Queendom 2 wrapped up at the end of May, and since then we have seen the participants make their comeback to ride the wave of attention they have received from being part of the show. On Monday, HYOLYN joined the lineup of participants who have already their comeback (WJSN, Kep1er, VIVIZ and LOONA) with her solo release NO THANKS and her third mini-album, Ice. This is HYOLYN first release since last year’s A-HA and this year’s Layin’ Low with Jooyoung (both of which I have not reviewed).
NO THANKS is a typical track. While I do like her venture into deeper toned territory with this song, I just felt that NO THANKS just wasn’t innovative or mind-blowing. I also didn’t really like how NO THANKS failed to capitalised on HYOLYN’s best asset as an artist – her vocals, especially when I personally felt her explosive vocals could have made NO THANKS more dynamic and a hit (more on this in a bit). The synth based instrumental had a decent zing to it, which I quite enjoyed. There was a refreshing feel to it, and I liked the metallic twangs and touches that added a nice level of detail to the backing to not make it too generic. I do think the instrumental could have gone further during some parts, just to lift up and bring more energy to NO THANKS. The spoken ‘No Thanks‘ hook in the chorus were a bit of a hit or miss for me, which is quite interesting. On some days since the song’s release, I found myself enjoy the hook. Whereas on other days, the hooks felt lazy and too repetitive for my liking. The most disappointing element of the song has to be the vocals. We all know what HYOLYN is capable of, but it just felt like she was too constricted and limited in NO THANKS. I get that she is trying to sound sensual and seductive. But this doesn’t have to come at the expense of her vocals. We do get a bit of a taste of her vocal prowess towards the end of the song, but I think it could have emerged earlier in NO THANKS. Overall, NO THANKS has few positives, and I think the negatives outweigh them for me.
The music video pretty much features your sexy concept, with HYOLYN really showing off with confidence throughout the video. There is nothing wrong with this, and it matches the vocal tones of NO THANKS that I mentioned above. I liked all her looks throughout the video, especially the bold black outfit (completed with the black lipstick) that I put as the feature image for this review. This level of boldness requires guts and I think HYOLYN pulls it off well. Aside from that, the video conforms to your typical sexy and summer concept.
Personally, I think the choreography for this comeback could have been refined. It is a bit messy and better sychronisation between the dancers and HYOLYN could have made the performance look more riveting. The choreography seems to be more on the basic side, as well. This might have been intentional to enable live vocals. But I have seen better routines with similar circumstances.
Song – 6.5/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 6/10
Overall Rating – 6.6/10