Hyorin is my number 1 in K pop. She has everything that I want in an idol and musically, her releases have always been some of my personal faves (Love & Hate the album was a very solid intro record). So you can imagine how excited I am for Hyolyn’s return!
So the build up has been nice. We got two other tracks Love Like This and One Step. Both more subdued. Then Paradise happens, and it sounded like the lead single that I was waiting for. And yeah…
Where to begin…
Well the song is missing a mark…several if we’re being honest. But to start this off, what this song the song goes nowhere. 3 minutes and 25 seconds you will be waiting for something to happen, and unfortunately nothing is what you will be met with. The song even feels like it was building up to something at the end. The breakdown, that final chorus, all of it felt like it was growing only to simmer right back down.
Also something feels undone about the song. Parts of the song are nice. The verses are cute, the prechorus before that…drop…is fine. That little sung part after has some bop to it. There were moments in the beat that makes it fun. But other than that…I don’t think this song feels complete or together. I don’t think the song wants to be unique or something, but the structure doesn’t seem to be standard. The drop was supposed to be exciting but it wasn’t. There isn’t a hook to make it catchy. It just felt off. The issues with the song don’t just stop with the song itself, but Hyorin as well.
Once again, I stan Hyorin. I have dived into her work, and loved a lot of it. There is a vibe that I associate with her. Paradise does not have it. Sure it has the grand, performance center that she is known for. But part of that comes with her energy as well. On Paradise, Hyolyn almost sounds stifled. Well not stifled…more like bored. This was a boring performance on a song that was supposed to be energetic. I am not talking about her singing through the raptors and doing vocal gymnastics. It’s the swagger that’s missing. Like she is moving through the song with maybe a third of her normal gusto (and only manages to come through on that last chorus). She sounds good, but that is to be expected from the normally beloved vocalist/performer.
In short, as a song Paradise is lazy, and does nothing for Hyorin, nor does she do anything to make it better.
The video doesn’t fare much better as it is a wild mess of imagery that once again looks nice by themselves, but together don’t mesh well. Hyorin is pretty, and a story was not going to be present period, meaning expectations were rather low from the jump. I expected to get a video of her being pretty with dance scenes. But from what I got the dance seemed a little slow, a lot of sets that may not have been needed or worse underutilized. It wasn’t her best.
Unfortunately Paradise was not a hit. With the nice build up that was leading to it, I feel let down by what was delivered. Especially since it took three years to get another album from her. Hopefully the next one will not be too far off, and they can make up for it. Paradise feels uninspired loud and just messy. And Hyorin seems not able to really command it, or actually try to.