Yes it’s time once again for me to branch out to a new group, and this time it happens to be K-Pop sensation 4MINUTE. I spoke about them briefly when I talked about Hyuna, likely their most popular member, back when she did that atrocious gender-flipped version of Gangnam Style. But how does the group as a whole perform? Does Hyuna steal all the spotlight in the group or is the group at the center of the group? Well, lucky for me they have a new mini-album out with a featured single.
Let’s listen to What’s Your Name? by 4MINUTE.
Before we get to the song, I thought it might be a good idea to give you a little background on the group, since it’s the first time I’m covering one of their songs. Formed back in 2009, 4MINUTE is made up of five women: Ji-hyun, Hyuna, Ji-yoon, Ga-Yoon, and So-hyun. As I said before, Hyuna is a big solo act on her own but she is still within this single group. They won the 2010 Billboard Japan Music Award’s K-Pop Best New Artist, been on several television shows, and have been pretty successful throughout their four year career.
Here’s the music video with English subs:
Starting with the lyrics, the song is pretty simple. The girls are flirting with a guy, trying to get his name and number in an act of total infatuation. The song is pretty repetitive, with a simple “What’s your name? What What’s your name?” chorus along with some “Ralalas” thrown in. There are actual verses in this song, mostly about flirting with said boy and trying to get his attention. I always laugh at songs like these because the people who are singing them tend to be goregous and could probably get anyone they wanted. Do you think any guy would turn down any of these girls if she wanted their name? Yeah, I don’t think so.
The video is…well it’s certainly something. The dance is pretty solid, at least what little of it we do see, and the girls have lines and shots that are evenly distributed. The basic premise is the girls hanging out, going out on the street to flirt with boys, the typical music video activities for young ladies. And then, zombies appear. I’m not even kidding you, they don’t even stop the song, zombies just pop right onto the very colorful set and try to eat the girls. And all of a sudden, it becomes a Thriller homage in neon colors and sponsored by the Forever 21 catalog. It looks great, to be sure. It’s bright, multi-scened, uses vibrant colors, even matching the zombies to the outfits of the group. It would get full points from me if it had just been another boring, colorful K-Pop video because there’s a lot of movement and good camera work. It’s just the minute the neon dancing zombies come out, I lose complete focus on the song, if only because it has nothing to do with anything, and was never even foreshadowed at any point before they show up. It could have been cute if it was reoccurring theme in the video, or if they showed up at the beginning of the video, but it just seems thrown because they felt the video was going nowhere. I know as a Kyary Pamyu Pamyu fan I should just be used to the bizarre and unexpected, but I just can’t believe they would actually throw zombies into this.
As for the song itself, it doesn’t stand out without the music video. Don’t get me wrong, it’s got a great rhythm to it, it’s easy to dance to, it’s even kind of catchy. It’s just not catchy enough to stand out. Even sitting here now, I can barely remember the song beyond the chorus. This is not of course saying it’s a bad song, it’s like a song on the radio that plays every so often that you kind of know the words to but you barely recall a few hours later. It’s sort of on the blah side of pop and it’s a real shame because it had the makings of a good song, it just isn’t. The vocals are good, even with the little bits of autotune thrown in here and there for effect.
What’s Your Name? is a passible song. It’s got a good rhythm, it’s got a good video, but the lyrics are dull and the song is forgettable. It’s not a good song, or a bad song, it’s just okay. I have no idea how this song hit number 1 on both the Gaon and Billboard K-Pop Hot 100, but could be that this song just isn’t for me and their legions of fans have helped propped it up. Or it’s been slow week in K-Pop. Overall, I’d give it a listen just to see the zombies in the video and maybe it’ll strike a chord in you that it didn’t in me.
– Good video design.
– Good dance.
– Bizarre video plot.
– So-so lyrics.
– Forgettable melody.