Jiyoon, Gayoon, Jihyun, Sohyun and Hyuna are back with some new music. 4Minute’s previous single, 2015’s Crazy, turned out to be a breath of fresh air in the Korean pop, which usually either takes ’sexy and feminine’ or ‘cute and playful’ route. The girls did an EDM-y party number and I certainly didn’t initially expect to like it so much.
The new single, Act. 7, seems to be a true follow-up to Crazy, with its bold and ‘tough girl’ concept and EDM influences. Once again 4Minute has taken everyone by surprise.
The main track, Hate (싫어), is a collab with Skrillex – not going to lie, I was very apprehensive about this partnership. In fact, I hate everything I heard from this guy, so my worries were well-grounded. EDM, or whatever music purists would like to call it just isn’t my thing, and the very few exceptions I tolerate just prove the rule.
In the end, I should have had more trust in 4Minute, because ultimately it’s the girls that shine. Hate is a very dynamic song with several rhythm changes, and I’ve been blasting ever since it came out on Youtube. Based on the track structure, I was sure some heavy shit’s gonna drop in the chorus and I was right. I definitely wasn’t the only one who went, ‘what the hell is this’ on the first listen. I must say that it quickly grew on me and I wouldn’t want it any other way now.
The second track, a sad ballad entitled NO LOVE. While the girls sing about hate as well, it’s more about loneliness and the broken hearts. BLIND is a wicked hip-hop effort. Hyuna and Jiyoon showcase their strong rap skills, while the chorus is grand, melodious and dramatic. The closing CANVAS has this groovy, entrancing beat that you wish would just keep going forever and you can hear it long after the song ends. There’s also the instrumental version of Hate included, although to me it seems kinda dull and lifeless without vocals.
Overall, Act. 7 has a pretty dark tone. There are no goofin’ around tracks like for example Whatcha Doin’ Today (오늘 뭐해). It’s full on hate, anger, pain and pessimism. However, I ought to say this sort of concept fits 4Minute – there’s this innate fierceness the band evokes, and I love it (they are just badass). 4Minute excels at expressing a wide range of emotions.
Hyuna who had her own comeback several months ago may arguably be the most popular one, but I like how each of the members contributes something different, and the gals work together; nobody’s getting overshadowed or overly focused.
The single comes in a big 26x26cm packaging. Instead of the usual booklet, the member photos are on separate thick paper cards – and I love it, as some of the album photobooks tend to get unstuck if the adhesive used wasn’t too good. My copy of Act. 7 came with the picture of Jiyoon and of course the huge poster, though I have no place to hang it on just yet.