Hurt Locker by 9MUSES (song review)

Sooooooooo. Where to begin

Kyungri’s up-and-down figure at the beginning starts building tension from the very beginning with help from the clap and punchy drum samples in the backing track. Then Keumjo part that follows has punchier drums w/ a snare and dubsteppy punch between the drums. SungA’s part backs off (backing track included) to prepare for the ethereal pre-chorus. Hyuna’s smooth timbre’d voice is a little subdued compared to Kyungri’s so it works well in starting the pre-chorus. Kyungri’s piercing voice builds off Hyuna’s previous phrase to a great EDM-like chorus. Awesome. This chorus is extremely happy and I love it. The first phrase hits you in the face then backs off slightly to make way for the second phrase. The second phrase progresses to best major chord I’ve heard in while AND they do it twice. Then Sojin whispers “It’s over. Love is over. Baby it’s over.” as a transition into the second verse. In the second verse, Hyemi replaces Kyungri, Sojin replaces Keumjo, and Minha replaces SungA. Note how the backing track continued the snare/dubsteppy punch between the drums where it backed off before, adding further interest and driving the song harder into the pre-chorus. SungA replaces Hyuna in starting the second pre-chorus and, although different from Hyuna’s, SungA’s voice still has a much smoother timbre than Kyungri’s. Kyungri leads you forcefully into the chorus for a second time, which just as hard. However, Hyuna now sings the first phrase of the chorus which provides a nice contrast from Hyemi’s more direct voice. Keumjo brings the chorus to a satisfying close and then comes Euaerin’s rap. This was my least favorite part of the song; I felt the rap was kind of lame compared to the rest of the song. Granted, trying to rap to an EDM-inspired song is probably a task in itself but it seemed out of place and like they needed to just stick in her in somewhere. The rap went straight into the pre-chorus now sung by Hyemi and Keumjo. There was not a bridge per se but the punch that announced the chorus before is delayed until the second half of the first phrase. The chorus is repeated a second time with an ad lib harmony on the downbeat where we finally reach the climax. The harmony continues to the end of the song but it is so faint you can barely hear it. I would have liked to have heard more over-the-top ad libs and the harmonies at the end made louder.

To review:

Pros:

  • Different members sing the same parts differently
  • Great feel and driving beat
  • Variation in the backing track
  • Attention to who’s best for which parts

Cons:

  • Euaerin’s ill-suited rap
  • Meager ad libbing
  • Faint harmonies
  • Uneven distribution of parts

★★★★

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