I have a slight confession to make. Of all the major kpop girl groups, I’ve just never been able to get into 4minute’s music, and I find that baffling. I did love their entire Crazy mini album last year and Hyuna’s Red was one of my favorite tracks of 2014. They have so many of the aspects I love about girl groups, but for some reason I haven’t been able to connect with their music outside of tracks here and there.
It’s with this ambivalent headspace that I came into Hate. This time around, the girls worked with popular international producer Skrillex, which didn’t fill me with much hope. And true to predictions, it’s the Skrillex-esque portions of Hate that are the most off-putting. As many have already said, the song suffers from Bang Bang Bang syndrome: great build-up, lame hook. But unlike Bang Bang Bang, Hate just doesn’t have enough finesse to pull past its shortcomings.
Hate builds up beautifully during the first verses, transitioning from dreamy quasi-ballad to attitude-filled EDM. Then, at about 1:10 in, it all goes wrong. I can’t stress enough how much I despise these noisy, clattering electronic beats in place of actual choruses. It’s the number one kpop trend I hope dies a quick death. It makes the song feel piecemeal, frantic and honestly… lazy. I get what they were going for, but Crazy did it a million times better. Where that track had production choices that supported the song, Hate‘s production completely takes over, hijacking what might have been something great and burying the poor girls under its weight.