This review will be shorter than my usual reviews because there’s honestly not a whole lot to critique in 4Minute’s “Cold Rain” music video.
On the plus side, it’s nice to see 4Minute go in a different direction in their latest music video (which, to be fair, is a “pre-release” music video). While the group is mainly known for high-octane and heavily EDM beats, “Cold Rain” goes in the complete opposite direction with a rather traditional ballad.
On the negative side, there’s nothing interesting going on here.
From a production standpoint, there’s not a lot to do with a pop ballad. It is why they’re often the filler of K-Pop albums – they tend to blend together into a sea of overwrought strings, piano keys and delicate falsettos. Such pop ballads are usually elevated through outstanding vocal work and smart insertions of blistering rap breaks to keep things interesting. Davichi and T-ara’s “We Were In Love” is great at this.
Unfortunately, “Cold Rain” doesn’t quite reach those heights. The group has some fine vocalists, especially Gayoon and Jiyoon, but the song doesn’t really allow them to show off their chops. The song’s hook of “du-du-du” is a bit lifeless and “Cold Rain” quickly loses steam as a result. It doesn’t help that the raps by Hyuna and Sohyun, while competent, don’t provide much contrast to the forlorn styling of the sung vocalists. Everything is voiced in a soft manner and the lack of variation makes the song seem longer than it’s three and a half minute running time would suggest.
The video is similarly (and seemingly purposefully) dull. Ballad music videos can work but they usually need a story to accompany them because a dance-in-a-box concept is often not an option.
Again, here’s an example by Davichi because they rock:
In contrast, “Cold Rain” has 4Minute stand around and stare at the camera (when its feeling adventurous, the video will feature a member staring slightly off-camera or have them walk a hallway). The editing tries to jazz things up through lens flares seemingly inspired by J.J. Abrams and blue filters right out of The Bourne Identity. Those decisions help lend a chilly atmosphere to “Cold Rain” and it does lead to some nice still shots but when that’s ALL the music video has going for it, it also makes the music video function like a moving photo book and little more. Not even Hyuna can change that here.
The title of 4Minute’s next project (of which “Cold Rain” is a part of) is called ‘REVAMPED’ so “Cold Rain” should be viewed more as an appetizer than an entree. Still, as a pre-release, “Cold Rain” doesn’t quite work at building hype for 4Minute’s main release in February.