With recent news of 4Minute’s disbandment still looming over Cube Entertainment, news of HyunA’s fifth EP, “A’wesome”, came as a welcome and rather comforting surprise.
HyunA is known for her provocative style, keeping her fans with very intense tracks that get you moving from the get-go. Released on 1st August 2016, the EP consists of 6 full tracks, each with a unique sound that scream HyunA.
From the get-go, you are totally drawn in with ‘U&ME’. It’s an electro-pop/EDM track with an underlying light synth and features a sort of oriental refrain that makes it very catchy.
It’s a great track and has captured the sound that is so popular in Hallyu right now, sounding similar to tracks like Taeyeon’s ‘Why’ and ‘Starlight’, which I also loved. Overall, this track is a winner: it’s not a heavy listen and different to what HyunA usually offers.
2. How’s This?
‘How’s This?’, however, takes a very different turn, accentuating her unique and provocative style with a trap-influenced hip-hop style track that calls for a strong choreography and a lot of attitude! It’s a track that you’d definitely hear in a club: it’s catchy, full of attitude, and very easy to dance to. Whilst I find tracks like this a bit too repetitive, I can definitely understand the appeal. It’s a great track and definitely works as the title track.
3. Do it!
Whilst the beginning of this track really didn’t grab my attention – making me want to forward quickly to any other part of the song – as we get deeper, this is a perfect example of HyunA’s own style as we have heard from tracks like ‘Bubble Pop’ and ‘Change’.
This is definitely a more ‘poppier’ K-Pop track which I personally have outgrown given the recent trends in Hallyu music, but nevertheless will always have a special place in the hearts of K-Pop stans. Ultimately, this track achieves what it sets out to do: a playful HyunA track that is very nostalgic!
4. Morning Glory (Feat. Qim Isle)
Things slow down with ‘Morning Glory’ which, though it’s not too heavy, is an odd track that – truth be told – focuses on HyunA’s vocals more than anything.
This indie-style track is a much relaxing listen compared to the rest of the EP. Qim Isle’s intervening rap does fit with the track and adds some hip-hop flavour to the track. Overall, it’s definitely a solid track, but I’m not sure how many times I’d be inclined to listen to it…
This track is appropriately entitled: ‘freaky’ is the only way to describe it! It’s a track with a lot of attitude and HyunA-uniqueness, which makes me hesitate to review it! It’s a trap-influenced track and definitely belongs in a club, like ‘How’s This?’. It’s a rather comic track, a bit darker, but still retains its weirdness which I think is the point of the track!
6. Wolf (Feat. Hanhae)
HyunA ends her EP with a slower track, an R&B feel with a sci-fi, ethereal, futuristic sound that – with Hanhae’s solid vocals – has a better effect than ‘Morning Glory’. The combination of voices works very well, and whilst the underlying melody and track is rather eerie to say the least, it’s definitely an interesting listen, with a very different intensity from the other tracks. Overall, it’s a good ending to the EP and gives us a sense of completion which is definitely what we need after all the trap!
This EP is a definite winner and – despite 4Minute’s disbandment – demonstrates that HyunA, whilst hesitant and very uncertain about the recent happenings, has retained her unique style and musical tastes. This EP is a solid one and one that her fans will love.
Review written by Tariq