After their monster hit "What's Your Name?", 4minute asks away with their latest questionnaire single "Is It Poppin'?". In what appears to be a move to ride off the success of "What's Your Name?", this track, released all by its lone self, is a solid continuation of their last track in terms of sound and concept.
When 4minute first released their teaser for "Is It Poppin?", we were all pretty thrown off because of the ambiguous track title. Literally the track's title translates to either "(Do you) Like Water?" or "Is the Water Good?". In context of the song's lyrics, it's the latter. So how does this relate to the "Is It Poppin?"? Well, the phrase itself "Is The Water Good?" is a slang expression used by Koreans to ask if a particular place, in this case a club, is a place where cool and attractive people hang out. The idea behind that is where there is "good" water, you'll find "good" fish. So the analogy here is good water : good fish :: cool club : hot people.
A ha! That teaser with Sohyun fishing at a lake wasn't so random after all!
Well, that's where "Is It Poppin'?" comes from. The idea behind is quite cool because they're able to take that phrase literally in Korean and splash all sorts of aquatic imagery along with their concept.
For a track called "Is It Poppin?", you, like me, probably expected a club banger. If that was the case, then you were trolled, too. Here we have a stripped back, mid-tempo and almost melancholic pop song. The girls are actually confronting their love interest and urging him to choose them over a poppin' club.
Brave Brothers (Kang Dong Chul) does not make the most cutting edge music. He's a bit basic in terms of composition, but he is an excellent pop songwriter. Whereas many of his competitors have their music rely on done-to-death "oohs" and disjointed lyrics, Brave Brothers is capable of writing very conversational lyrics. He writes in such a way where it almost seems like dialogue cut out of a script from an everyday young Korean. It's no wonder that they've become so successful with their music. Their music is so relatable to Koreans. "Is It Poppin?" takes it a step further and makes use of popular slang.
In terms of performance, 4minute are on top of their game. Once upon a time, it would have been somewhat acceptable to label 4minute as 4+HyunA a.k.a. ForHyunA, but not anymore. (Blame the game, not the players.. Cube, we looking at you.) As of "What's Your Name?", I've learned all of the members' faces and names who aren't HyunA, and they're all just as beautiful and talented, too.
Just kidding, guys, I practically suffocate myself with K-Pop.
A part of me still misses the distortion heavy pop styling of "I My Me Mine" and shoe-pointing screamo-pikachu pop like "Hot Issue". But this 4minute is way better, and it looks like "Is It Poppin'?" is poppin' its way on becoming 4minute's one-way ticket to top tier-dom.