instrumental for “Whatcha Doin’ Today?” is actually quite solid. 

The key instrumental of the trumpet/saxophone works out quite well; it gives the song a unique attribute. In addition to sounding well alone, the instrumental fills its role with aiding the vocalists. Transitions were supplied and it replicated how the vocals went. For example, during the pre-chorus, it became “lighter” and accompanied Gayoon’s voice well. Another example is during the rapping section; it remained clear enough to support the rapping, yet passive enough to not become a distraction. 

A solid instrumental.

– Meaning: 6/10 – A time you would ask, “What are you doing?” is when you’re trying to start a conversation. The only time you would ask, “Whatcha doin’ today?” is when you’re trying to act cute/very casual and trying to set plans with someone. If my message is not yet clear, I’m expecting these lyrics to be a flirty story. Let’s find out through these translated lyrics. Not 100% accurate:

Yeah It’s 4Minute and Brave Sound,
Let go

A-ha a-ha ah ah a-ha
A-ha a-ha

Whatcha doin’ today (4Minute)
Whatcha doin’ later (ha)
whatcha doin’ on the weekend (let’s go)
Lalala lalala

Whatcha doin’ today (4Minute)
Whatcha doin’ later (ha)
whatcha doin’ on the weekend (let’s go)
Wanna meet up? (Come on)

Have no where to go after school?
Have nothing to do after the housework is done?
Wandering around after work?
I hate the same old boring days

You do everything you have to but have nothing else to do
People who are looking for something to do
People who turn on boring TV shows
and laugh along
Come inside, come inside here,
play with me for today
Everyone listen, just listen first,
whatcha doin’ today, everyone listen

Don’t try to make things up, just enjoy life
The world is a bright place
Fall in love,
have fun, I’ll call you later

Whatcha doin’ today
Whatcha doin’ later
Whatcha doin’ on the weekend
Lalala lalala

Whatcha doin’ today
Whatcha doin’ later
Whatcha doin’ on the weekend
Wanna meet up?

Watch a movie, eat good food, meet some guys
I wanna drink a cup of americano and just talk
Let’s go crazy all night, tonight,
everyone together, party tonight

Stop worrying so much,
everything will be fine
(everything will be fine)
Stop frowning and smile brightly
Ha ha ha ha ha ha

I love that
Show me the lol face
Hardened by grimy stress
Escape from those days for 4 minutes
Fill your surroundings with laughter
People who look far to the mountains blankly
People who are tired from life
Come gather here, we gon’ rock it kill it
That’s how we do it

Don’t try to make things up, just enjoy life
The world is a bright place
Fall in love,
have fun, I’ll call you later

Whatcha doin’ today
Whatcha doin’ later
Whatcha doin’ on the weekend
Lalala lalala

Whatcha doin’ today
Whatcha doin’ later
Whatcha doin’ on the weekend
Wanna meet up?

Watch a movie, eat good food, meet some guys
I wanna drink a cup of americano and just talk
Let’s go crazy all night, tonight,
everyone together, party tonight

A-ha a-ha ah ah a-ha
A-ha a-ha, Come on, Let’s party yo

A-ha a-ha ah ah a-ha
A-ha a-ha 1, 2, 3 Go

Whatcha doin’ today (4Minute)
Whatcha doin’ later (ha)
whatcha doin’ on the weekend (let’s go)
Lalala lalala

Whatcha doin’ today (4Minute)
Whatcha doin’ later (ha)
whatcha doin’ on the weekend (let’s go)
Wanna meet up?
Whatcha doin’ today

It turns out, I was somewhat correct, although it’s not too much on flirting. 

The lyrics remind me of “Jeon Won Diary” by T-ARA N4 (check out my review of that song if you haven’t). Both songs have a similar idea of relaxing and not getting stressed out. Take life easily. Enjoy it. 

For “Whatcha Doin’ Today?”, the lyrics seem to be about wanting to hang out to relax. These lyrics could be about going on a date, but it might be as simple as heading to a nice coffee shop with friends. While there are some nice details, the meaning itself isn’t too deep at all. Regardless, there is still an important message of enjoying life. Be happy, do what makes you feel that way. 

An important message, but the song itself isn’t rich in meaning. Very slightly above average lyrics.

