The biggest draw of a Hyuna solo comeback is also often its biggest potential drawback; namely that the Hyuna mish-mash of sexual provocation, hyper-active beats and Hyuna’s vocal HEP-HAP-singing falls right on the line between genius and disaster (The obvious exception that proves the rule is “Bubble Pop” which is just sublime pop music). Unfortunately, Hyuna’s first post-4Minute solo effort “How’s This?” falls in the latter category – a song that is more noise than song combined with a video that is as bland as it is hurried.
If there was a genre called “club background noise,” Hyuna’s “How’s This?” would be a textbook love letter to the category. The problem isn’t that there are somewhere between three and fifty separate beats woven throughout the effort (Something that has been a K-Pop trend for a while and CAN work). It isn’t that Hyuna alternates between… barely singing with heavy auto-tune and barely rapping with heavy bass (After all, that’s just Hyuna). It’s that the combination of both leaves the song sounding more directionless than a mute bat in a cave. The constant beat flipping is robbed of whatever appeal it could have contained because it doesn’t leave the song with anything to build off of and Hyuna doesn’t have the chops or hot-fire spit to bind the disparate elements of “How’s This?” together into a cohesive whole. Rather, “How’s This” flails about limply for almost four minutes before unceremoniously concluding in an instant (It’s the musical equivalent of bad drunk sex is what I’m saying).
Somehow, the video ends up being even worse than the song. While it takes about two minutes for the song to reveal that it really doesn’t have a grand scheme going for it, the video for “How’s This?” takes about twenty seconds to realize its own blah-ness. An exceedingly long tribute to THE CLERB, “How’s This?” creates its party atmosphere through such creative means as: drinks (!), slo-mo shots of extras dancing (!), dollar bills in the errrrrrrr (!), kissing (!), strobe lights (!) and Hyuna (a legitimate !). To give the video credit, putting Hyuna on a set automatically makes the whole thing watchable. What is unforgivable is everything that surrounds Hyuna in “How’s This?” For a solo artist who has made a career out of trolling prudish netizens with highly sexualized concepts and pretty good beats, Hyuna’s latest comeback is shockingly bland. It’s the kind of mediocre concept that barely qualifies as one. It’s the sort of video that one would expect out of a K-Pop idol going through her first solo debut – a moderately sexy concept tied to a cookie-cutter concept that the artist could build upon in future releases. But for Hyuna, a grizzled veteran of K-Pop solos who is so good that Cube Entertainment was basically willing to torpedo 4Minute to focus on her, “How’s This?” is awfully boilerplate.