[Album Review] 4minute - '4minute World'
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1. Wait A Minute
2. Whatcha Doin' Today
3. Let You Know
4. Come In
5. Thank You
4minute is a 5-member girl group that debuted in 2009 with the single "Hot Issue." Since that time, they've released chart-topping hits such as "Volume Up" and "What's Your Name?"
4minute - Whatcha Doin' Today MVIt's been a year, but the wait is finally over. Last year's mini-album 'Name is 4minute' was disappointing to me, so I was hoping for something more this time around. Without further adieu, let's start the review, beginning with the first track:
Wait A Minute
This track has a bit of an older R&B feel to it. I like the synth riff here -- it sounds like a fuzzy bell. It's a very catchy tune even though it feels a lot like an intro song (coming in at 3:10, it runs too long for that).
The lyrics seem to have a double-entendre meaning, but if true, it doesn't really work. Stirring, cooking, and dicing sound rather less than inviting, so unless there's Korean slang that I'm missing, it may just be what it sounds like: a song about awesome food.
Whatcha Doin' Today
I hear a few other songs here: I was immediately reminded of "Pretty Boy" by 2NE1 in the "uh-ah-ahs," and much of T-ara's early work in the beginning. While not a bad thing entirely, I've always felt 4minute had managed to distinguish themselves from other groups. The chorus seems manufactured and fails to capture the distinct voices of any of the five of them. It practically could have been sung by someone else.
Other than the chorus, I like the different parts from the girls. I've always felt Jiyoon was under-utilized in the hip-hop areas and it's nice to see her shine there.
The song's message was one of just smile, go party. And why not?
Let You Know
This has echoes of "What a Girl Wants" with the numbered rules and "Hide & Seek" with the child-like chant. I like the staccato nature of the melody. The instrumentation sounds like it could have come from the 50s or 60s, but there's a skip right back to the beginning, almost as if it were a damaged record playing the same short portion again and again. It's an interesting melody and works well within the context of the song, which at one moment has our heroines confused because they like you, but the next minute they want you to treat them right. Jihyun, under appreciated as ever, gives a strong performance here. I was grateful for a larger part for Jiyoon, as well, in rapping and singing, both of which she's great at.
A rather obvious, raunchy song. If you understand the lyrics, it's clear why SBS decided to ban it -- blatant references to intercourse and bodily fluids. I like how it sounds though; it has a sweet air to it, a slow and easy melody with rap verses to maintain interest. It sounds like most of 4minute's ballads: there's a manic twist to them that pulls you in.
The final track. It uses an acoustic guitar as accompaniment. It's a pretty, mature song in which our hero thanks her man for believing in her and caring for her.
So, the question that's running through your minds: is it a great album? No, not really. Is it a good album? Yes. The tracklisting seems like it tells a story from beginning to end: "Wait a minute. What'cha doin' today? Let me tell you something. Come in. Thank you for being with me. I love you." I don't know if this sequence was intentional; if not, it's eerily appropriate.
What keeps it from being a great album is the fact that there's no real stand-out song. Like Spring, it comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb and it's entirely too short. However, despite its flaws, '4minute World' is a worthy addition to the 4minute catalog.
Now it's your turn, do you like the album?
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