20150210_seoulbeats_4minuteIt’s time once again for the annual comeback of Cube‘s ladies, 4Minute. Returning with their sixth mini-album, Crazy, the quintet promised fans a revamped comeback, and that’s what we got. Following two years of bright, over-the-top released under the production of Brave Brothers, 4Minute has returned with a mini that is both quintessentially 4minute and a new direction, having ditched the loud and zany for some stripped-down crazy.

Crazy jumps right into the fray with “Crazy.” At the heart, “Crazy” is nothing more than a party jam, encouraging everyone to join 4Minute and get crazy on the dance floor. That said, it is a damn good one. It will pump you up and cause you to start dancing, no matter where you are. Gayoon‘s soaring build only to have the floor of the chorus is amazing, and the ‘C-R-A-Z-Y’ is beyond addictive. Of course, the true gem of “Crazy” is that horn loop. It gives some class to “Crazy” to counteract the wildness of the song.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nCLBTmjJBY]

“Cut It Out” is a song that proves that entertainment companies can learn. One of the big issues with Hyuna‘s last solo, A Talk, was that it equated ‘stripped-down’ with ‘repetitive and boring.’ “Cut It Out” is definitely a more stripped song, but it’s actually interesting to the ear. It uses effects to push the beat instead of decorating it. The different voices of the members are utilized to provide a contrast, both with each other and with the harder, driving beat. It’s definitely worth a listen.

20150214_seolbeats_4Minute_SohyunIn many ways, “Tickle Tickle Tickle” is the sequel song to “Crazy.” It’s a very danceable song, with a brass loop-driven chorus, though here it’s trumpets. But where “Crazy” was about going crazy by yourself on a dance floor, “Tickle Tickle Tickle” is about being driven crazy by someone, hopefully in a more close-quarters scenario. The lyrics, penned by the lovely Sohyun, are fantastically playful, especially the dragged-out “you tickle me.” The production matches perfectly. It bears quite a few similarities to Block B‘s “Nalina”, but as far as I’m concerned, that’s a good thing.The whole beat is built on the back of a wonderfully funky bass line, for a rich, seductive effect.

“Stand Out” is one of the more generic songs on Crazy, but it’s still a fun listen. It definitely carries on the playful vibe of “Tickle Tickle Tickle,” but is much more direct in its’ subject. “Stand Out” is the ode to one night stands that K-pop has really needed. The energy of the song is excellent; it sounds like something you’d play at a party, but a more laid-back, low-key one.  Of course, what really clenches “Stand Out” from the jaws of ‘meh’ is the creative use of xylophones. Never thought I’d say that, but it really makes this song stand out from other electro-pop songs.

“Show Me” is the most techno out of all the songs on Crazy, and probably my personal favorite. It’s a very infectious song that rivals “Crazy” for danceability. “Show Me” differs from the previous four tracks by putting 4Minute as the offensive, rather than falling into a wild night without planning it, and it’s great to see these ladies on the prowl.  That said, it is the most generic song on the mini — those “ehs” make up a disturbingly large part of the lyrics — but it’s so well performed that I don’t really care.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqlkQehhssk]

The final track is the pre-release song “Cold Rain.” It’s a beautiful song and very well performed. Everyone sounds amazing. It’s much more interesting musically, than most ballads, and great on its own,  but “Cold Rain” is really out of place on this mini. After 5 songs about going out and getting some, Crazy ends on moping. It just feels really out of place on a mini that is so cohesive otherwise.

20150214_seolbeats_4Minute2Crazy is one of 4Minute’s best albums, hands down. A huge part of that is that it really feels like 4Minute, not Hyuna and her backup dancers. Every member sounds amazing on all their lines. Even more impressive: across the board, the line distribution was pretty damn even. If one lady got snubbed on the amount of lines she got in a song, those she had were usually on the bridge all to themselves — Sohyun on “Cold Rain” or Jihyun on “Crazy”.

Crazy is a ridiculously cohesive mini-album. The songs flowed so effortlessly from one to the next that talking about them as individual pieces of music was quite tricky. The first 5/6 of Crazy place 4Minute in the role of the player, kicking ass and taking names for later tonight. It’s pure danceable fun from start to (almost) end, and even then, “Cold Rain” is a cut above most ballads. I guarantee that your ass will be shaking the whole time Crazy’s playing. You’d be crazy not to.

Rating: 4.5/5

(Images via Cube Entertainment, YouTube [1], [2])