It’s been a year since miss A had their last comeback, and while “Hush” doesn’t see miss A break any new ground from previous works, the group certainly hits those well worn notes with an effectiveness that is as polished as any other K-Pop act out there.
Miss A may exclusively chase the sexy concept with the eagerness that a puppy chases a tennis ball, but what is remarkable about their efforts is that, while they are pretty straightforward concepts, they manage to attack “sexy” in different ways. There is more than one way to skin a cat and there is more than a billion ways to showcase Fei, Suzy and company and that is a fact that JYP Entertainment has used to its advantage in promoting miss A. From the refined “Touch” to the more dance pop “Good Girl, Bad Girl”, to the almost Southern hip-pop vibe of “I Don’t Need a Man”, miss A has managed to subtly alter their style without every losing their signature appeal. “Hush” is another pleasant wrinkle in the miss A catalog, a great dance beat with a devastatingly awesome chorus which is only rivaled by Fei’s legs.
“Hush” is all about building momentum, and like a great horror movie, one can see its build up coming a mile away but the payoff is pulled off so well that the blatant foreshadowing isn’t just forgiven, it’s applauded. The light acoustic strum to start things off is put to match with Min’s great vocal delivery, which has just a hint of quiver to it (and has a nice echo to it, which helps emphasize the emptiness of the start). Suzy then jumps in for the chorus, and the song takes off. The percussion and cymbal shakes help get things to another level. Fei and Jia then split the next verses and the acoustic builds along with the bass drum and then it’s all over. The second chorus hits, and while the beat by E-Tribe doesn’t take everything to a manic level (E-Tribe beats are nothing if not neatly composed), the hauntingly simple repeat of the chorus, when combined with the deliberately built beat and a great whistle, are stupidly efficient. Miss A never sounds like their trying too hard, which only makes “Hush” more maddeningly addicting. This is pure chorus music, the type that demands that the listener either starts tapping the feet or get the hell out of the way. Like a monster in a horror movie, “Hush” starts small, and only gains strength as it goes on, until it’s completely destroyed everything in its path by the final note.
The accompanying video is probably miss A’s best. “Hush” is a dance-in-the-box video, but it has enough of a unifying concept that the group is able to make something that is at least as interesting as the members themselves. The various sets are all creepy (mannequins are automatically horrifying in any scenario) but they are also varied. Whether it’s Fei’s flooded room, Min’s broke-ass YMCA shower, Suzy’s abandoned subway or Jia’s raided mall shop, each set has it’s own distinct look, that nonetheless has enough dirt and grime as to be of the same idea. The lighting is smartly done, with the faint flickering providing just enough light so as to make everything discernible, without it being too bright as to detract from the dusky Silent Hill atmosphere that “Hush” works so hard to cultivate. The only bright color that is injected into the whole video is Suzy’s lollipop, which helps create one of the more memorable visuals in the entire video.
The editing cuts are quick, but they serve a vital purpose, as every cut highlights the choreography and gives miss A’s movements some much appreciated emphasis. As for the styling, miss A is always on point and “Hush” is no exception. The deep red lipstick stand out against the dark outfits and the less said about Fei in leather (pleather?) pants, the better, if only because words do no justice to this majesty:
“Hush” was well worth the year wait. As far as dance pop goes, this is about as smartly made as it gets; a catchy chorus that pounds ahead without mercy, with just enough of a crescendo to elevate the proceedings and make a song which truly shines. The beat serves its purpose but the main star is the chorus work, where miss A’s vocal delivery of the lyrics is mixed perfectly with the beat to create a trance-like hypnosis (the choice to go for a “flatter” vocal style is also another smart move by miss A, as the four are capable singers, but not one truly stands out). While it could just be the newness of it all, the chorus work alone on “Hush” is some of the best stuff that has been churned out of K-Pop in the past year. “Hush” may have been a week late for Halloween, but it may as well be Christmas come early.
Rating: FEI. FEI. The song is legitimately wonderful and with every listen, a stronger contender for song of the year.