Is it Poppin’? is the ninth digital single released by 4minute.
Released: June 28, 2013
1. Is it Poppin’? (물좋아?)
Is it Poppin’? can be seen as a follow-up to What’s Your Name? from the group’s last mini-album. Both songs were made by Brave Brothers and feature a brighter sound that has a barrage of hooks. I actually prefer Is it Poppin’? and it is one of my favourite 4minute songs. It isn’t as fast-paced, but has a more dragged out delivery. The sparkly synths, bouncy percussion and odd sounds all make a funky, but summery vibe that works nicely with the insanely catchy chorus. It’s not an in-your-face kind of song, but really worms its way into your ear.
Overall: This is a great follow-up single to the group’s last mini-album and really continues the hook-heavy pop sound that was present in that release. It’s a solid tune that works really nicely with the summer season.
Name is 4minute is the fourth mini-album released by 4minute. What’s Your Name? was used as the promo track.
Released: April 26, 2013
1. What’s my name?
2. What’s Your Name? (이름이 뭐예요?)
4. Gimme That
The intro, What’s my name?, is like a lot of 4minute’s other intros. It is a heavy hitting, hip-hop tune that tries to get the energy up. It’s not bad, but a bit outdated sounding. What’s Your Name? is different from 4minute’s last few title tracks just because it brings a less serious and more bubblegum pop sound to their music. Written by Brave Brothers, this one focuses more on the hooks and has a really catchy melody. It’s a bit repetitive with the repeated title, but it’s intoxicating and there are some other parts of the song that really bring some more interesting aspects. I don’t know what to think of Whatever. It has a funky and commanding beat, but I don’t think I’m a huge fan of the melody. It’s the kind of song that switches around with different sounds. Some sound good, some are a bit lacklustre. I do like it tries to play around with things and it has a cool electropop feel to it. Not bad. Gimme That brings some hip-hop elements into the song. It does well by bringing some continuation from the last song. Unfortunately, I don’t quite like how the chorus sounds as the melody doesn’t totally fit the music. I feel like the melody is stronger and needs something more polished. Not really my kind of track. Domino continues the uptempo dominance. I do like it has a different sound compared to the other songs on the mini with its underlying guitar. It has a good energy to it and I do quite like the music in the chorus. I do wish the melody was a little catchier because it doesn’t have as strong of hooks as the other songs on here. It’s a bit lacking in that area and makes it less memorable. Still a solid tune.
Overall: This ain’t a bad mini album. I do think the album tracks are less memorable than the ones on their last, but at least there are some solid tunes on here. The promo song is definitely the highlight of the mini-album.
School 2013 OST Part.1 is the eighth digital single released by 4minute. It was used as the OST to the drama, School 2013.
Released: December 4, 2012
1. Welcome to the School
2. Welcome to the School (Instrumental)
I don’t really know what to think of Welcome to the School. It has a really interesting beat and there is a lot of energy, but the vocal editing is just so odd. The beat completely overpowers the vocals and it causes for a weird affect where you can’t really hear the girls singing because their voices are both distorted and pushed to the background. What’s also odd is that Hyunah’s rap is completely fine and absent of this editing. I really wish it was tweaked because the song is actually quite catchy and the music is a lot of fun.
Overall: This song is really fun and was a quality change up for 4minute. Unfortunately, the vocal editing of the song ruins a lot of the songs potential because it causes the lyrics to be difficult to hear and it loses some of the energy the melody could bring.
Shinsadong Tiger Project Album Super Market is the seventh digital single released by 4minute.
Released: August 30, 2012
1. Over and Over (R.Tee Mix)
2. Over and Over (Original Mix)
Over and Over is 4minute’s best digital single since their debut. It is surprisingly a song that doesn’t really have that “4minute” sound to it. The R.Tee Mix is a pretty full-fledged EDM tune with its simple and bombastic chorus while the Original Mix has a bit of an 80’s funk feel. I like the more dramatic sound that it has as their is a melancholic quality to the melody. I do think the vocal editing could be done a bit better as it doesn’t quite match the song, but it’s still an interesting change. I do prefer the R.Tee Mix of the song as the energy is more consistent and it reminds me of something T-ara would do.
Overall: This is a pretty sudden change from the group’s usual material, but I think it was nice to hear a bit more variety. It does have its issues like the vocal editing and the melody could be more interesting at parts, but it’s still a cool tune and I like the darker quality of it.
Freestyle is the sixth digital single released by 4minute. The song was used as the theme to an online video game of the same name.
