HyunA – Bubble Pop!

July 24, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Posted in HyunA | Leave a comment
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  1. Attention
  2. Bubble Pop!
  3. Downtown (feat. Ji Yoon)
  4. A Bitter Day (feat. Yong Jun Hyung & G.NA)
  5. Just Follow (feat. DOK2)

I don’t know much about HyunA other than the fact that she’s a member from 4minute. Supposedly, she’s the fiercest member of the group and after hearing the promotional song I decided to give her mini a try because I liked what I heard. While this is her first solo mini-album, last year she released a digital single called Change but it’s not included on this release which is a shame because it’s quite a hot track.

Attention serves as an intro and it starts off with HyunA talking from a speaker. The beat is light at first but after she speaks it turns into an electronic urban sound. It’s pretty cool how it mixes synthpop with hip hop but her rapping isn’t anything special, “hey hey/what you gonna do.” In addition, there’s a bit too much going on like the disc scratching which takes away from the overall melody. Her actual singing is good and I love her high, breathy tone. HyunA manages to be cute and sexy at the same time in Bubble Pop! This is a nice summery tune that’s insanely catchy and it even throws in some dubstep during the bridge. Her ad-libbing is strange but it’s humorous and the verses take on a cuter sound than the chorus. Her vocals are bright and they get more energetic during the chorus where she lets her sexy side come out. I love the “oh boy” and “hey boy” backing vocals because they’re so addicting. When she sings the title it does kind of get annoying but the rest of the hook is a lot of fun. The dubstep influence in the bridge feels out of place and it’s like it was put in just because it’s become a popular thing to do now in pop music. Minus the bridge, this is a pretty sweet summer anthem. Downtown (feat. Ji Yoon) contains the most unflattering moaning I’ve ever heard. HyunA can’t pull off a moan and it’s quite sad. There’s no sex appeal at all and they come off as really bad groans. For the first part of the verses HyunA raps but her singing in the second half is much better. It consists of some electronic beats and a deep synth line is added as the verses progress. Ji Yoon appears in the chorus and outshines HyunA with her bright, strong vocals. In the chorus, the percussion is removed and it’s dominated by synths. In the post-chorus, the percussion comes back for the most addicting part of the song, “in downtown, in downtown, in downtown, in downtown,” and the ad-libs sound fantastic. The bridge is uninteresting and quite lazy because it’s a repeat of the song’s introduction.

I wish singers would realize that they don’t always have to throw a ballad into their releases because they can sometimes affect the flow of the album but it’s a good thing that A Bitter Day (feat. Yong Jun Hyung & G.NA) is a nice song. HyunA is more of a featured artist because G.NA sings the majority of the song. I’ve never heard a song where the featured artist outperforms the main artist but G.NA makes this song tolerable. Her luscious vocals along with the sweet piano are lovely but when the percussion comes in with HyunA rapping it takes a turn for the worse. It’s not terrible but her rapping is basic and she doesn’t put any emotion into it whereas G.NA puts a lot of feeling into her voice especially in the chorus. Even Yong Jun Hyung manages to put some feeling into his rap and it’s the reason why his sounds slightly better. The raps aren’t necessary at all and they mess up what could have been a great ballad. G.NA saves the song and her belting at the end is so good. Just Follow (feat. DOK2) begins with the obligatory male intro that announces HyunA and the synths are a little dark to give the melody a gangster feel. This track comes off as bland because it doesn’t go anywhere and nothing interesting happens in the melody. HyunA and DOK2 rap with the exact same tone for the entire song. It could have been good but the repetitive melody and singing style ruins the song for me.

Conclusion: Bubble Pop! has a great promotional track but the rest of the songs don’t come anywhere close to it. HyunA should have actually sung more rather than rap for the majority of the songs because she’s not that good of a rapper. Bubble Pop! is the only song that’s memorable because she’s singing on it. The other tracks that I like are saved by the featured artist and having a featured singer outshine the main singer is a bit embarrassing. HyunA should have upped her game so that she wouldn’t be overshadowed by them but she fails to do so. She needs to step it up for her next release because she has the potential.

Recommended Tracks: Bubble Pop! and A Bitter Day (feat. Yong Jun Hyung & G.NA)

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