HYUNA – FOLLOWING
1. PARTY (FOLLOW ME) (Feat. Wooseok Of Pentagon)
3. PURPLE (With E'Dawn Of Pentagon)
HyunA burst onto the scene with the Wonder Girls back in 2007 and hasn't stopped wowing her fans since that time, becoming a member of 4minute, as well as being a part of the unforgettable Troublemaker. Post-debut she also maintained an impressive solo career, and now she's back with her new EP 'Following.'
"PARTY (FOLLOW ME)" can best be described as "hip house," a fusion of EDM and hip hop elements. Here, she manages it well and is joined by Pentagon member Wooseok. The hooks come fast and furious as she raps in her unique style. Wooseok also kills it here. It's not an intro track, but it does whet your appetite for what's to come.
"BABE" starts with a xylophone, and it didn't gel with me the first time I heard it. I think it's because of the easy rhythms and massive repetition, though I believe the raps and bridges help save this beast. It's undeniably catchy, and it's not for nothing that this was chosen as the title track. I just wish there were more to it.
"PURPLE" actually annoyed me as well, and that's not good on an EP this short. It's the mocking tone that got to me, and I've never been a fan of E'Dawn. Nothing personal, it's just that his raps don't impress me. This just had the same juvenile tone that made some other songs by other groups less than stellar.
"DART" is far and away the best track on here, possibly because she doesn't try anything experimental or avante-garde with it. It is a simple and easy listening pop song, nothing more or less, with some awesome military beats in parts, and adequate rapping. She also has no guest stars on this song, proving that she really doesn't need any help to pull off a tune.
"MIRROR" is the last tune, and one of the best, IMHO. She adopts a more laid-back feel here, almost a ballad but not. There are some nice filter effects for her vocals, making her sound physically distant as if we were hearing her through a phone receiver. I also like the introspective feel to this song. It's an effective finisher, a nice come down from the frantic energy of the previous tunes.
So, 4 out 5 tracks aren't bad, although I'm sure I'll hear from someone that "PURPLE" is totally their jam. Overall, I like the album. The way that she's embraced some of the emerging trends helps a lot, not to mention her inimitable style. I'm sure those who are hearing HyunA for the first time will start 'following' her.
The music video is one CGI gimmick after another but is definitely worth watching.
This is one of those MVs you watch just to find out what's going to happen next. From dancing in outer space and emerging from a picture to burning the whole frame away to reveal a different dress and hairstyle, to dancing on a box while Earth spins right past. Fantastic!
And we're treated to more of her dance moves as well. I felt those were a thing of the past as they traded more and more on her looks and whatever outfits they could squeeze her into. Not here. While some of the choreo could be better, she still dances like a K-pop queen.
Shot after shot keeps you watching, while your eyes feast on a dizzying smorgasbord of special effects. These are the kinds of MVs I love to see. Nothing has to be perfect, just interesting. Perfect or not, this MV is the bomb.
MV SCORE: 9
ALBUM SCORE: 7