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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Track-by-Track: HyunA - A Talk

I've always considered HyunA to be the troublemaker of the K-Pop world. Maybe that's just me being literal, since one of her many projects is as part of a duo actually called Trouble Maker, but beyond that there's just a swagger and anything-goes-craziness in her music that I really appreciate. A note about any K-Pop review I do: I am not a Korean speaker. I search out translations of the lyrics when it interests me, but lyrics are definitely not something I'm focusing too heavily on in these reviews.

1. A Talk - The intro to HyunA’s new album is more of a mini song than most intros, though it’s still not really long enough to warrant a score. As intros go, it’s fine but not all that memorable.

2. French Kiss - I’ve heard many say that this should have been the album’s single. I don’t agree, as it’s not as good as Red, but I do think that it sounds like it could be a second single. It’s all about that chorus, which is ridiculously catchy and fun. I’d say it’s also probably the poppiest track on the album. 8/10

3. Red - I have come to absolutely adore this song. From the attitude-filled rap, to the melodic, melancholic bridge, to the explosive, fun-as-hell chorus (transitioned from what sounds like a bonkers Tigerlily impression that’s definitely not politically correct), this is a party. The accompanying video does a great job positioning her as Korea's answer to Miley Cyrus, at least when it comes to strange party/afterparty visuals and "screw you" attitude.  10/10

4. From Where Until Where (ft. Beast’s Yo Seop) - Slowing things down to a mid-tempo, smooth r&b flavor, this is a pleasant summertime jam with some catchy synth drops in the background. Not a favorite, but not something I’d skip either. 7/10

5. Blacklist (ft. LE) - This is my second favorite track on the album. It’s a hard-hitting hip-hop track with tons of attitude and a great beat. The refrain that kicks off the song is incredibly catchy. 9/10

Album Grade: 8.5/10 Recommended

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