Prior to their Feburary comeback, 4Minute has pre-released the MV for “Cold Rain,” one of the two title tracks to be featured on their new album. Although the group’s B-sides indicate that ballads are nothing new for the group, “Cold Rain” as a title track deviates from 4Minute’s usual powerful and dynamic music. If you haven’t seen the video yet, here it is below:


The song deals with the typical aftermath of a breakup; as its title suggests, the lyrics paint an image of the singer standing in the rain, scarred by her previous relationship yet unable to let go. This theme is echoed by the song itself, the feeling of emptiness and loneliness portrayed by the quiet verses and the melodic pre-chorus. These then build into the passionate chorus, which calls out:

I cannot live without you, no life (alone)
I cannot live without you, no life
Without you, I’m struggling, my love

150131_seoulbeats_jiyoonThe concept of rain is captured by the “durururu” riffs that make up the hook of the song, all the better represented by Jihyun’s delicate voice accompanied by the tinkling notes of the piano. Furthermore, the song showcases an impressive meld between the main vocals — Gayoon’s softer voice and Jiyoon’s stronger vocals. The former’s sweet voice dominates a large part of the song, and her lines in the beginning set the mood for the melancholy piece. Jiyoon’s parts leading up to the chorus add a dose of slightly stronger emotion, and the two’s execution of the refrain creates the desolate feeling it contains. Gayoon’s high airy notes and Jiyoon’s low spoken words also have a nice contrasting-yet-complementary effect. In terms of the raps, neither stick out like a sore thumb by any means, but they don’t add much to the song at the same time. Hyuna’s part slid in with the song’s soft sound more smoothly than I expected, as I hadn’t thought her tone would be very suitable for ballads. Sohyun’s rap, while also well-performed, is slightly misplaced, as it doesn’t give the song a chance to die down during the bridge, which would render the final refrain more impactful.

150131_seoulbeats_gayoonMoving onto the music video, it has a gloomy setup to match the song, from the colours, to the set, to the expressions of the members. It starts off with Gayoon reading a letter, likely from her former lover, which she rips up as the song begins. The majority of the video takes part in an abandoned building, in which the members are found sitting, standing or slowly walking as they move their lips to the song with forlorn expressions, occasionally cut by closeups of them singing behind water pouring down a panel of glass. As opposed to 4Minute’s usual vibrance, the music video dominated by almost exclusively the colour grey. In addition, like many other music videos involving rain, this MV falls into the trap of showing several members standing in the rain while never actually getting wet.

150131_seoulbeats_hyunaOne of the most redeeming aspects of the music video is its aesthetics — the song, despite its dreariness, it has a beautiful quality to it. The lighting, the camera’s changing focus, the flickers of red and the toned-down effects all make the video appealing to watch. However, more importantly, the members look gorgeous. Their styling really highlights their visuals; it’s incredibly on-point, whether it be the hair, makeup or sophisticated winter clothing. Well, almost. I’m not quite sure what happened with Jihyun’s outfit: it makes her look like she’s a trapped feathery nest of some sort. And while Gayoon really had her time to shine in both the song and video, there was generally a lack of Sohyun, especially in the MV. The maknae had only two fleeting shots before appearing in the final pan towards the group as a whole.

On the whole, 4Minute’s “Cold Rain,” is a pretty piece, but nothing spectacular. However, considering spectacularity is difficult to achieve with a ballad, I would say the song is a praiseworthy attempt at taking a different route with their music. With the promise of the group being “revamped,” I’m looking forward to what Crazy, their newest album, will be bringing us.

Rating: 3/5

(YouTube, Cube Entertainment)