GUGUDAN – 'ACT.5 New Action'
1. Not That Type *Title
2. Be Myself
5. Do it
6. Pastel Sweater
Gugudan has just dropped their third mini-album , 'Act. 5 New Action.' It's got six brand new tracks, including the title track "Not That Type." Judging by the teaser pics for this one, this is bound to be an exciting comeback. Without further ado, let's find out how this sounds.
Obviously, "Not That Type" was first on my radar. And what a song! It's got some industrial sounds, and there's a lot of suspense built into the main verses, culminating in one hot chorus. They sing their hearts out, and near the end, Haebin just belts out some bluesy breakdowns letting us know there's some real talent here. "Be Myself" is an R&B number. It's not quite a club banger, but it's super-catchy and features some of those strong vocals that I fell in love with in the title track. There's some sweet bridges here and some cute rapping.
"Dear" is a pretty ballad. It's got some things in common with soft pop, but it's not quite in hybrid territory. Nayoung and Haebin kill it here, with some Whitney Houston-style flourishes and vibrato that any songstress would envy. Those two elevate this tune above a simple, cute ballad. Taking us right into some bluesy territory is "Shotgun." There's just something about those guitars in the main verses -- and the rap breakdown! And I like the time changes there in the chorus. It works better than it has any right to.
"Do It" brings those bold vocal stylings front and center. And there's tons of attitude in this song, which makes me love it even more. It's got a bluesy swing to it, and the raps are even more aggressive. And the horns and guitar do a lot for me on this one. Intense and catchy, just the way I like it. "Pastel Sweater" almost sounds like "Wonderland" part 2. It gave me serious debut vibes hearing it. It's not the same, but it's done in the same style and it sticks out a bit since none of the other tunes on 'Act.5' sound anything like it. It's also a breath of fresh air, in some ways. I like "Wonderland," and "Pastel Sweater" too.
I've always been a fan of Gugudan since I first heard them, and thought they were criminally underrated. They produce some excellent pop numbers and still don't get the attention like other idol bands. I would have led with "Do It," too, which I think is a stronger song overall than "Not That Type." Still doesn't affect how I feel about this EP, which is that every song's a bop.
If I said the band was criminally underrated, I didn't reckon with the video, which is criminally underdone.
It's very much the girl in the box style video, and there's not that much going on. What's funny is it seems to have been shot in some rather flat lighting. The sets aren't all that, either. And the sad thing there are hints of moodier lighting and better set design which tells you it didn't have to be that way.
Most of the action takes place in front of a store, which may well be a facade no matter how good it looks, because the sky is, well, not natural. It's an unnatural orange color that has more in common with wildfire smoke than an actual sunset. There are scenes of them in a parking lot (with and without SUV), and what looks like a parking garage. But there are scenes with darker lighting and silhouettes which could have made this so much more interesting.
The dancing is not bad, but nothing too amazing, which just serves to highlight how meh the whole thing is. The dance moves are a bit simplistic and lackluster, leading me to believe that maybe they wanted a better MV also.
So, I think I was expecting something different, something fitting how cool the concept photos were, an MV that did this awesome song justice. It's not bad, but it's definitely not great.
MV SCORE: 7.3
ALBUM SCORE: 8.3