Hyomin should need no introduction for most of you. Debuting with the girl group T-ara, she released her first highly-anticipated solo album on June 30 after releasing various risque teasers sporting short, blond locks.
I'll admit it, when I first heard the name of the title track, "Nice Body," I made a snap judgment. I figured "sexy concept," and now they're not just going with a sexy video, she released a sexy song to go hand-in-hand with it. Well, they say never judge a book by its cover, right? Just like that, the song wasn't what I thought it was going to be.
It was worse than that.
The song is essentially about starving yourself to look good. So not only do women compare themselves to these impossibly thin stars, now you have someone basically endorsing an eating disorder? Who had that lousy idea? Oh, that's right: Brave Brothers. The sad thing is that I don't even find it particularly catchy. It's okay, it's safe beat-wise. I find the breathy vocals especially nice. But it's nothing special and certainly not what I would have used as the title track. LOCO seems out of place here, as well, not really contributing to the song but serving as more of a distraction than an enhancement. A Brave Brothers song that 4minute did earlier, "Only Gained Weight," tackles eating with a tongue-in-cheek attitude and does it much better. Skip this one.
The next track is "Fake It" and it's quite a lovely ballad; breathy, whispery vocals, and another collaboration with LOCO. This one works a lot better in my opinion with catchy hooks and it shows off her pipes as she builds to a dynamic chorus. LOCO has more to do here and together they pull off a rather skillful R&B duet. The lyrics talk of pretending everything's okay after a breakup. If you like Mariah Carey, this song will seem familiar to you. And that's not a bad thing at least to my ears.
The final actual track on the mini-album (barring the instrumentals) is "Overcome," starting innocuously with a pretty piano riff and transitioning to a pounding beat and rapid-fire raps. "Overcome" is about loneliness and trying to make it through another day. I don't think I've heard her rap through an entire song before, and it works extremely well. Echoes of T-ara abound here as the raps mix with a beautiful melody. This is what T-ara does best, and this track is no exception. The great thing is that she does this one alone. I'm not a big fan of collaborations because it almost says to me that a girl can't do it on her own; however, this song shows that yes, she can.
So, would I recommend this? Well, obviously I'm no fan of the first track, as you might have guessed, but the rest of the album (such as it is) is solid. The last two are the standout tracks, "Overcome" in particular, and you might be better off just downloading these two tracks on iTunes. My apologies if you enjoy the song "Nice Body," but that one just left me cold. But I have to give credit where credit is due. Hyomin did a good job with the material she had (Overcome) and she really comes through and shines on the third song. A good overall start for Hyomin as a solo artist, I'm interested to see how she evolves from here.