Song Review: Hyoyeon – Wannabe (ft. San E)

Hyoyeon — known as one of the main dancers in Girls’ Generation — made her solo debut with last year’s SM Station track Mystery. It left a lot to be desired, especially since Hyoyeon herself possesses so many aspects that make for a compelling solo act. New single Wannabe improves a bit on Mystery, but still feels like a misguided attempt at tackling a genre that doesn’t fit her.

The opening bars of Wannabe are quite off-putting, with a noisy, obnoxious loop that doesn’t seem to know the meaning of restraint. The hip-hop verses are equally unfortunate, positioning Hyoyeon within a “hard” rap persona that feels disingenuous and forced. Watching Hyoyeon on last summer’s Hit The Stage dance variety show, it was clear that she still has an incredible passion for hip-hop style choreography. But just because you can pull off the moves and energy doesn’t mean that you should actually be a rapper. Wannabe would have been better suited as a melodic pop song with urban underpinnings. Painted with such broad strokes, even San E’s verse comes off as cheesy and irritating.

Luckily, Wannabe has its moments. The brassy, attitude-fueled chorus is infinitely better than Mystery‘s, and goes a long way in bringing out Hyoyeon’s charms as a vocalist. Her tone is unlike the other members in Girls’ Generation, and there’s definitely a place for her when it comes to solo material. But Wannabe is another frustrating false start that seeks to caricature rather than compel.

 Hooks  7
 Production  5
 Longevity 6
 Bias  6


2 thoughts on “Song Review: Hyoyeon – Wannabe (ft. San E)

  1. I agree completely! I really like the chorus part – a lot infact- but the verses are incredibly weak.Hyoyeon is one of the most interestinf females in kpop so if only SM would work harder to create tracks that allow her to showcase her skills then she would knock it out of the park. This includes her dancing which her choreography (also) fails to highlight.


  2. Pingback: Song Review: Hyoyeon (Hyo) – Sober (ft. Ummet Ozcan) | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

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