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Choreography Score: 8/10 – Probably one of the harder choreography I’ve had to grade. For once, I’m unable to confidently pinpoint a score. Overall, I’m going to have a score of 8.

Before I get any further, I’ll like to point out the disgusting parts of the dance: the butt-shaking parts. For the love of K-Pop, it’s one thing to have a blatant sexual orientated part, but it’s another to make it extremely awkward and out of place. 4Minute’s “Whatcha Doin’ Today?” manages to hit all of those points; the butt-shaking at the introduction and bridge were beyond awkward. I will agree it was synced, but the execution and positioning were very, very horrendous. On the bright side, those were the only two parts including butt-shakes. 

Another criticism is the use of backup dancers in specific parts. For example, in the chorus and post-chorus, there were way too many dancers. 4Minute themselves would’ve sufficed. 

In terms of what was excellent, the choreography as a whole was well synced. Every movement was well connected to the music, whether it was in moving the hips, arms, and such. Also, while there were some mistakes in using backup dancers, there were other times where that was well done. Individual singing parts were supported by backup dancers, such as in the rapping parts and verses. The backups did a fantastic job boosting the choreography’s style during those moments. 

In the end, a completely solid choreography. With lots of syncing and unique maneuvers, it remains a solid dance. The only issue is with the backup dancers at certain times and the erroneously executed butt-shaking parts. 

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Overall Score: 8/10 (7.5/10 raw score) – The song comes out with an 8/10 or 7.5/10, depending on how detailed you would like to be. 

I believe this song is still worth listening to, despite specific parts being lacking. It’s quite catchy and the rapping and verses completely compensate for the weaker choruses and bridge. The rapping is personally my reason for why I still return to this song. In terms of the choreography, it still remains well synced, even with the poorer executed parts. 

4Minute is a “poppier” styled group, with lots of focus on remaining catchy. Nevertheless, they have decent vocals and solid dancing skills. Some other notable songs by them are “What’s Your Name?” and “Is It Poppin’?”, both of which could perhaps end up being reviewed in the future. 

As I always do for the end of my reviews, thank you very much for reading this. I genuinely appreciate your time. Hopefully your own opinions are triggered; the world would be worthless if everyone agreed with each other. Check out the song/dance for yourself. Anyways, thank you very much for reading. Another thing is I would like to directly thank the person who requested this song. You know who you are and I have to say, thanks for recommending this and I hope you love it as much as you love Gayoon. For anyone else who would want to send a request, feel free to. Send me songs you think I would love, but don’t forget to also recommend songs that would make me rip out my hair.

For this review, it personally took a while (2 hours or more?). Strangely, reviews have been taking longer. Perhaps it’s due to more thoughts, or maybe I’m not able to articulate myself as quickly.

Upcoming reviews will be either Nasty Nasty’s “Knock” or Ladies’ Code’s “I’m Fine Thank You”. I still need more time to analyze “Knock”, visually and…audio-wise? Can’t think of the word right now. “Knock” seems pretty interesting, though. Once again, another sexy concept that’s quite similar to Trouble Maker in a way, but obviously still different. I’m leaning towards reviewing “I’m Fine Thank You” even though that will be emotionally harder. 

I also just remembered, I will be (hopefully) making another show review in the future. Read my review of “Jessica & Krystal” if you haven’t yet. 4Minute’s member, Hyuna, has a reality show. Similar to J&K, it shows the behind-the-scenes of her life. “Hyuna’s Free Month” is the title. I’ll still have to keep watching before I get a sound opinion, but we’ll see what happens.

Anyhow, thank you once again. Stick around for more. “I wanna drink a cup of americano and just talk” with you, so keep checking back for more reviews. 

Trouble Maker – “Trouble Maker” Review

Trouble Maker – Trouble Maker (Live Performance)

Trouble Maker – Trouble Maker

Reviewed on August 30, 2014

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Personal Message: I’m on a pretty hectic schedule right now, but I’m going to tough it out and spend some time on a new review. August is practically over, and I’m personally disappointed with how I did for this month. I could’ve put out more reviews, so forgive me. For September I’ll work even harder and bring out fresher reviews. I’ll see if I can add more artists/newer songs, and if I can find more songs that will give an in-depth, critical analysis.

