Review: Miss A – “Hush” is a Subtle, Sneakily Addictive Pop Song and HOLY HELL DID YOU SEE FEI’S EVERYTHING

miss a concept hush photo

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.

Speaking of destroying everything in their paths.

Speaking of destroying everything in their paths.

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.

Bite. Harder.

Bite. Harder.

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:

There are no numbers which equal my feels.

There are no numbers which equal my feels.

“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.

Hallelujah.

Hallelujah.

Nothing hurts, ever.

Nothing hurts, ever.

Rating: FEI. FEI. The song is legitimately wonderful and with every listen, a stronger contender for song of the year.

Advertisements

17 comments

  1. Thanks for the great review! I also really, really liked this new Miss A video. I can’t wait for the live performances. I’m sure they’ll be great too!

    1. Moar Fei is always a good thing.

  2. Agree 100%. The song was mind-blowing the first time around. But then, somehow, it still continues to grow on you…great contender for song of the year >//<

    1. Yeah, the repeat button is broken at this point.

  3. Dude I so fucking love you right now. At first, I was a bit skeptical but after reading your review I could now sleep in peace knowing that Hush is still distinctly missA and all that jazz for a moment there I thought I was listening to SISTAR. Madness I tell you! I guess I still cant over the fact that JYP actually butted out from this one. Hahaha. But like you said, this is really addictive and well-polished not to mention it freaking hooks you with the building momentum. E-tribe can now do all their songs for all I care!

    1. Let’s not get too ahead of ourselves with the E-Tribe talk haha. But I can say that this is my favorite miss A single.

  4. Fleur De Seoul · · Reply

    This is one of the few times ever that I’m going to disagree with you. I found the video to be outstanding and the song to be completely forgettable. Idk if that’s because the video was so well put together, but I find that I had tuned out the song so much that I can’t remember what it sounds like. At all.

    Dat Fei tho… dat Fei.

    1. It is very chorus heavy and the build up to the climax (and the climax itself) is soft. Also, Fei has powers over the senses and bends reality to her will, so that makes sense.

    2. Fleur De Seoul · · Reply

      I’m going to go back on what I said earlier. The chorus is really good. What kills it for me is the bridge where they sing about lollipops. It just dies and my brain is like “fuck it, i was waiting for something musically awesome here”. I do like that Miss A did this song, but can you imagine what a BEG cover of this would sound/look like? Or, dare I even entertain this thought, a collaborative performance? I would die of happy.

      1. The bridge is where I can see most people objecting because it does seem to dial things back rather than push anything forward. I like it because it makes the final chorus seem more epic than it probably would with a rap break or breakdown-buildup for a bridge but I also definitely see how that could be frustrating to listen to.

  5. The eye candy was great but the song seemed like it was missing something.

    Add to the list of this year’s disappointing comebacks, IMO.

    1. The song does seem half-formed at points, and there may be one too many choruses in here (and a missing rap break, which the song could have easily used if one doesn’t like repetition) but that’s honestly part of the reason I like it. Choruses4lyfe.

  6. slugs! LOVED the review. especially loved your praise of the “chorus work”, which is what i always use to argue that miss a is slightly underrated (in comparison to sistar, gg, and the tier 1). i mean, there were moments in the chorus when the girls sounded like a BLACK GIRL CHOIR, and this ain’t the 1st time (dating back to my fave lil’ miss a track, “step up”). which other girl group can sound this r&b/destiny’s child? it’s ’cause, as you mentioned, they have 4 solid singers (as opposed to 2 all-stars, bora’s legs, and a “dasom”).

    my only worry is that “hush” is not as transcendent as i wish it was; transcendent in a takeover-the-internet/korea-way that sistar joints do (e.g., the body rolls of “my boy” and the summerness of “loving you”). like “touch” and “i don’t need a man”, it’s sorta nichey, as in only-appealing-to-uncle-fans-who-luv-fei/suzy-in-pleather-sorta-way (like us haha), or appealing only to whose who dig subtle musical composition (also like us haha). and i know this shouldn’t matter ’cause it’s not as if there’s a k-pop diva championship belt out there, and the fanboys out there have plenty of time and goggling eyes to love 3-5 girl groups equally, but consider me a lil’ bit worried that “hush” won’t hit the mainstream, and that we won’t be reading “who had a better 2013, sistar, crayon pop or miss a?” articles out there.

    i’m also especially worried that miss a’s use of a prop while swinging their hips is too sistar19, and their use of “give it to me” confirms that they’re in tier 2 behind the sistar. 😦

    i just want our fei fei to get the luv/press that she deserves! *sigh. we’ll see how the music shows goes. 🙂

    again, mad props for the review!

    1. I think that “Hush” will do well, but yeah, like you said, I don’t think it will be a chart burner either. And after studying the rest of miss A’s discography a bit (by which I mean worshiping Fei) I gotta say that miss A just does some killer choruses that can carry an entire song but they do lack that SISTAR here-comes-Hyorin-to-kill-everything-in-her-path moment, due again to group composition and that no one in miss A stands above the rest as a singer (for better and worse). Luckily, they do have three gorgeous and talented women and one goddess by the name of Fei and Suzy has an entire nation wanting to lick her lollipop. Pretty sure miss A will be fine.

  7. Hush is great. miss A forever

  8. Love this song right now but I do think its a little lacking in the chorus and dance. Min was channeling Gain in this video which was awesome to see!

    As a sidenote: Do you think you can review Fiestar’s new song called “I don’t Know”? I feel like you could make very insightful observations on it.

    1. If I have time, I’ll check it out tomorrow for sure. I don’t have a lot of exposure to Fiestar, so this could be a good jumping off point for me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: