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Posts Tagged ‘HyunA

by: ping

To everyone’s excitement, 4minute’s very own HyunA has (bubble) popped back into Kpop with another solo release! Titled ‘Bubble Pop‘, HyunA’s comeback mini-album spouts puddles of styles that go hand in hand with all Kpop stars alike: sweet, sexy, soft, and tough. But how does HyunA play out under these caricatures in her solo album? Well, as HyunA would put it: “Just Follow me,” and find out.

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Track List:
01 Attention
02 Bubble Pop!
03 Downtown (Feat. 전지윤)
04 A Bitter Day (Feat. 용준형 & G.NA)
05 Just Follow (Feat. DOK2)

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Last year, HyunA debuted as a solo artist with her first single, “Change” – the controversial nature of the song, video, and blatant sexual explosiveness of it either left people cheering for more, or with a bitter taste in their mouth – and while it pushed female sensuality in Kpop culture over the edge (both through music and performance), it did it in all the wrong ways.

But HyunA’s always rested on the fact that she appeals to her fans because of her sexuality. At least to most of her fan base, and even if she wanted to retract that invitation, she’s neck-high in that image, and shaking her out of it would compromise all that is HyunA. But where things get complicated is in the stitching of the seem between her music and her image.

Society considers music a liberty, as in it can be produced, conjured, and performed however the hell we want (which it is, and we can); but society has also built boundaries as to how we go about doing that, especially with mainstream music. Sexy concepts in particular have a fine line, and aren’t easily pulled off, because one booty-drop too low and things turn tasteless. For HyunA, who has firmly adopted the ’sexy’ image over the years, finds herself strutting all over her audience’s nerves and ultimately those sturdy boundaries as well. Whether she’s mindless and negligent in her actions is up to you to decide, but when it comes to her mix of style and music, it hasn’t exactly served the proper palette to justify her image.

Well this time, HyunA is providing something different in an attempt to convince us otherwise.

What is HyunA doing differently this year? For starters, a light bulb flickered above Cube Entertainment’s head that placing a bombshell over a dark and angsty song wasn’t the best combo to bring to Kpop. How many of those concepts have we experienced, anyway?

Enter “Bubble Pop“. HyunA’s sneaky new single that rings of Summer, but for her, toots as a welcoming hymn to be the same old sexy misses, while under a whole new theme.

“Bubble Pop” is an up-tempo and bouncy song that is as cheesy – with its horns, clicks, and beats – as you would expect from HyunA. Unlike its gritty predecessor, this lead single is all singing, which to those who aren’t aware, isn’t HyunA’s forte. It’s more like her shortcoming, but when idols lack skill, there are composers a finger snap away to carve out easy songs for them to indulge in. Which is exactly what you hear with “Bubble Pop” – HyunA rolling around in novelty, pop music.

But what’s even more indulgent for her is the fact that now she can be sexy with a track that is wrapped up in ‘fun’ and ‘bubbly’ melodies.

The song sounds like a 90s commercial for pop soda. The setting: a sunny, beach scene full of hot studs, and tanned women sipping on their carbonated beverages in synchronized fashion. Think a tamed version of ‘Baywatch‘, and suddenly this song makes a whole lot of sense for HyunA.

She attacks the verses and hook the same way she would any other song, so “Bubble Pop” has a sense of familiarity that links it to her and 4minute. Even more so is the dubstep break down, which doesn’t make any sense as part of the song, but is one of its first appearances on a major Kpop song, so you could say she caught wind of the Western trend before the rest of her peers. That dubstep breakdown also allows her to sex-plode as usual, albeit briefly before doing sexy under the cloak of a cheerful tune.

But what else attracts audiences to HyunA? Well, if anything, it’s probably the rapper-persona she’s drilled into our mind (which may be another reason why she’s so stuck in acting sexy, since she’s also going for the bad girl-rapper, and bad girls gotta be bad, no?) If “Bubble Pop” didn’t deliver in that respect, there are a few other tracks that do.

Hey! Hey! Whatchu gonna do?!” HyunA retorts in “Attention“.

The track is awfully short – it’s an intro track – but it sits right where most of us picture HyunA, musically. The song is urban, cluttered with her breathy phrasing, and maximized with the rugged processing that has come to plague HyunA’s voice on almost all instances in which it is heard.

Which begs the question: why over-process her vocals when she’s just ‘rapping’? The general consensus is that rappers utilize vocoder on their own singing, because it’s usually not up to par, if you will, and that’s understandable. In HyunA’s case, there doesn’t go a minute in which she isn’t drowned in vocal treatment; mostly of the I’m-talking-to-you-through-a-telephone variety. (Yeoboseyo)

The third track on this mini-album, “Downtown” (feat. Jiyoon), is a lovely example of how severe HyunA’s producers are willing to grind to manipulate her voice.