Anyhow, as promised, I will finally be reviewing a male artist…sort of. At least I followed through the promise by 50%. How is that possible? Because Trouble Maker is the duo we’re taking a look at. Formed by the well-known sexy Hyuna from 4Minute, and the handsome gentleman of Hyunseung from the group BEAST, this combo will definitely be turning the heads of ladies and males. Seeing a coed group is somewhat rare in the K-Pop scene, so Trouble Maker is unique in that regard. However, Trouble Maker is technically a sub-unit. Nevertheless, they’ve put out a fantastic, catchy and sexy song of “Trouble Maker”. And yes, the song title is the same as the group name, for those who are confused.

While this song came out around December 2011 (don’t quote me on that), it remains a huge trend/hit for the K-Pop scene. For couples wanting an exciting dance, or for other idols to cover, this song has been quite popular. In fact, I discovered this song through Jiyeon and her MC (MC = Host) partner covering it: Jiyeon and Jung Wook – “Trouble Maker” @ The Show 

After Jiyeon made my heart stop through her amazing dancing with Jung Wook, I decided to check out the original version. A great choice it was.

Let’s take a look now to see how much trouble “Trouble Maker” made.

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Song Total Score: 8/10 (8.2/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories, separate so Choreography Score doesn’t affect it.

– Vocals: 8/10 – For “Trouble Maker”, there isn’t any extraordinary singing at all. However, the singing is still above average for sure, and there is great chemistry between the two singers. Since both of them have a relatively nasally voice, it works to their favor since it’s matching. When they sing in unison, it brings a solid mixture of their voices.

Individually, both of them were still able to prove some solid vocals. While they weren’t hitting any crazy high notes or low notes, what they did an incredible job with, though, is keeping a very sexy theme. During certain parts of the song, keeping their voices as seductive as possible was their goal, and I will claim, they succeeded. Their pacing and melody was also pretty solid, so more credit there.

The vocal strength here lies within their chemistry and ability to stay on point with remaining sexy.  

– Song Structure: 8/10 (8/10 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, Chorus, Post-Chorus, Rap, Verse, Chorus, Post-Chorus, Bridge, Chorus, Post-Chorus, Conclusion

So 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: So this is quite strange. There is either no verse or pre-chorus, depending on your label of the section before the chorus. I’m personally going to label it as a verse since it doesn’t have the build-up as a standard pre-chorus (until the last line, anyway).

1. Introduction: 7/10 – The song starts off with a key instrumental of a whistle. It carries a specific melody and this is heard in the song later. Anyhow, the whistling is quite catchy and becomes looped for a while. While the whistling is happening, Hyunseung adds an extra layer via hefty…breathing? It’s honestly quite hard to describe, but it’s essentially him huffing out deep breaths. Eventually, a count occurs when the instrumental goes quiet. “1, 2, 3” is heard, which is then followed up with strong beats and a quick bassline is thrown in to transition to the singing. 

“Trouble Maker” has a catchy beginning, but for the first seconds, it is rather tedious. The whistling and hefty breathing gives the song its needed sexy spice, however, with how repetitive it is, it becomes dull very quickly. Thankfully, once the count occurs, from that point, it becomes an exceptionally smooth transition to the verse. 

A start that’s slightly crippled for its cycling start, but with a strong pick up towards the end, it still remains a catchy introduction. However, overall, a very slight above-average introduction.

2. Verse: 9/10 – Now this is dead-on chemistry. Hyuna and Hyunseung are tossing lines back and forth. An overdose of sexiness comes here; with such precision on seducing vocals and a versatile verse, this part comes out as extremely solid.

Hyunseung initiates the song with one line; while the line isn’t too dynamic with the melody or pitch, it’s laying down the foundation for potential build-up. Furthermore, the key phrase of “Trouble Maker” is given, for it is the end of his line. Next Hyuna replicates the same melody/line, although lyrically it’s a few words changed. The amazing thing to notice here is how well their vocals sound to each other; they both augment the other person’s voice. Also as the verse continues, they take turns with one line each and that adds a lot to their cohesion as a duo.

Anyhow, continuing on. The next part is where Hyunseung has a chunked line of “…deo deo deo” (translated as “more more more”). This allows a change from a plain flow of singing. In addition, it also provides some extra build-up since it’s a slower pacing. Hyuna once again emulates her partner’s singing style.

