[Review] HOLO – Lee Hi

Like all YG artists, past or present, Lee Hi was heavily under-promoted during her time under the widely known company. It made complete sense for Lee Hi to move to a different company once her contract with her former company was up for resigning. The company she ended up moving to was AOMG (the home of some of the biggest Korean hip-hop and R&B artists). This was only announced yesterday despite it being heavily rumored over the last few months. And the day after the announcement (i.e. today), Lee Hi makes her grand comeback with her first AOMG single, HOLO. Hopefully it is the start of countless others from the popular soloist.

Lee Hi’s HOLO goes down the ballad route. It is a breathtaking song that left me speechless when I listened to it for the first time earlier today. And that speechlessness remains each time I have listened to the song since that initial listen. When I am not speechless, I am admiring all the fine points of HOLO. The song starts off with a nice piano melody. It is simple, yet it is prominent enough to really set the momentum from the first second. Lee Hi’s vocals come into play alongside this piano melody. You get a sense of emotion during the verses, but it is subtle. And note that it isn’t really a saddening emotion. Instead, I find a soothing and comforting emotion coming from her voice. She doesn’t dive right into it and overwhelm us, though. She restrains herself and doesn’t let her powerful vocals off until we reach the chorus, where she amps up her vocals alongside the song’s instrumentation. And from that point onward, her vocals just keep on building. This inclining climb is something that I don’t ever remember Lee Hi doing before and it is because of this that I find the song refreshing. The song had stunning melody and it pretty much had me swaying along to the music the entire time. I really like how the backing vocals help lift the song and added a golden tone/definition to her vocals. Overall, HOLO is one beautiful song that you cannot afford to miss.

It seems like Lee Hi takes the role of a guardian angel in this video, which makes sense since her vocals are comforting and soothing. It seems the young girl in the music video is depressed and alone. When she tries to take her life, Lee Hi is seen swimming to her to get her out of the water. There are a number of scenes that depict Lee Hi with wings, which further proves this. The ending is a little more cryptic. At the start of the video, we see Lee Hi leaning over a person in a black and white dress. At the end of the video, we see Lee Hi standing in the exact same dress. I think the ending suggests that Lee Hi was the one being saved. We don’t see the figure at the start to identify the figure as the young girl, despite seeing the young girl clearly throughout the rest of the video. Why keep her identity hidden? It only makes sense if the young girl was Lee Hi when she was younger. The song is about ‘convey[ing] a message of consolation to herself for overcoming a period of solitude and to those who are living in a confined environment’ (Taken from Soompi). So this theory of the young girl and Lee Hi being one person makes total sense.

Song – 10/10
Music Video – 10/10
Overall Rating – 10/10

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