HASH TAG – THE GIRL NEXT DOOR
2. o o (Hue)
5. When It Rains
6. o o (Hue) (instrumental)
The girl group Hash Tag has officially debuted! The band is produced by Kan Mi Yeon of Dream Stone Entertainment. Mi Yeon was originally part of Baby V.O.X., a 1st gen idol group that rode the Hallyu Wave from 1997–2006. Hash Tag consists of 7 girls: Aeji, Dajung, Hyunji, Seungmin, Sojin, SooA, and Soobin. The 6 track debut is titled 'The Girl Next Door.'
The EP kicks off with the intro track and it's an ethereal piece and features the girls' beautiful vocals. Coming in at 39 seconds, it's also super-short. We move quickly on to "o o (Hue)," which is their title track. It alternates between cute and playful. There are some fierce moments here, and I love the chorus, which features a few different voices than you usually hear from a cute concept band.
"It" is a stab at some soft pop, and I seriously got A Pink deja vu listening to this one. There are some differences, of course, but that's where my mind went. It's a sweet and adorable bop. The last two are slow-burners. "Herz" stands for "Hertz," measuring how often a sound wave or alternating current changes. It's sort of a power ballad, and the girls' voices sound so darling. They're pitched high, but it works really well here. The last one is "When It Rains," a pretty, mostly stripped down ballad. And it's where their vocal capabilities are most obvious, and there's some serious talent here.
I can say that they have cuteness down to a science. They also have something which many cute bands lack, which is a filled-out sound. The songs don't sound like they were slapped together, nor do they lack identity, per se. I rather enjoyed listening to this debut, and look forward to hearing more from Hash Tag.
The MV was one place where Hash Tag does not shine.
The sets looked extremely cheap, sadly, and amounted to girls in a box. They tried hard to make it playful, and the colors were bright and cheery. They tried hard to dress up some of the sets with furniture, but it still didn't quite work. You could tell they were on the same sound-stage, with the same sets, and the effect was somewhat deflating. I understand that they might have had a limited budget, but still...
The dancing was okay, though absolutely deluged in aegyo. Just in case you didn't get enough of it from the other cute bands that are hot on the scene right now. And it was a bit heartbreaking because it seemed like they knew how to move -- at least somewhat. I would have preferred some sharper choreo.
Ultimately, they get points for trying hard, but I wish they'd either spent a little more or figured out something original to do with a limited budget. And it's a shame because the album isn't half bad.
MV SCORE: 6.7
ALBUM SCORE: 9