Now at the very end of the verse, they finally both sing in unison for the line of “ijen nae mameul nado eojjeol su eobseo~”. Before going any further, keep in mind this song possesses no pre-chorus. Therefore, it becomes exceptionally hard to properly bump the song’s intensity for the chorus, so how does “Trouble Maker” handle such an issue? By working together, Hyuna and Hyunseung’s combined vocals gives it additional vocal strength. Already from that alone, this bumps the song’s intensity a fair bit. Now including other details, there is a short note hold at “eobseo~”, which, according to the live performance and my ears, seems to be Hyungseung delivering it. Thanks to his extra effort there, it allows a final hype for the chorus in addition to a smooth transition.

One of the catchier verses I’ve heard. The alternation of Hyungseung and Hyuna singing creates an interesting variety for listeners. The last bit of them singing as one was also a unique way to give “Trouble Maker” the needed kick to act as a pre-chorus for creating enough build-up. Great teamwork here from the two.

3. Chorus: 9/10 – Hoping straight into the chorus. 

For this part, the duo is singing as one; even though Hyunseung’s voice comes off as slightly more prominent, it is still audible that Hyuna is singing with him. 

The chorus comes packed with a potent amount of energy and power. There’s a lot of energetic vocals being tossed around. The instrumental also does a great job of supporting the melody. For the first few lines, the couple (and by couple, I just mean the two idols, they’re not a “couple”, or at least I don’t think so) are dominating the song through cohesive singing; with each vocal backing up the other, there’s some solid synergy at work. With such compatible voices, it creates a catchy, upbeat melody. Now towards the end, the chorus does bring the intensity level down. The duo starts singing “Trouble” but they chop up the lines into stutters. This slows down the pacing by a substantial rate and relaxes the song. Perfect for transitioning to the next part. 

Overall, an extremely catchy chorus that’s supported with some stronger vocals and a solid example of unison singing. With both idols singing, the song became a lot more energetic here. 

4. Post-Chorus: 7/10 – The best way to describe the post-chorus of “Trouble Maker” is that it completely fills its role, if we’re analyzing from a textbook-style aspect. However, my own personal take of this section is that it’s somewhat dull.

Anyhow, this part is where the key whistling occurs. The same whistling at the introduction is heard once again here. Now in between the whistling, Hyunseung will throw in a “Trouble Maker” and Hyuna will do the same. 

From the perspective of why this section is here, it was thoroughly thought out; Hyuna’s rap will occur soon, but it can’t come directly after an intense chorus. There has to be a moment to let the song “relax”. Furthermore, the sexiness dealt in this song is not a quick, fast paced, hyperactive and exciting type of sexy; it’s a methodical, slow, passionate type of sexiness, thus, by having a calm, slow paced section, it allows that mood to be preserved.

Now while everything is done right, it does become dragged out for a decent amount. The whistling definitely lingers around, but it’s quite repetitive. Essentially, it goes as: whistling, “trouble maker”, whistling, “trouble maker” and so on.

Anyhow, it’s still a solid section. The purpose of it to lower the intensity is perfect, and the beats are nice here as well. The issue is how dull it becomes with a recycling whistle melody and the key phrase of “Trouble Maker”. 

5. Rap: 8/10 – Time for Hyuna to give some extra spice to the song. 

Personally, I’m unfamiliar with Hyuna’s singing capabilities. Or rapping capability, such as in this case. I have not heard a single song from 4Minute nor Hyuna’s solos, but either way, she has impressed me with her rap in “Trouble Maker”.

For the rap, Hyuna comes off with an exceptionally seducing voice; her rap is on the lower pitch side in addition to being quiet. Her flow is decent here, although it’s not the smoothest I’ve heard at all. What makes this part amazing is the instrumental meshing well with her voice. It does a great job remaining passive to match the current intensity. It also allows some further spotlight onto her voice, and at the very end, a quick, clean finish with Hyuna’s rap. 

Average rapping here, but with such solid instrumental work, that bumps the score up.

6. Bridge: 8/10 – An extremely pleasing section to listen to. It’s very graceful and beautiful.

For this part, the instrumental becomes “lighter” and that perfectly syncs with the vocals. On the topic of vocals, the singing done here is excellent; from Hyunseung we can hear some impressive short note holds. Another great feature is “Trouble Maker” keeps the Trouble Maker duo alternating with singing; Hyunseung starts it off with one line, then Hyuna follows up and does the same, and then back to Hyunseung. At the very end, both of them end up singing as one, and that gives a great climatic effect. After all, two vocals heard is a lot more emphasized and stronger than one voice. 

