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4minute Volume Up Mini Album Review
4minute is a South Korean Girl group created in 2009 by Cube Entertainment. The group is made up of four members Jiyoon whose vocals have astonished many a listern, Ji Hyun the leader and sub vocalist, So Hyun the maknae (youngest) sub vocalist and rapper, Ga Yoon a main vocalist with a unique and impressive sound, and Hyuna the mani rapper and visual who is often the source of criticism for the group. The first single they released was MUZIK in 2009 an made their Japanese debut with the same song in 2010.
4minute is often criticized for their lack of original sound, Ji Yoon and Ga Yoon carrying the group with their vocals, and Hyuna being the main focus of the group.
Volume up was released on April 9, 2012. The mini album itself really showcases the sound that 4minute has always had, mostly europop, eurotrance, and dance music. The album was stylized as a darker theme, the girls taking the concept of vampires.
The mini album consists of seven songs which don't flow together all to well, and many tracks on the album seem forgettable. I felt that their was a lack of criticism on this mini album, and it seemed quite blatant that no one wanted to give an honest opinion on this album
Volume Up- This is the title track for 4minutes latest min album. Listening to the song with out the music video was slightly more enjoyable then with the music video. The song itself has a deep base rift, with euro trance and euro pop elements. The song has a captivating saxophone sound much like the song "Mr.Saxobeat." Apart from the music the vocals, lyrics and rapping left much to be desired. While Jiyoon and Ga Yoon carry the song with their striking vocals, they showcase to many high notes as if to prove their ability to actually sing. Other than the vocals from the two main vocalist was Hyuna's rapping and her singing? Hyuna is given many parts in the song a lot of rapping and interjection singing. Her opening rap was very weak and her vocals quite squeaky and not intune with the song at all. As far as So Hyun and Ji Hyun their parts are minimal and neither take away nor add anything to the actual song. The lyrics to the song are meant to be a dig to anti-fans those who once cared for them but now criticise their every move. Instead of the cube trying to write a less then catchy tune about anti-fans, they should be giving the girls songs that actually showcase there talent more effectively.
Individual Score: B-
Get On the Floor- Is more on trend of a hip-hop dance track. It keeps the same feeling "Volume UP" had in terms that it has a darker vibe to it. It is a hook song with "Get on the Floor" heavily repeated throughout the song. It is the shortest track on the album being two minutes in length, but it does give a decent impression, and is one of the more relevant songs on the album.
Individual Score: A-
I'm Ok- This song is an upbeat ballad, the verses are slow and attempt to showcase the singing talent of 4minute, while the lines before the chorus and the chorus itself are upbeat. This song is once again carried by the vocal talent of Jiyoon and Ga Yoon. While there is plenty of Hyuna to be heard it is different from her squeaky rap and high pitched voice in most of 4 minutes songs. Her voice is rather deep and flows with the mellowness of the song. Once agan I feel So Hyun and Ji Hyun are lost in this song. Overall this song was really flat and does not seem to flow with the dark and mystic theme that the first track and many of the others try to project. This song gets lost among the others.
Individual Score: C
Say My Name- Running with the europop/ dance theme of volume up this song is ultimately a distorted dance track. While you can hear the vocals of So Hyun and Ji Hyun in this one, it does not showcase any sort of true singing talent or rapping talent from any one. This seems to be a filler song and is one you might skip almost all the time if you have all the songs on the album.
Individual Score: C-
Femme Fatale- A very upbeat track that is very reminiscent of 4minutes song "HUH". Along with the synthesized beats and tug of war sound: a fight between soft vocals and and upbeat track, this track was not anything spectacular. It seems just to be another filler on the album.
