[Review] HWAA – (G)I-DLE

Please accept my apology for drip feeding you the reviews like this. Today, we are covering another comeback that occurred on Monday of this week. (G)I-DLE made their comeback with HWAA and the mini-album, I Burn. This release follows their DUMDi DUMDi comeback that occurred back in August of 2020. Since the August comeback, the group has been busy with their Japanese comeback, their return as part of the K/DA lineup and an online fanmeet.

The first thought that popped into my head while listening to HWAA the first time was that this new song reminded me of HANN quite a bit, a previous single by the group. And I guess this was based on the atmopsheric approach that the songs share in common. But HWAA is a little different, as (to me) it has a bit of an edge thanks to the more upbeat instrumentation that the song ended up developing towards. I also find that the more intense moments of the song come during the verses, which is slightly different to HANN’s chorus approach when it came to that atmospheric vibe. And as we have that atmosphereic mindset in play, I was also slightly convinced that the group was going to pull an Oh My God styled chorus, which I personally would have been down for. I specifically note this, however, as I have recently found that I seem to be in the minority of people who actually enjoyed the Oh My God comeback. Obviously with that supposed general consenus, something similar would probably have made HWAA less palatable. I am hoping that this is more satisfying for other listeners to actually appreciate the effort that (G)I-DLE has put in for this song/comeback. I personally enjoyed the chorus, but wished there was something more than the HWAA harmonisation to give it that extra oomph. The rest of the vocal work in the song is superb, especially with Soyeon’s vocals at the start of the song and rapping in the second verse. It is however disappointing to hear that Shuhua only got four seconds of lines in the song. The biggest flaw for me with this song was the ending. Too abrupt for my liking. Overall, HWAA was a great song, though the ending was the biggest let down. And such an ending stays with you.

The music video was very aesthetic and stunning to watch. To me, this would rival any YG Entertainment music video. And this is saying a lot given how I am always amazed at the quality of their videos and the grandness of their set design. HWAA consisted for really beautiful and captivating set designs. The icy landscape with the dying tree in the background, Soyeon’s birdnest, the oriental styled walling and the moonlight garden were just so good. I also find their outfits and visuals stunning. Stealing my attention right away is Yuqi’s haristyle and those dresses with flowery patterns on them. The song doesn’t necessarily suit those dresses, but they work extremely well in that moonlight garden setting.

Hand motions and arm work heavily dominate the choreography. It is commendable how graceful they make the all those motios look during the pre-chorus vocal moments, matching with the music. And I really like how robust they make it look during the chorus, giving it energy and intensity to also match with the music at those parts. Essentially, they are doing the same thing but making it go both ways.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 10/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.8/10

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