[Album Review] Hush (2nd Studio Album) – Miss A

One of the good things about doing this ‘Past Album’ reviews segment is that I am able to readily revisit groups who are now disbanded. These non-active groups have amazing albums and songs that just need some attention, even after years of release. The first now-disbanded group that I will be looking at is Miss A with their 2nd studio album, Hush. Hush shares the same name as the album’s lead title track and it also features some songs from the group’s first mini-album (Touch) and second mini-album (Independent Women Part III). For today, I will review only the songs that were present on the Hush album. As for the other songs on the mini-albums, I will return to them another week.

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Hush Album Cover

1..Come On Over (놀러와)Come On Over begins the album with a seductive sound. The track isn’t your most bombastic opener but it does do a good job of introducing the album. I really like the vocals in this track. They are quite breathy and this contributes to the sensual nature that I can detect. The combination of the R&B instrumental and vocals remind me of Uhm Jung Hwa’s songs. But the winning element for me is the rapping which I think is perfect for this track. (9/10)

2. Hush (허쉬) (Title Track) – Usually, I simply put a link to the review for the title tracks. But today, I have decided to offer an explanation. Times have changed and over the years, the song has grown on me immensely. It has grown so much that it has become my most favourite Miss A title track. Hence, I have decided to bump the original 8.5/10 to a 10/10. Obviously, all of my previous thoughts regarding the track have changed however I have decided to keep the original review as is. Click here to read the original full (but now practically invalid) review of Hush. (10/10)

3. Love Is U – One of my favourite tracks on the album is Love Is U. I thought the introductory was very misleading, as soon after the song becomes quite energetic. Showcased from the beginning of the song to the very end is the vocals of the group, which I thought was spectacular. The rapping was equally as nice. The chorus, even though it repeats the title, was my favourite part. I especially liked the ‘Love Is U, U, U’ part of the chorus. (10/10)

4. SpotlightSpotlight follows the energetic sound from the previous song. I like the brightness of the track, which is quite fitting for a song titled Spotlight. While I did like the song’s pop instrumental and vocals, the song did feel rushed, particularly between the verse and chorus. I also did think the song was repetitive, especially after many listens. The best part of the song was the bridge with the ‘Oh Oh Oh’ and the rap sequence, which I think gave the song some much-needed intensity. (8/10)

5. Hide & SeekHide & Seek is another favourite of mine. It brings back the edgy vibe that Hush delivered but it goes with a rock-pop vibe, which I thought was quite addictive. The hooks did not help ease that criterion as I clearly remember the song being engraved into my mind when it was first released in 2014. The rapping just before the chorus was my favourite part of the track because it brings the best out of Jia, who is often overshadowed by the rest of the groups. (10/10)

6. (Mama) I’m Good – Do you see something about the album thus far? Even Track Number 6 is a favourite. It is a feel-good track that really makes you smile regardless of how you are feeling before the track. The instrumental is extremely bright, as you would expect from this type of song. Once again, the vocals are on full blast with this track being their best effort on the album. It is also very catchy. (10/10)

7. Like ULike U brings back that sensual vibe through another R&B number. It provides us listeners a break from the energy filled album thus far but also serves as a great ‘interlude’ to the rest of the album. The vocals are brought back into play with no rapping within the track, which I thought was a suitable omission for this track. Unfortunately, this track wasn’t a favourite as it didn’t have that memorable element to hold me with. But it was still nice nonetheless. (9/10)

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Touch Album Cover (Source: Mithunonthe)

9. Touch (터치) – Once again, I am here to offer an explanation. The original score was a 4/10. But that included the music video and performance, which to this date, I still do not like. Likewise, my original thoughts regarding the song still stand. But back then, there was no breakdown of the final review score and I do not believe a 4/10 represents my thoughts then or now in regard to the song/music. Hence, I have decided to bump the score to a 6.5/10. Click here to read the full review of Touch. (6.5/10)

