Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

4Minute – Cold Rain

The latest in the fine tradition of K-Pop groups releasing another single by the time we post an entry…


Micha Cavaseno: Other groups often sound like a bunch of people yanking each other out of the spotlight for a chance to shine, but 4Minute hold onto a strange sense of teamwork, like pool aerobics. Here they are going for R&B ballad territory. The rapping seems to be less interested here in working perfectly than feeling textural to the solemnity of the track, and never overshadows the other vocals present, even when drawn to the fore.

Anthony Easton: 5 weeks into 2015 and this piano coda is the best thing I’ve heard yet. The hip-hop breakdown midway through is up there too, even if the rest is a little too whipped cream cloud to be really interesting.

Mo Kim: Sounds like my dad’s Ford smelled in 2002; only the brief tinges of electronic keys indicate that this is new material. The members of 4minute do a good job filling the space with harmonies that trickle from relived joy to grief to resentment; more of a drizzle than a downpour.

Patrick St. Michel: Personally, give me the stupid energetic 4Minute song using a cheap horn sound over the dreary ballad. 

Alfred Soto: I’m less delighted by the rapping than by the strained high notes soaring past the keyboard tinkles. Hard rain, very hard. 

Iain Mew: Sometimes in the midst of sadness, you get to the point where embracing it feels like the best answer. You don’t stop feeling sad, but on some level take a perverse joy from the bad too, whether that’s locking yourself out of your flat on the way to work at an awful time, or just being met by appropriate weather. “Cold Rain” is soaked through with sadness, the singing sounding somewhere between stoic and drained around its teardrop synth pings. Yet in its dancing piano runs and in Hyuna and Sohyun’s looser parts, it gets that hint of uplift just right, too.

Madeleine Lee: I have an ongoing playlist of songs like this: the melodic overacting of ballads at a tempo that doesn’t put me to sleep, with more angst than the polite ballad format allows. I don’t like ballads, but I love drama, and somehow this combination of the two is one of my favourite sounds. The playlist is named “Macho Sad,” because I am a sexist and because I associate this kind of song more with boy groups than girl groups. (4minute’s labelmates Beast, for instance, have more of these than they do regular ballads.) Not that 4minute are alone on this playlist (hi, EXID!), but they are part of the minority. The title track, “Crazy,” is being promoted more consciously as Music That Girl Groups Don’t Do, with the group going so far as to say “We’ve given up on male fans this time around.” It’s a negation; they mean that girls doing trap is man-repellent, not that they’re appealing to female fans instead. But looking at the macho, sad company I’ve now placed them in, they may be doing the latter by default, anyway.

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3 Responses to “4Minute – Cold Rain”

  1. I’m actually quite excited to see what you all have to say about “Crazy” – we’re barely over a month into 2015 and i’m confident that it will remain a favorite of mine this entire year (hint: Gayoon’s pre-chorus will give you so. much. life.)

    As for this song, it’s a bit plain, and while the styling is phenomenal it doesn’t quite make up for jihyun’s… i guess we’ll call it singing? I like it enough though. Hyuna and the Minutes are off to a fantastic start this year :D

  2. I couldn’t figure out what to say about this beyond “sounds like a Spice Girls deep cut”

  3. Exid\s Every Night is a classic on a different level from this, although whatever you think about ‘Cold Rain’ it’s one of those tracks which sound unmistakably native to k-pop.