“Downtown” is another up-tempo track, but it’s less gimmicky than the lead single. It’s the closest to a 4minute song that anything here will get, and that’s largely thanks to Jiyoon’s contribution, which brings the much needed breathing room to this potentially good pop song. Potentially? The pre-chorus and chorus are catchy, fun, and pretty, but the glaring flaws lay, sadly, everywhere else. If HyunA wasn’t buried 6 feet under ground, this would be a great fit for this duo. But that’s not what happened, and not the only imperfection.

HyunA groans and moans her way through the intro and transitions of this song, tossing it into unbalance in the process. When it’s her time to say actual words, she does so in ten syllable lines, with the last of those syllables being a mere exhale. And while there’s a level of complacency in this song during HyunA’s parts, it’s difficult to come to grips with her self-righteous disposition when she hasn’t provided much of anything to be self-righteous about.

Unless you scale back your standards for ‘rappers’, HyunA’s performance as one leaves a lot to be desired. And it’s not like she isn’t asking to be challenged for it, because these are perfect grounds to question the authenticity – or at least the believability – of her trade of choice, because that is her thing and it constitutes most of this mini-album. And when she’s out-shined by the featured rappers on her own album, can we do anything else but pick at her misgivings and wonder if she’ll deliver something amazing?

Amazing may be over shooting it, but if anything is better than just okay, it’s “A Bitter Day” (feat. G.NA and Junhyung of B2ST).

When word went around that HyunA would be releasing a ballad, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one expecting her to actually sing a slow tempo song (am I right?). I set my self up for disappointment is what I did, because the second the song dropped, all of my dreams shattered into smithereens. Well, not exactly, but the song didn’t feature HyunA singing. Actually, not much of HyunA at all; mostly G.NA sounding fantastic in all her glory.

And when HyunA did appear, it was more vapid than the song asked for. The song itself lacks a common thread with the other four, and should have probably be left at the end as a bonus song.

The one track HyunA sounds most comfortable in and at her best is in “Just Follow“, where she switches into street mode along side DOK2, and puts all that pseudo-rapper fuel she has inside her to the test. And in a obscure-pop kind of way, kind of made it work.  The song itself is not abrasive like what she’s normally heard in, which is a relief on the ears, and new for HyunA.

Although her rapping is just for show on most songs, she did herself a favor and just followed DOK2’s lead and kept it simple and straightforward, contrasting the tone of the song, and remaining believable while doing so.

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HyunA isn’t loved by everyone, but to her credit, at least she continues to be herself, whether we like it or not. She relishes the idea of acting in overly sexual ways, and while she was full of drive a year ago, now she’s teasing listeners and on-lookers with a sexy song masked by novelty gloss.

The album as a whole makes little sense as an entity, but it breaks up into the pieces that have come to define HyunA: it’s partly saucy, partly gimmicky and dubious, and above all, blatantly artificial.

Yet, that’s exactly what works for her and from the get-go, she’s owned it. She may lose street cred for sounding like a complete robot in her ‘raps’, and for groaning through most of her songs, but she at least wins some brownie points for not giving a crap about it and carrying on.

source: allkpop

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There’s no doubt that 4minute’s HyunA has made a name for herself, but is there a role model behind her success?

After making a bubbly comeback with her latest song ‘Bubble Pop!‘, an official revealed that the the 19 year old never had a role model to help her succeed.

Before HyunA became successful with her fellow members in 4minute, she was well under the radar for being a temporary member of the Wonder Girls. In fact, before her debut with 4minute under Cube Entertainment, 4minute was unofficially known as “HyunA’s group.” Because of her past and her willingness to grow on her own, HyunA reportedly didn’t have a role model.

A representative from HyunA’s side stated in an interview with enews, “HyunA really likes Lee Hyori and Seo In Young… She respects them and talks about them a lot as singers she admires.” Despite her adoration for these singers, she sticks to the fact that she doesn’t have a role model because of her plans to become a new kind of female singer and in doing so, focuses on growing and developing as an artist.

The representative later added, “HyunA is the type of girl whose potential is limitless. Please watch over her growth.”

However, the lack of a role model appears to have no adverse effect on this growing star as she was widely successful with her single “Change” and again with her newest track “Bubble Pop!”. Additionally, it has been noted that HyunA has become a more solid female singer over time.

by: ping

source: allkpop

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