written by: MystifiedBulb
After what seems like a long time coming, the sub-unit of 4Minute consisting of main vocalist Gayoon and rapper/vocalist Ji Yoon debuted with their first EP ‘Harvest Moon‘. After coming from such a healthy position in the K-Pop scene (4Minute being successful in Korea and also promoting in Japan) this album surely must be a success. Or will the members’ wealth of experience make them complacent and produce a lackluster album?
The lead single “24/7” sounds like an experimental mess in theory – one way of describing it is a banjo-led slice of frenetic electro-country pop – but works an absolute treat in reality. It seems unexplainable, but perhaps it lies in the fact that the fused elements of country (such as the banjos) are subtly weaved into the electronic soundscape. Also, both Jiyoon and Gayoon deliver a brilliant vocal performance on the track. If it were to be described succinctly, it would be a Korean version of Taylor Swift on LSD. Possibly. Either way, “24/7” is fantastic.
Another highlight of the album is “Why Not“, a bold synth-led rock track which allows the full range of the singers to be explored. The contrast between the subdued verses and the powerful chorus is sublime and the exciting production compounds this. Furthermore, it sounds dramatic without becoming irritating and no other vocal moment comes close to matching this track on the EP.
One thing that is obvious (not just by listening to the record, but by reading the track list) is that there is an abundance of collaborations as 3 out of the 5 songs heavily feature a male rapper. On the R’n’B ballad “Nightmare”, BTOB member Ilhoon provides an aggressive verse (which slightly confuses the overall tone of the track), whilst on “Se Se Se”,Kikaflo offers his talents. Upon hearing these tracks, it must be noted that they’re of a quite a similar, generic style and that the collaborations, whilst interesting, almost squander any opportunity 2Yoon have to challenge themselves vocally. “Black Swan” serves as an improvement as 2Yoon are given more vocal presence. However, the hip-hop vibe is jarringly dark compared to the rest of the album, but this shouldn’t undermine the fact that as a song in its own right, it sounds fresh and raw.
Overall, this record can be seen as a musical success. By no means is this perfect – too many genres were bridged to make it truly cohesive as a production – but there are some brilliant pop moments. Perhaps it’s time that 2Yoon ditch the hindering guest vocalists and assert themselves as pop powerhouses.
| Points scale
0 – could do without
0.5 – mediocre/filler
0.75 – pretty good/grew on me
1 – liked immediately
|Se Se Se||
Points to stars conversion: [(3.75/5) x 5] + 0.25*
*there is a 0.25 bonus for every album. The logic is that, if every song were “pretty good”, it’s a 4-star album.