Released: August 3, 2011
At least compared their last digital single, this one is such a big step up. Freestyle is a bright dance/pop song and it sounds like there was some effort put into the song. It isn’t just a weak verse and a messy chorus. It’s not the best song and it’s quite generic, but it would still fit nicely into a 4minute album. The verses are the strongest part of the song and the chorus isn’t too bad, although I’m not a fan of the odd pre-chorus. The second half of the chorus is nice as the hook is simple but catchy. I do think the stand out part is Hyuna’s rap though.
Overall: This is easily a “B-side” kind of song. It’s cute and catchy, but it’s not the type of song I would revisit often. It’s really generic and could still be tweaked on in several places. Still loads better than their last digital single.
Jigudaepyo Rolling Stars OST is the fifth digital single by 4minute. It was used as the theme song for an animated film.
Released: November 11, 2010
1. Home Run (홈런)
Home Run pretty much follows the electropop sound that 4minute delved in throughout their early years. Unfortunately, like a lot of the B-side material from that time, this song is just a throwaway tune. Actually, I would argue that’s it’s one of their worst songs ever. The hooks are repetitive and obnoxious and the music is just bland. The verses are memorable just for the fact that they have no energy to them. It sounds like such lazy writing and there is no punch to them. The chorus is better in terms of energy, but the melody is just screechy and messy. Even Hyuna’s rapping in the chorus can’t save the song as it isn’t catchy at all.
Overall: This is one of my least favourite 4minute songs, if not my least favourite. It’s just messy and sounds like a quickly and poorly produced tune. The verses are sloppy and the chorus is trying to do too much.
Volume Up is the third mini-album released by 4minute. The title track was used as the promotional song.
Released: April 9, 2012
1. Get On the Floor
2. Volume Up
3. I’m OK
4. Say My Name
5. Femme Fatale
6. Dream Racer
7. Black Cat
Get on the Floor is a pretty cool electronic-hip hop tune. I do find the verses to be really cool, but I’m not a huge fan of the chorus. I do feel like it’s a bit too messy for me. I do like the concept of the song though with its attitude. I do find the transition a bit weird into the title track. Volume Up is an exciting piece and one of 4minute’s strongest tracks. It’s a bit different since it has a really heavy beat and makes good use of a wicked saxophone refrain while giving us something a bit darker. I think the best part is definitely Hyuna’s part in the pre-chorus that helps build up the energy for the chorus. The chorus is great, although the main focus is on the belting. I’m really impressed with this song as it is really something different from their usual sound, but still ties in with their image quite well. I’m OK is a really nice change of pace with its midtempo balladry. What I’m most surprised about is the fact that there is finally an album track from 4minute that I like! I do feel like this song could have been used as a pre-release single for the mini since its really good, but also does a good job of giving us something a little more downtempo. I love the chorus with its light synths and R&B beat. The melody is also quite catchy and the girls do a good job of giving the right emotion. My only gripe would be that the vocal editing seems a bit weird and could have been polished a bit more. Great though! Unfortunately, we have the incredibly outdated Say My Name. I feel like even for this time, this song would be better in 2009 or 2010 than in 2012, let alone 2017. The song does have potential, but it just turns into a mess. The beat is a lot of fun, but the array of synths just seemed a bit misplaced. However, the worst culprit is that chorus. The melodic bits are actually really great, but then these weird repetitive parts (Get it up x3) that sort of ruin its flow and causes everything to sound a bit too choppy. Not my cup of tea, but it does have some interesting parts. Femme Fatale is a bit better. I do find the chorus to be exciting and it is quite fun at times. I just wish the music was a little more in tune with the rest of the song and it comes off a little disorganized. Actually, the whole song reminds me of a f(x) song with its more adventurous sound and odd transitions. The song has an odd prechorus that slows things down, but it does add an interesting aspect to the overall delivery. I think if this was under SM, the song would come off a little more streamlined and polished. It has a lot of potential, but is lacking in a few areas. Dream Racer does a similar thing with its Frankenstein mixture. The verses are more singing-rapping and have a lot of attitude, but the chorus is totally different with its explosive and bright pop sound. I actually like the verses since there is a wicked bass. However, it’s that amazing first part of the chorus that really brings the song to the next level. The bridge is also a really interesting piece. Fun! So unfortunate that the mini ends with Black Cat. I’m not sure how to describe this song. It has an interesting arrangement with its touch of saxophone and heavy beat, but everything about this song just comes off horribly messy. The chorus is just weird with the “I’m a black cat” lines used as the hook because it really isn’t that catchy and the music is just a blur right behind it. It just sounds like a jumble of noise put on top of a beat. Not an enjoyable ending for me.
Overall: This is probably the group’s strongest mini since their first one, which is a lot considering their last three releases have been weak for me. This time, we actually have some strong album tracks like I’m OK and Dream Racer. Unfortunately, the mini is still bogged down by the unfortunate inclusion of some generic and messy tracks that could really be worked on more.