Let’s talk concept for a minute, shall we? I hate to compare but this, I think, is where 4Minute trumps 2ne1 (again, please don’t throw rocks at me). I used to be one of those annoying 2ne1 stans that hated on 4Minute for their tacky fashion and overexposure of Hyuna blahblahblah…they’ve grown on me since then and I actually find them…endearing.
I very much like this whole mechanic chic thing they’ve got going on for Hit Your Heart. It’s mature with an urban feel without being too in-your-face-BLAHHHH about it. 2ne1 I feel, tries so hard to be innovative in both fashion and sound that they come off looking and sounding rather obnoxious. Whether or not 4Minute will be able to deliver song-wise however is another thing entirely.
1. Who’s Next? (ft Beast) – What is it with Cube and them making their intro songs stronger than the promotional song? Strong rapping from Hyuna here, I’m glad she’s decided to ditch the baby voice she started out with in Hot Issue (and to a certain extent Muzik).
2. Huh – Like I said, this isn’t as strong as Who’s Next, though it has grown on me since my first listen. My critique for this song would be that it sounds like they tried making a part 2 for Hyuna’s Change (similar in beat, and the little electronic beeping), and I’m not entirely sure how I feel about Sohyun rapping, though I must admit that her voice has a unique sound when it’s on a lower register.
3. Invitation – I can’t quite put my finger on what it is that makes me like this song. I think it’s because this particular song sounds a little more urban than I’m used to in K-pop and it’s a refreshing change. I can’t quite tell if it’s Hyuna or Jiyoon rapping in this one (maybe both?) but if it is Hyuna then I’m glad she’s rapping at an octave that actually registers on human ears.
4. I My Me Mine – The ‘I My Me Mine’ part reminds me of a cheap Filipino techno song that I hear on the radio sometimes but other than that and a certain messiness in the layering of electronic sounds, it sounds okay.
5. Bababa – Sounds like What a Girl Wants part 2, though I like this one better because of the lack of annoying autotune, except for that one part in the bridge. The background sounds a little too messy for me to like it fully. I feel like you could take away some of the layering and it wouldn’t lessen the song’s merit.
6. Highlight – I find this particular song to be rather uninspired. It’s your typical techno song, nothing more, nothing less.
7. Cool and Natural – I feel like all idol groups are required to have at least one ballad-y song to show other people that they can do stuff outside the electronic, poppy trend. This song does show off a softer side of 4Minute but I feel that it’s completely unimpressionable and forgettable.
I like it, though it took me several listens to get from ‘blah’ to ‘okay,’ which in retrospect is not something you want people to say about your album. An album has to grab your attention from the get-go and hold it until the final track; while I did love Who’s Next? I feel like in terms of wow-factor, it all went downhill from there.
And perhaps that’s the biggest downfall of the album – the songs are just okay. Nothing terrible, but other than the intro (which actually doesn’t count), nothing stands out to me as being particularly memorable either. I’m glad that 4Minute has more or less figured out what they want to be doing, music-wise (electronic, and sort of straddling the line between pop and an urban sound while leaning more towards pop…kind of like the sort of thing you hear on Dance Dance Revolution, if that makes sense) but their producers have been extremely one-note and I’m not getting anything new from them.
Another thing I’m glad about though is that they’re now 4Minute instead of Hyuna’s New Group. I see a more or less equal distribution of parts, more or less equal amount of screentime in the MV…a huge improvement, if you ask me.
2.5/5 for this one.