Individual Score: C-
Dream Racer- Dream racer feels like a nod to the 1990s pop of the US.With a real girly feel to it it has a catchy beat. Ga Yoon and Jiyoon also carry this song with their plentiful lyrics. However the lyrics are a total turn off at times. Now the Korean lyrics make it feel like a feel good song, however the English inserts make no sense and really feel out of place. "let's make a dream for you" then the rap "Lets make a dream. getting with it. do do do it now its time four minute" This song is also somewhat odd on an album that is supposed to have a dark feel.
Individual Score : B-
Black Cat- This song actually fits with what they went for in style and with the title track Volume up. It has a very distinct sound and is definitely euro-trance inspired. The song itself happens to be the best on the mini album, and would have made a better choice for a title track. However being the ending song it really ties the mini album back to "Volume up" and ends on a very positive note. Though this is not a song showing vocals like volume up, the way the lyrics, the rhythm, and the vocals tie in together make it a success.
Individual Score: A
4minute official youtube channel
Like I stated about Volume Up the song was passable on the album, and the video seemed to do more damage then good.
Clothing-The clothing in this music video fall in line with four minutes style. It is very mature and in some cases provocative. The group outfits is very reminiscent of a matador's outfit, but modernized and chic. The coloring scheme is red and black on the top, with some gold, long sleeves,exposing the midriff. and shorts, covered by flowing cloth very much like a skirt. The second group outfits was brighter and broke up into individual outfits for the girls united by color and styling. The third group outfits are variant yet are united by the angelic look, and color of the white, which gives the opposite feel to their individual looks.The individual outfits range from beautiful to scandalous. Ga Yoon looks royal in her white vintage dress and abstract crown. Ji yoon wears a skin tight outfit with a black sheer cover up, the only I wish the had done was given her longer hair rather than an awkward bowl type. haircut. So Hyun showcases a funeral look, but her young charm tones down the darkness of the outfit. Ji Hyun's individual outfit is black and short with a long train, really giving an elegant feel to the short dance she preforms.Hyuna's opens the mv with her silver shirt and black short shorts, that shouldn't even be considered shorts, lace pattered leggings and a white fur coat.The outfits are all different but the ones that I thought were the best were the Ga Yoon and So Hyuns outfits, not only did they suit them well, but they went with the video better than the others.
Scenery- The scenery moves from individually scenes constructed to fit the individual styling of the girls.Then to an open space dark and composed of archways
Dance- The dance did not flow with the ideas drawn from the lyrics. The lyrics are a shot at anti fans and those who criticize them. The dance is very sexually charged and provocative and really does not emphasize the point they are trying to get across. "You talk about me and say you don't like me because I'm too easy behind my back Eh eh eh eh why " This line stuck out especially when I see the dance to the video. If they want people to not identify them as "easy" they should try to be less provocative in their dancing. They are grinding on female dances, and male dancers, and making sexually charged movements throughout the video. There are other ways to demonstrate sexy dancing in a more mature and classy way without lowing ones standards, and would more then likely promote 4minute to the next level.
Story Line- Their is no story line but there are cleverly placed items that are an interpretation of what they are singing about, i.e. Ga Yoon with a snake, So Hyun with a skull.
Likes- I liked the fact that So Hyun got a bigger part in the song and music video, and that she was dressed rather classy and appropriate for her age.
Dislikes- Ji Hyun was nowhere to be found in the MV, other then her solo part and the group dance where she was placed in the back right corner. To me their was to much of a Hyuna showcase going on. I get she is the face of the group, but her stripper wear and her provocative dancing is the reasons people comment negatively on them. Instead of taking a dig at anti-fans try to see the validity in there claims and fix the issues. I also hated Jiyoon's hair, it made her have a momish,look.
Individual Score: C
Final Review and Score
After taking a look at all the songs and the music video I have calculated the average of the grades. 4minutes Volume up gets a C+. The reasons this comes to a C+ is because there were more misses than hits on the Mini album. The music video was also a miss with the dance not matching up to the lyrics but enforcing what has been criticized about them in the past.
Whats Your Favorite Track On Volume Up?
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