It has been a very busy year for Nine Muses, as the group has released it’s third single of the year in “Gun” after the ridiculously good one-two punch of “Dolls” and “Wild“. “Gun” may not be as great as the first two songs in Nine Muses’ 2013, but the song helps establish that Nine Muses’ increasingly solid track record is no fluke either.
In many ways, Nine Muses has been one of the more consistent acts in K-Pop since they debuted (aside from member shakeup and, well, not always having nine members). The production is going to be mid-to-fast tempo dance pop fare, the styling will be spot on, the arrangement is going to be standard and the hook will be very good. Also, there will be hnnnnnnngggggg to counter the relative lack of good singers among the nine (it’s why Nine Muses fashion spreads are probably more anticipated than Nine Muses singles). “Gun” is the latest Nine Muses single to follow this safe, but admittedly successful, formula; a song which is just enjoyable enough for a lead single with a video that would be enjoyable with just about any backing track.
“Gun” has a couple of things that greatly work in its favor. After teasing that “Gun” would be about a western take on femininity, it appears that the producers wanted to take that as to mean 1950’s Americana mixed with 1960’s James Bond. The introductory beat, a highlight that the song never reaches again, is freaking amazing. That guitar solo and the blaring trumpets are about as sexy as it gets and for the start of a song it throttles the listener back to an era of burlesque and fedoras. The song proper settles into a nice groove and the guitar licks and sharply hit notes recall all of Sean Connery’s body fur stuffed into a tuxedo. Hyemi and Sera handle the more challenging vocal pitches and everyone else fills in where one would expect them to (outside of poor Eunji, who gets her one chance at rapping jacked by Euearin). The hook is passable, not something which one would eagerly want to hit replay for, but also not disagreeable in anyway. Indeed, the hook best encapsulates what is good and bad about “Gun”. It’s easily digestible but also could be forgotten the moment it’s over.
What’s not easy to forget and makes one want to hit the replay button forever? The video. Like the song, there’s not a lot of creativity going on in “Gun” but that’s easy to forgive when handed Nine Muses. Yes, there’s going to be a dance-in-a-box concept which was probably cut and edited by a computer algorithm somewhere in the K-Pop Creative Department Dungeon. Choreo-choreo-solo shot-solo shot-choreo-repeat by itself isn’t a crime as long as other things are done well (or at least competently). The sets help in that regard. A gas station set by way of Fallout: New Vegas really helps matters. The warm, old-timey Western yellows and setting keep things coherent and sexy (the outdoor settings also means no seizures due to 1,000 LEDs burning into retinas!) and helps marry “Gun”‘s single to the concept of the video. The styling is a bit of a missed opportunity. There are hints of the 50’s and 60’s in Nine Muses’ wardrobe, but it never strays too far from contemporary and everything looks more like stuff cribbed from those “retro-style” tumblrs that are more or less ripped from Urban Outfitters catalogs. However, pretty covers up a lot of sins and if there is one thing that Nine Muses has an embarrassing abundance of, it’s pretty (hell, this one even has one unfairly hot dude in it too). The entire video could just be Kyungri bending over an engine and it’d still get high marks.
I could wax poetic for days about the various members of Nine Muses, but for the purposes of this review let’s just say that they all look unsurprisingly great and that whatever stylist they used for this one should be allowed passage into heaven for not having a single member dye their hair into a color inspired by something out of a Crayola box.
“Gun” is alright, but after how Nine Muses slayed their first two singles of the year in “Wild” and “Dolls”, that’s acceptable. The group is establishing themselves as a solid act in a sea of interchangeable girl groups. Inventiveness is not Nine Muses’ forte but the nine knows what works for them and they pull it off with a confidence that is only matched by the confidence with which Kyungri struts about on stage. “Gun” won’t win many new acolytes to the alter of Sera and company but for those already indoctrinated, “Gun” is a welcomed fix.
Rating: Four head-shots out of five bullets fired. Not as good as Nine Muses’ previous two efforts but a damn fine effort.