10. Over U– Repetition may be this song’s main charm. ‘Over U’ is repeated during the chorus and while you may think this might get annoying, it becomes engraved into your mind. Trust me on this one, as it is one memorable song. The verses are what keeps the song moving along as it is rather different. Their vocals also bring some freshness as it moves along, especially Jia’s rapping which I think adds a kick to the song. (9/10)

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Independent Women Part III Album Cover

11. Time’s UpTime’s Up is also another addictive song. To me, it feels like a shuffling song (and here I show my age). I also liked the pre-chorus slowdown, which I thought really gave the song an intriguing turn. The post-chorus instrumental break was quite dynamic and showcased a burst of energy. I also thought the ‘Bye Bye Bye’ was a very delicate touch to the harsh club/dance beat. The rest of the song was equally as good, I just don’t have the space to write all about it! (10/10)

12. If I Were A BoyIf I Were A Boy features a much slower R&B instrumental and raspier vocals from the members. And while we have seen this combination elsewhere in the album, I just cannot seem to really enjoy this song. It is paced so slowly that it feels unfitting for the album, which has featured an overload of energy. To think of this track as a breather doesn’t really help its case. It just isn’t a memorable song and it still has some nice moments. (7/10)

13. I Don’t Need A Man (남자 없이 잘 살아)Click here to read the full review of I Don’t Need A Man. (9/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.3/10

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Hush Teaser Image

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[Review] Fantasy​ – Fei (Miss A)

It has been a while since we last heard from Miss A. Sadly, Jia left the band earlier in the year. Suzy had a collaboration with Baekhyun at the start of the year and is active as an actress. But moving the other members aside, Fei has made her solo debut in South Korea. This is the first major release of a Miss A member that is promoted on stage. Fei is currently the only Chinese member in Miss A at the moment.

Fantasy is an okay song. It does have a sensual sound to it. Personally, it is another one of those songs that make me go “meh”. I am not impressed by it, but not disappointed by it. Like the title of the song, there is that fantasy vibe to the song, which goes well with that sensual sound that I mentioned. Many people liken it to Sunmi’s 24 Hours and I kind of agree with that. Just this song is more of an electronic and pop version of the latter. The song starts off with jaggered soft sounds which does a pretty good job at starting off the song. Fei’s vocals are pretty on point. Sure, they are not as strong, but she does suit this type of song and sound. I do feel like her voice is overshadowed by the instrumental (by the way, really liked the instrumental), especially on stage. Not sure if she is singing softly, but, it is a letdown, because I do fancy members who do not like limelight for their vocals because other members are better than them. All these “overshadowed” members usually have great vocals that suit a particular song. Sure they are not amazing, but they are great when the right song is picked. Song ended too abruptly for me. As a song that eased through the start, it would have been nice to have the song ease out at the end.

Adding to the sensual vibe of the song is the sensual video which had a 19+ rating on it. From what I see, most of the video is in the guy’s perspective who walks into this questionable, off-the-streets place to (I guess) speak some sort of fantasy. I really like the VR (virtual reality) idea. It adds to the futuristic side concept of the video. Though I was expecting porn for some reason somewhere in the video. Maybe at the end, but we were cut off. All jokes aside, I thought it was a well polished and classy (but in a sensual way) video. All the elements were brought together quite nicely. From the lighting to the editing, to the camera work. Some people may say that it went over the top, but I think it just right for the song. Who am I kidding? I probably am like the guy in the video. Just watching this on YouTube is making my jaw drop. I do know it was added to the video because of the concept, but that pixelated background wasn’t that enjoyable. Yes, to Fei, but not that background.

As you all know, I am a sucker for artists who using props on the stage. The hula hoops is an original idea and quite a complex object to incorporate into the dance. But every time I open up the performances, we see Fei and the backup dancers dance perfectly with the hula hoop. Those loops and kicks really well emphasised in the video. The start, with the hula hoop rings to make it look like the start of the music video, was quite nice. I would have liked for them to be used more in the performance, but then again, they are very hard to use (I say that from other experiences, but not dancing experience).

Final Rating – 7.5/10