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121023 HyunA ‘Melting’

Written By Unknown on Wednesday, October 24, 2012 | 5:25 AM

“That song is “Bubble Pop” / HyunA is very hot!”

The first time I heard that line, taken from HyunA’s partially self-written and composed song, “Very Hot“, I almost jumped out of my chair with joy. HyunA shrugs off her haters, saying they’re all still listening to and dancing to “Bubble Pop”, despite what they might say about her.

Now that HyunA’s announced that she likes her songs and image, as hard as it might be for some people to comprehend, we can officially put away the notion that a female idol can’t be cute and bubbly sometimes and strong, confident and sexy other times- and in HyunA’s case, she might even be both at once! HyunA can be your tattoo-covered, Mickey Mouse hat-wearing, sexy mechanic, and she’ll wear designer clothes while she does it. If that doesn’t make sense to you, maybe you’re just not as sophisticated as HyunA.

But we’re not here to talk about people who can’t handle HyunA’s freedom to look and dance however she wants- we’re here to talk about her new album, ‘Melting‘.

Heyyyyyyyy sexy lady! If there’s one thing I haven’t cared for in HyunA’s previous videos, it’s that she didn’t look like she was enjoying herself- I’m happy to say that this time around she looks like she’s genuinely having a lot of fun. Sure, the video doesn’t make any sense, but neither do most K-Pop videos, so I’m totally okay with that.

“Don’t Fall Apart” and “Ice Cream” draw inspiration from drumline-style songs like Gwen Stefani‘s “Hollaback Girl” and After School‘s “Bang“. HyunA’s gotten a lot of flack for her unusual style of talk-rapping over the years, but I love it, and this kind of song is the perfect backdrop her her rapping.

“Unripe Apple“, on the other hand, is super cute dance pop track. HyunA has a light, sweet quality to her singing voice, and when layered over the acoustic guitar strums, bright synths, and driving dance beat, it makes for a really refreshing listen. There are a couple of cool, surprising little twists in the melody that make the song special and interesting on top of being fun. I’m not a huge fan of her little coos and giggles over Ilhoon‘s rap, but otherwise this is my new private-dance-party jam. Don’t even pretend this song doesn’t make you dance, too.

Of all the songs on this album, I was most apprehensive about “To My Boyfriend“, which was described in early press releases as an “emotional ballad”. In HyunA’s previous work, it kind of felt like her producers were doing their best to keep us from hearing her sing. It was a relief- and a surprise- to find out that HyunA actually has a better-than-average singing voice! It’s a shame that the song is a little boring though.

We end with “Very Hot”, the partially self-composed song I quoted at the beginning of this post. Prior to the album’s release, this song was slapped with a ban, but I don’t think that’s going to damage the album- if anything, it’s just free press. I’m all for any promotion this song gets- it’s my favorite on the album. ”Very Hot” taking HyunA’s talk-rapping to a whole new level of chill, and she sounds so confident that just listening to it made me feel like a rockstar, even in my pajamas and granny sweater.

And that’s the point, isn’t it? HyunA’s songs may not make me think, but they do make me want to get up and dance. When it comes down to it, pop music is entertainment- even more so in K-Pop, where idols’ careers often hinge on their abilities to shine on variety shows or SNS, and to be engaging enough to keep you watching when you turn on a music show. In other words, it’s not the amount of “talent” (which is relative, anyway) a person has, but how well they can work with what they have to create something entertaining. ’Melting’ entertains me, and that’s exactly what I want it to do.

Critics can say what they want about HyunA, but I’m not even paying attention to them. She’s a dynamo who improves and grows with each new project, her rapping is distinct and easily recognizable, and she’s more entertaining by herself than some entire groups could ever hope to be. I’m happy to say that I think HyunA’s here to stay- sorry, haters.
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