4Minute are “Crazy”

So I said I’d be posting during 4Minute’s comeback, and I lied. While the constant teasers were relatively exciting, I decided to wait until everything was out so I could listen to the full song before judging, as K-Pop teasers are the most deceiving things on the planet. As we’ve already heard Cold Rain, I won’t talk about it too much, but the full Crazy EP is now out, so I can write a relatively decent review based on the full tracks.

As much as I love 4Minute, I don’t LOVE the title, which is kind of shocking, since I had such high hopes for it. I’m not going to blindly praise it, but I also don’t hate it enough to bash it. Plus it’s nice for Jiyoon to finally be the standout player on a 4Minute record. But the bucket hats need to go.

The title is, as you may have guessed, “Crazy” and it lives up to its namesake. The same team behind HyunA’s flawless “Red” is behind “Crazy” and just by the opening note you can already feel the similarities of the two songs. Considering “Red” did relatively well, it’s not a surprise why 4Minute wanted to keep a similar sound to HyunA’s solo. However a direct retread was a bit disappointing.

The video, which is mostly shot in black and white aside from a few questionable colorings (Jiyoon’s hair and Sohyun’s socks), is a bit too eccentric for my taste. The dance in the chorus is really fluid and fits the song well. It will be great seeing the girls preform it on stage – though of course parts of the choreography (namely: Jihyun’s butt rubbing) are going to need to be altered for broadcast. The creative direction of the video was very harsh, and while it fits the song, the song is much more listenable without watching the video. It’s too much at once, honestly. At this point, I’m questioning just how ‘4Minute’ this song is. While it’s a nod to their previous powerful concepts of “Huh” and “I My Me Mine,” the song is much too Western. Granted, K-Pop itself can be very Western, but this is almost too generically Western, like something you’d expect from 2ne1 or GDragon.

Speaking of 2ne1, their fans, BlowJobs, have been up 4Minute’s butt this entire comeback for being too similar to 2ne1, so I’m interested to see the comments they’ll be making once they watch the video. Thanks for the view though, because it will obviously help Queen 4Minute win on music shows.

Gayoon’s vocals continue to surprise me in this track, as she really has improved so, so much. Jihyun actually had a decent amount of lines. Of course as a HyunA stan I do wish she had more lines (though she does have her raps in the beginning and her parts of the chorus) but overall I was pleased with how the lines were distributed here. Jiyoon stole the show on this track though, and really on the entire album.

“Cut It Out” has a rougher sound to it than “Crazy”, and is in my bottom half of the mini. It’s similar to “Crazy” but rather than focusing more on the trap sound, “Cut it Out” is much more hip-hop based until the chorus. “Crazy” is, in reality, a more cohesive track. While I think “Cut It Out” is nice at showing off HyunA’s rap, it’s likely not a track I’d listen to very often; similar to “Blacklist” on A Talk – a decent track, but not my style at all.

The next song is “Show Me” and I’m actually still not sure how to feel. Even though I don’t care for “Cut it Out,” I almost find “Show Me” to be the throwaway track of Crazy, but then the chorus comes on. It’s catchy, but at the same time boring. At least “Cut it Out” manages to keep your attention throughout the whole song with the constant beat changes. “Show Me” tried, but failed, to achieve the same.

Based on the teasers, my early favorite was “Tickle Tickle Tickle” as it has a funky, sexy sound that 4Minute are so great at pulling off. It’s really a more 4Minute-like song than the title, and I would have been much happier with it as the title track, and I question who made that creative decision. “Tickle” Cubed (pun totally intended) is less confusing, follows the ‘crazy’ trend that the mini seems to follow, and the bass line is everything I, and anyone else, would need in a song.

“Stand Out” features the girls’ manager, has a backbeat that sounds like an homage  to the classic “Dancing in the Street“, similar to how 9Muses’ “Drama” had a small sample of “Puttin on the Ritz” – I am definitely loving these 80s throwbacks. At the same time “Stand Out” sounds similar to 4Minute’s track from last year, “I’ll Teach You” which makes it fun, playful, and 4Minute.  It was another one of my favorites based on the teasers, and it actually was even better than I anticipated.

“Crazy” would be a perfect song to jam out to in the club (which makes perfect since why 4Minute debuted it at a club), and it’s definitely a grower. The chorus is catchy on the first listen, but the rest of the song takes about 5 listens to really appreciate without asking yourself what you’re listening to. While I wish it wasn’t essentially a retread of “Red” (it’s essentially what “Sugar Free” was to “Number 9” if you want me to describe it further), the girls have been teasing at a more powerful concept since their 2014 Gayo Daejeon stages, so I wasn’t really expecting them to come back with something like “Is it Poppin?” or “Watcha Doin Today.”

At this point if I had to rank them, at this point my track order would be:

  1. Tickle, Tickle, Tickle
  2. Stand Out
  3. Cold Rain
  4. Crazy
  5. Cut it Out
  6. Show Me

Yes, I actually love “Cold Rain”; it’s a very strong ballad, and it’s my third favorite on the EP. Sadly, “Cold Rain” has been doing less than good on the charts. All things considered, I’m interested to see what will happen with “Crazy” since it may be a huge hit or an even bigger flop, considering almost all of the top songs in Korea are ballads at the moment. It’s nice to see the first relevant girl K-Pop group (Sorry 9Muses, you’re forever doomed to nugudom) to come back this year have a very impactful song, but it’s not for everybody, and that’s ok.

I promise my next post will not be about 4Minute; maybe I’ll get around to my boy group feature I’ve been planning!

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