Once upon a time, I loved to hate 4Minute. All the reasons for it should hold ground, given that I generally still think the same things about them. Like:
- they’re vocally super weak
- have more dead-weight to offer than I can handle
- aren’t particularly groundbreaking in any way, shape, or form
Hell, today’s rookie groups bring ten times more to the table than these five. Yet here I am, about to say things that I never thought I would about a group whose existence I made a mission to mock and ridicule for years.
Why the change of heart? I have an easy answer — one that has fashioned itself into a prevailing theme thus far in my resurrection as a blogger, and here it is: I am not focusing on the things I dislike, but instead being way more attentive to the things I do. It’s a very small distinction and change in behavior, but one that has shifted my perspective significantly. With 4Minute’s release of “Crazy”, which I’m going to spazz about in a minute, they landed within the radius of everything I think is or could be amazing and exciting in a K-Pop nutshell. In fact, this release did them so good, that I’m surprised I like it so much.
There are a lot of awesome things going for 4Minute in “Crazy”, but one that really worked in their favor and that I loved is that this song gave significant purpose to each member, regardless of their strengths and weaknesses. As my friend Ree put it best:
“like it fits them SO WELL?? jiyoon doesn’t have to scream-sing and goes hard, hyuna does well as a hypewoman, gayoon’s vocal-
“chorus build up REALLY suited her voice, sohyun sounds pretty good, and they gave jihyun her own solo part to make her look..“
“useful. and the song is just SO FUCKING GOOD. i honestly cannot believe how well they delivered.” via Twitter
A bit fangirl-y, but the point is clear: this is the best fucking thing to happen to 4Minute in a very long time. And that’s not just from a song’s point of view. Aesthetically and beyond, something feels vaguely familiar whilst also incredibly refreshing about this 4Minute compared to recent 4Minute concepts. I even dare place it next to “HuH” as one of their best comebacks ever.
Maybe it’s the song, or perhaps it’s a combination of 4Minute and the song, but whatever the case, it’s hard to dispute how well executed this is. In turn, it makes it extremely difficult not to like them.
Mind you, I could tear into this thing if I wanted to. Where’s the chorus? Why does HyunA still sound like she has marbles in her throat? What the hell is with the gelled bangs?
Criticizing “Crazy” for its shortcomings doesn’t hold the same weight to the compliments I have for what’s sitting in front of me, which is a full on hodgepodge of current trends in fashion and music which I think have been tailored and mainstreamed to perfection. And I need to emphasize the execution here, because that’s truly what deserves a hand raised to the air and a whispered hallelujah.
Let’s be real, 4Minute have been followers from the get-go. They’re notorious for ripping off concepts, and not much different is happening here. Okay, “ripping off” is a bit harsh, but the reason they’re slaying me is because their commitment to ripping off this package is absolutely palpable. The last time a girl group took on a “hip-hop” concept like this was 2NE1 with last year’s “Come Back Home” era. So why am I soaked in my own jizz over 4Minute right now? Because they present this style with ease and a playful enthusiasm that isn’t wrapped in a pseudo responsibility to take itself seriously. At the end of the day this is a pop song highly influenced by hip-hop trends — a thing I’m not entirely against, let me be honest — and they’ve done a really good job selling it. The number of boybands doing the same is multiplying by the second, so I like that 4Minute went down this road this time. The fact that it was a return to form for them was an added pay off.
But if there’s anything that got me to lay off the haterade most, it was 4Minute’s ability to make me drop my wall of self-consciousness and simply enjoy the fuck out of this thing, over and over and over again. I bumped “Crazy” in my car yesterday and it was amazing. I’m probably going to do the same thing tomorrow morning on my way to work.
I can’t say that I care enough about 4Minute to promise that I’ll never roll my eyes at them again. I do care enough to acknowledge when my misguided antipathy has impeded me from enjoying things.
And I am enjoying the shit out of this.