HYORIN - IT'S ME
2. Love Like This (Feat. Dok2)
3. One Step (Feat. Jay Park)
4. Go Away
5. Slow (Feat. Jooheon of MONSTA X)
Hyorin of SISTAR fame has just dropped a new mini-album. Titled 'It's Me,' she once again partners with Dok2 as well as with label mate Jooheon of MONSTA X. This EP has four new tracks and a couple pre-release songs, including "Love Like This" plus her chart-topping collaboration with Jay Park, "One Step."
"Paradise" is the title track, as well as the start to the album, but I'm not a fan. With its big horns and vaguely Latin beat, she does her best here. I am a fan of her vocals here, but everything seems breathless, and there's less to savor. I'm not feeling the hooks on this track much, either. There are some parts that are fun, and it grew on me, but I think some fine-tuning could have helped this club-banger be truly paradise.
By contrast, "Love Like This" was a lot more put together, even featuring some of the same instruments. But they toned down some of it and ratcheted down the tempo. Frankly, Hyorin has a gorgeous voice, and when she's allowed to shine is when she sounds the best. And here she has her voice under a little more control and has some room to breathe. She sounds confident, more than a match for Dok2's brash raps.
It's on "Go Away" where Hyorin truly shines. It's got a nice strong beat, and the music gets out of the way of her vocals. The draw on this EP should be her voice, and this track has more of her. The result is a quiet fierceness buoyed by her expansive vocals. I could have sworn from the title this was going to be a faster banger, but once I heard it, I found it to be just the right tempo.
"Dope" starts out as my guilty pleasure. Noisy synths and the sweet, deep beats are more my style. Hyorin has a wonderful, fierce style here and belts out those lyrics in the way only she can. There are some fantastic vocal snaps here too. The only thing I could ask for is a more filled-out chorus. The chorus seems rushed and a bit lazy. Rather than being hooky, it starts to get slightly annoying, and only the short running time saves it at the end.
To be honest, I found the collaborations to be rather bland, and in some cases outright annoying. Jay Park's contributions weren't bad (and I like Dok2's), but Jooheon's just didn't flow as well as I'd like (funny, I like him in MONSTA X). IMHO, Hyorin should be allowed to shine by herself. She's an accomplished vocalist and doesn't need another singer. The occasional collaboration can be magic, sure, but half the album? I'm probably making it sound worse than it is. But don't take my word for it. Give it a spin and see what you think.
MV REVIEW -- "PARADISE"
The best way to describe this video is that it's full of sound and fury, signifying nothing (to paraphrase Shakespeare). But, while true, it does the video a disservice. It's better than that.
At its heart, there may be no story, but that doesn't mean there's nothing to look at. There are frankly some pretty interesting visuals in here, from the flat-screens displaying dancing flames to neon tanning beds to the pan-outs showing Hyorin in H-shaped boxes. Of course, the shots were all designed to put her on display, but I could think of worse ways to do it.
The dancing is meant to heighten the tension. There's no genius choreography here, although they're competent. The dance moves don't seem challenging at all unless you're severely out of shape. Still, it's fun and keeps things moving.
So, is it a bad video? Not really. It's watchable, even if it doesn't have anything really tying the scenes together. While sometimes that can end up as a mess, I like what they did here. I guess it comes down to two questions: do you want something with deep symbolism and striking imagery or do you want something fun? Sometimes, I just want to relax my mind and watch. And this MV more than fits the bill.
MV REVIEW -- "LOVE LIKE THIS"
I can see two issues with this one right off the bat:
It's black and white. Why? Is it a memory? Is there some special reason they decided not to put this in color? If there is, I can't figure out what it is. I mean, if there were some deep shadows or whatnot that would be okay, color could serve to dampen the effect. But here, it just seems extraneous.
Dok2 does not appear in the video. I'm not sure what's up with that, but to me it just looks awkward. Why isn't he there? Budget? Was he under a contract elsewhere? She's there, singing, and all of sudden is just dancing around while a voice off-screen is rapping.
They're sort of minor quibbles, but they got to me the more I watched. Everything else other than those two things are right. The camera angles, the edits, the dancing. I can't really figure out why Dok2 and color are absent -- maybe they tried to make it seem more interesting than it really was?
I dunno, but it was fun to watch in spite of its issues, but I'm dying to know about the choices that went into making this MV.
MV REVIEW -- "ONE STEP"
While "Love Like This" was black and white, this one is in living color. Not only that, it is painted with broad swaths of bright hues and a feast for the eyes.
It still doesn't feature the other artist, but this is forgivable given the extreme comfort in the imagery. It looks a little more organic, like he's behind the camera taking home videos while she cavorts, and Jay Park's loss isn't nearly as noticeable.
I like home movie based MVs, just because the best of them seem authentic and are more likely to bring a smile to my face. I'm sure this isn't a real window into their lives, but like a drama you can lose yourself in them for a little while.
You're asking if I like this one? Yeah, I can say that I do.
MV scores are averaged.