Anyhow, this bridge features some graceful singing talent from both idols. The instrumental does a fantastic job with reflecting the current feeling. Trouble Maker’s chemistry is still just as sharp here like in any other section. A solid bridge.

7. Conclusion: 8/10 – So it turns out I did make a mistake earlier with labeling this section. There is a separate conclusion from the final post-chorus. Anyhow, I went back and made some corrections. 

Now before we look at the pure conclusion, I want to give some credit for the final chorus. There was some solid two-part singing from Hyunseung and that just gives “Trouble Maker” its final climatic peak. 

Now focusing on the true conclusion, it’s quite similar, if not exactly the same as the introduction. The same whistling melody comes back and the same heavy breathing is heard again. Now taking in consideration the final chorus that contained two-part singing, this type of ending works out well. After an exceptionally intense/energetic part, to bring the song back to its mature, sexier theme, “Trouble Maker” can’t be concluded in an upbeat mood; it has to be sexy. So taking a step back, having this conclusion allows the song to return to a slower pace, and therefore, back to the sexy theme. It’s a well-ending conclusion with no abrupt stop at all. A solid wrap up. 

– Line Distribution: 10/10 – The best synergy I’ve seen between a duo group. Or at least tied with Soyu and Jungigo in “Some” (another song that I may review in the far future, maybe if I somehow get in a romantic, lovey-dovey mood). 

With “Trouble Maker”, the alternating pattern works like a charm; they’re both equally heard, and no one is more dominant than the other. Both Hyuna and Hyunseung have equal lines and for the parts they do sing together, it works out very well.

Anyhow, the most equal distribution you can ask for. There’s swapping between Hyuna and Hyunseung, solo parts for each of the artists, and then the combined teamwork of the two singing together. 

– Instrumentals: 8/10 – This song definitely had a solid soundtrack.

The instrumental perfectly matched up with the vocals. If it was a calmer section, the instrumental followed suit. Once things got sexier, so did the instrumental. Transitions were also well done by the soundtrack.

Another huge plus is the key instrumental of the whistling, ignoring how repetitive it can get, anyways. The beats are also quite pleasing in this song. Nothing was too overpowering as well, which was great. More focus on the lady and gentleman of Trouble Maker.

Overall, a solid instrumental that cooperates with the vocals along with filling in its needed roles.

– Meaning: 7/10 – A sexy dance, sexy singing, I’m anticipating some very sexual lyrics in that case. So let’s take a look through these Korean-to-English translated lyrics. Not 100%, but it’ll let us see how much trouble was made:

1!2!3!

When I see your eyes, I’m a trouble maker
When I stand next to you, I’m a trouble maker
Little bit more more more
As I go more more more
Now I can’t help my own heart.

So you can’t forget me,
I keep standing in front of you again
Your heart, so I can’t shake it
and get out of it
I steal your lips again and run far away
I’m a Trou a a a ble!
Trouble! Trou! Trouble Maker!

Trouble Maker!
Trouble Maker!
Trouble Maker!
Trouble Maker!

I’m going to bite your heart
and run away like a cat
You’re going to keep getting ruffled,
come up in front of me and let your anger out
My sexy walk
will arouse inside your head
My inwardly skinship, your eyes are saying
“I can’t take it any longer, I’m going to die”

As it continues I fall in deeper,
the more I know, I’m liking you more baby
I think I’m drunk with the thoughts of you lady
I never never never stop!

So you can’t forget me,
I keep standing in front of you again
Your heart, so I can’t shake it
and get out of it
I steal your lips again and run far away
I’m a Trou a a a ble!
Trouble! Trou! Trouble Maker!

Trouble Maker!
Trouble Maker!
Trouble Maker!
Trouble Maker!

How would I be able to contain you
inside my heart (Trouble Maker)
Now I’m just going to go with how I feel
I never never stop!
I can’t stop

So you can’t forget me,
I keep standing in front of you again
Your heart, so I can’t shake it
and get out of it
I steal your lips again and run far away
I’m a Trou a a a ble!
Trouble! Trou! Trouble Maker!

Trouble Maker!
Trouble Maker!
Trouble Maker!
Trouble Maker!

