After releasing two previous singles, “Mango” and “U Um U Um” that served as a lead up to her third mini-album, Hyomin has returned with a new dance track that further emphasizes her sexy persona and idol charisma. Hyomin’s comeback EP titled Allure follows the previously released mini, Sketch that garnered mixed reviews from critics for its over minimalistic production and monotonous delivery that ultimately didn’t help the project raise in the charts or the hearts of listeners.

Fortunately, since the release of “U Um U Um” and its accompanying dance MV, the T-ara alum has garnered an increase in attention and hype in anticipation for the release of Allure. With a title track of the same name, Hyomin definitely presents a change of musical pace but falters in delivering anything more than a lightweight tune that is more-so forgettable.

With “Allure,” Hyomin goes for a much brighter production, sticking to a pop-perfect formula that highlights catchy hook lines and a bouncy vocal melody. With this type of formulaic structure, the song is destined to fade out below the crowd of K-pop releases that have gone on trend to present much more dynamic and distinct sounds. “Allure” fails to impact the listener as the instrumentation treads on being too safe. Although the track has an old school appeal, the inclusion of the generic R&B production does not aid in putting the song above water. The best strand of excitement and attention “Allure” is able to exude is in part due to the music video which showcases Hyomin at her best, being a figure of fun and sexiness.

Indeed the music video for “Allure” is quite fun to watch as Hyomin is placed right in the middle of a timeline where she is the women everyone wants to be and be with. From the opening scene, she is taken to be the lonely figure as the other customers all have someone to dine with. But in the mists of her sadness, Hyomin is served a red lip tint on a platter and the second she paints it across her lips, she is transported to an alternate world where she is able to kidnap the gazes of all those around her. Even the song’s lyrics are able to present the full allure of Hyomin’s transformation.

Slightly put a pretty lipstick on

Light and clear makeup

In the mirror I look so nice

Jawline is sharp

Nose is sky high

Although these types of lyrics will come across shallow and self-indulgent to some, this territory of everlasting, unattainable beauty has been prevalent within Hyomin’s music before. It’s especially true when concerning her controversial 2014 release of “Nice Body” which has been described as having a misogynistic message, damaging to the self-esteem of young women. Yet, despite all the talk, Hyomin repeatedly presents herself in her music videos as the epitome of sex and enchantment. Even her personality seems to have had a dynamic transformation in “Allure” as she changes into a sultry red dress putting on a sly smile. Probably as a nod to her self-awareness of knowing that she is the standard to reach.

These sentiments, in a way, can be taken as a grand showcase of confidence, especially when coming from a woman who has been the target of nasty comments concerning her body and personality since her T-ara days. Hyomin even has the ability to reaffirm her own beauty by displaying an entertaining choreographed routine in which she parades about only needing to smile at others for them to fall completely in her trance. By the end, even the customers are all following her lead as she leads them in dance around the restaurant where Hyomin assures that she can always make them happy.

“Allure” definitely has an edge to it but it is so fine that it makes no impact on the overall tone of Hyomin’s message. If Hyomin was trying to go for showcasing her undeniable confidence, it only worked due to the physical aesthetics and aura she brings to the MV. But even her sexy persona and idol charisma weren’t enough to put the track under a spotlight. The overall, message of the song falls flat because of how forgettable “Allure” sounds. This undermines Hyomin’s performance in her MV and regrettably makes her delivery come off as superficial.

“Allure” isn’t a track that will be loved by all but it will definitely get a strong following from Hyomin’s core fanbase which hopefully she will enjoy. Honestly, it is a shame that Hyomin and her team haven’t been able to take full advantage of what she has to offer as an entertainer and capitalize of the unique charm that makes her so interesting to watch. Hyomin needs stronger songs to match her strong persona and she will undoubtly shine. But I guess it’s something to wait for on her next comeback.

(YouTube, Images via MBK Entertainment)