Reviewed on March 7, 2015
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.
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):
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)
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.
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”
6. “Tickle Tickle Tickle”
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.