To my surprise, these lyrics are definitely sexy; a good kind of sexy. I was expecting some relatively mature, racy lyrics, but instead, we get a nice flirty story.

Pretty much, a man and lady are seducing one another; they’re “teasing” the other person in an attempt to keep them infatuated. Pretty much a “push-and-pull” game. Anyhow, the lyrics are still sexy but definitely aren’t too shocking. In fact, “Yasisi” by NS Yoon-G (check out my review of that) is still the most lyrically sexual song on my list, so “Trouble Maker” didn’t quite cause a lot of trouble. 

Anyhow, the lyrics have some strong details and lines, but overall, nothing too sophisticated. Slightly above average is my rating.

_______________________________________________________

Choreography Score: 9/10 – Now this is one sexy dance. It’s definitely one of the better choreography I’ve seen in a while. The best thing I’ll spotlight, though, is that it’s nothing ridiculous in terms of being inappropriate. 

For this dance, it starts off as mainly Hyunseung and Hyuna rocking the floor. The individual dancing is quite solid, however, the choreography takes it to a new height once the duo dance with each other. It becomes very sexy, with lots of skinship happening. While there are some sexual parts (first post-chorus, bridge, etc.), nothing is overly focused on, thus, nothing is awkward. It’s always a quick, smooth maneuver. Executed and done.

In terms of syncing, that can be seen throughout the song for a large portion. Great linking between the dance moves and music. The choreography also emulates how energetic the song becomes; when it’s the verse and such, the dance is slow paced and focused on elegant moves. On the contrary, when the music steps up, the couple can then be seen moving their hips and arms to the flow of the song in an energetic fashion.

Another aspect to highlight is the use of backup dancers; they arrived to support solo moments (Hyuna rapping, Hyunseung’s solo verse) and that aided the dance and moment. I also enjoy the fact that the backup dancers weren’t brought in until Trouble Maker had their own time together at first.

Overall, a really phenomenal dance. The match up with the music and choreography was perfect. Backup dancers arrived perfectly and supported the choreography. The couple dancing is quite sexy and fun. One last thing to mention, every song part had a different dance, so there’s no way the audience can feel that the choreography becomes stale. Anyhow, one of the best, sexy couple choreography I’ve seen. Even though “Trouble Maker” was released around the end of 2011, the huge-hit choreography explains why it still remains popular even to this day.

________________________________________________________

Overall Score: 9/10 (8.5/10 raw score) – This leaves Trouble Maker’s “Trouble Maker” with a raw score of 8.5, which is bumped up to a 9/10 for Overall Score. 

Do I agree? The song itself isn’t the strongest I’ve heard, but with such amazing chemistry in the song and choreography, it’s well deserved. 

It’s a really fun, upbeat song and dance. Even though I’m years late to the party, I’m still grateful to have a taste. Check out the duo’s live performance; it’s definitely a sexy one. Speaking of performances, don’t forget to see Jiyeon and Jungwook’s cover of it, even their take on it is fantastic.

For this review I ended up dragging to another day, but that’s what happens when I write later at night. Hopefully this review was solid. I’m really hoping to start having more critical reviews with mediocre songs, but, either I’ve been lucking out with finding decent songs, or every song is somehow appealing to me. I’ll try to find some newer songs that’ll give intriguing reviews.

As always, thank you so much for reading. It means a lot to me and I sincerely appreciate your support and time. Thanks. 

For my next review, Sistar’s “I Swear” is in mind, but, I think this blog has way too many solid songs. I’ll try discovering newer songs that are questionable in terms of rating. Stay tuned!

Oh and I just recalled, my next review will actually be the new trio sub-unit group: Nasty Nasty. Who does it consist of? The handsome gentleman from my favorite male group, Kevin from ZE:A. The ladies he’s working with is none other than the loved Kyungri of my favorite K-Pop group of all-time, Nine Muses. Another lady is joining them, who is speculated to be the upcoming, new member for Nine Muses, Sojin.

I’m very excited to see the new (expected) member, and to see how their group fares with a pretty hefty sexual concept it seems. Should be no problem for the gentleman and ladies, though. Nine Muses and ZE:A, fighting!

 Anyways, "So you can’t forget me, I keep standing in front of you again" with more reviews. Keep checking back, thanks for reading.