Welcome to another Rapid Review! This week, we’re going to look at 4Minute and their “Volume Up” EP. I originally intended to review their first EP, “For Muzik.” But that album wasn’t as interesting to me.
I have to admit. I’m not that familiar with 4Minute. I was around while they were promoting at Cube Entertainment, and I adore “What You Doin’” and “Crazy.” Still, I never really gave them more than a cursory glance. If you’d like to know more about their formation and history, I highly recommend checking out Mutlifacetedacg’s An Album A Day podcast (Anchor, iTunes, Spotify). She just finished covering their discography, and she goes into more detail than I would.
The first thing I noticed is how the intro, “Get On the Floor,” definitely acts as a sampler for the album. A lot of the things I both love and dislike about the album are present there. A catchy beat, vocal modifiers, a strange musical shift at the end. The gang’s all here!!
Listening to their albums, I’m reminded of how older K-pop albums sound outdated compared to Western trends at that time. This album sounds more similar to pop in 2001-2005 than it does to 2012. “Say My Name” is a great example. It reminds me of one of the many failed girl groups during that time, like Dream or Danity Kane.
“Volume Up” especially reminds me of the Listen To Your Heart Remix that went big in 2005. It’s a big club anthem/pop ballad hybrid that is either hit or miss with me. That being said, I kind of love “Volume Up” now? There’s definitely a lot happening in this song. But it manages to stumbled over into my brand of overkill. We’re fist-bumping while we cry, I guess.
Unfortunately, that’s also my complaint about the album. It’s only 22 minutes long but does so much in its short runtime. “Dream Racer” gave me whiplash from the numerous directions it went. The pre-chorus asks me if I’m ready. I certainly was not. While this gives the ladies of 4Minute a bigger range to play with, it feels more spastic than varied.
I’m OK, Dream Racer, Black Cat
Volume Up, Femme Fatale
I give this album a weak 7 stars. It sent me down memory lane, and I’ll definitely recommend it to people who love 2000s pop. Still, this album isn’t one I’ll have on high circulation.