HELLO VENUS -- MYSTERY OF VENUS
Hello Venus returns in 2017 with new mini-album, 'Mystery of Venus.' With a new detective-style concept, these six lovelies bring you four brand new tracks to start your new year in style. This is their 6th mini-album.
The EP kicks off with "Mysterious," which starts with a hyperactive whistle and piano stabs. It turns quickly into a club banger, with a bold, in-your-face chorus. There is a bit of a retro vibe to the main verses, conjuring images of Bogart or Dick Tracy, but the girls handle the vocals so well that you won't care whether it has one or not. There's a sneaky, furtive nature to some of it, and I think that's one of its strengths.
I like "Runway" even more than "Mysterious," and it probably is my favorite on this album. Yes, it's less experimental and evocative than the title track, but it has more in common with what I've come to expect from pop music. It hangs together extremely well, with a nice, even chorus, some smooth synth work, and some really awesome vox from the members.
"Glow" is a ballad, but the kind I really like. I'm not a huge fan of ballads, for reasons you're probably tired of hearing. But this one seems to raise the bar. One of the things that I love is that the instrumentation isn't sampled too high. It's the girls' voices that guide this song along, giving a convincing soul-baring performance, minus the billowy, loud melodies that seem to plague these types of songs too often.
"Paradise" has some vaguely retro horns, and at times almost sounds like Motown. It's not a bad song, but it is easily the weakest on the album. There are some sounds that flow nicely, but there's a jerky quality to the staccato at the end that is a bit jarring. It takes more listens to really get used to.
Overall, I like the concept and the music. They did a pretty good piece here without going overboard, and manage to dip into this and that genre while staying away from slavish emulation. I've always felt that the girls of Hello Venus have more talent than Fantagio gives them credit for, and here it seems to shine through. Nice job, ladies.
The girls are trenchcoat-clad spies in the "Mysterious" MV!
The members are looking high and low for something, keeping tabs on hottie Seo Kang Joon (of 5urprise). ASTRO's Cha Eun Woo is the steward that gets thrown for a loop by their antics. This was another one that cracked me up. They weren't really trying for laughs, but it was a lighthearted, adorable MV.
It looks like they spent a little money on this. The interior of the train is fairly convincing, though hued a bright pink. The costumes are cute too, with more of a wardrobe than some previous comebacks, with costume changes and a tight-fitting pants suit for the some of the dancing! At first, I was guffawing at the model train, hoping they weren't trying to pass that off as real, but it has a purpose -- you'll just have to watch to the end to find out.
The dancing was actually fairly sophisticated. Most girl groups seem to have thrown choreo out the window, but Hello Venus actually uses arms, legs, and hips to good effect. The dancing sequences are actually the spectacles they are supposed to be, rather than pathetic "look at me" shots.
The sets are bathed in light, but that's hardly distracting, just an interesting side note. This is an awesome MV to come back with -- cute and playful, and just the right amount of sex appeal. This is a change in direction for these girls, and I wholeheartedly approve.