Song Review: BOL4 – Hug

Formerly a duo, BOL4 has become a solo project for Ahn Jiyoung after member Woo Jiyoon left last month. Given this departure, I’m surprised that Jiyoung is already back with new music. Just last week we heard her on a sleepy duet with EXO’s Baekhyun, and now we have a new mini album under the BOL4 name.

I have a confession to make: I dread when new BOL4 music comes out, because I feel obligated to write about it. They’re too popular to ignore, but I have very little to say about their songs. The wispy, indie style is not for me and, quite frankly, I find Jiyoung’s voice to be incredibly grating. I realize I’m probably in the minority with this opinion, but it’ll give you a framework to understand why BOL4’s music rarely rates high on this site. The exception was 2018’s Travel, which was too addictive to ignore – even for a non-fan like myself.

Anyways, new single Hug (품) is a complete bore. It’s the kind of inconsequential springtime release that makes my eyes glaze over. It has a bit more pep in its step than Leo did, but that’s not saying much. The muted instrumental melds keys and guitar for a coffeeshop aesthetic. The verses take a drowsy approach despite their upbeat rhythm, and the chorus just loops around the same airy exclamation. I hardly feel qualified to write about a song like this because it’s so far from anything I’d ever choose to listen to. But, I’m sure it will be embraced by those looking for a more subdued release.

 Hooks 6
 Production 7
 Longevity 7
 Bias 5
 RATING 6.25

Be sure to add your own rating by participating in the poll below!


9 thoughts on “Song Review: BOL4 – Hug

  1. This song is like old old school R&B transformed into kpop aegyo. Somehow last night my youtube autoplay suggested Al Jarreau “Moonlighting”. THAT era of R&B. Ah, memories.

    It is perfectly understandable to hear your biases about voices. Aegyo can get to me most of the time, with exceptions. It just … ooof, I just can’t get grown women trying to be little girls. It offends the core of my sensibilities. Yes, it’s cultural.

    This one here, I’d probably give it a low 7. The Korea public however – this is a perfect example of the schism among Korean kpop fans, international kpop fans, and what is actually on the Gaon charts. This is probably some kind of CAK or PAK already.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lmao the way I snorted at “sleepy duet with Baekhyun” & unfortunately I was drinking water.

    But seriously I think this is the most disappointing song from Bol4. I like one bside so there’s that but goodness, hug is a mess. The instruments and the vocals just feel disconnected, like it was just arranged seperately without the consideration of making them work together. Tbh I forced myself to complete the song because ‘Some’, ‘Galaxy’ and ‘Travel’ are evergreen songs for me so I feel compelled to give them a chance.
    But this song is just not good.. I can’t even find one reason to listen to the song again

    When I heard it I thought you would give it a 5 or 5.5 but 6.5 is okay too.
    For me, I just hope the next comeback would be good.


  3. Totally unrelated but I was watching an anime, and was absolutely impressed with this song. And the storyline just made it that much powerful.


  4. I’d love for a release like Travel again. Even Workaholic was a nice change of pace. Jiyoung seems lovely, but I don’t know why I expected anything else


  5. Kinda average-y, i guess? I personally am a fan of jiyoung’s voice, but man…..her voice did all the works for this song.

    At least the inside out-lite mv are cute? Although in my mind i just keep having this thought of “Man, it would be funny if there’s a sudden brain error and everything crumbled at the end”


  6. Even as a longtime k-pop fan I’ve never listened to BOL4 before now, at least I don’t remember if I have, and so I have no idea how this track compares to their others. According to Wikipedia this track is from the upcoming album entitled “Puberty Book ⅠⅠ A Flower The Butterfly Has Seen”. Ok, WTF?

    Anyway, this song is fairly safe and generic production, and quite unadventurous songwriting. Not terrible, but for sure I won’t be listening to it again. It’s not for me.


  7. I’ve been a fan of Bol4 for years but why do I feel like the title tracks are starting to get more generic? Hug feels so uninspired and doesn’t really sound like title track quality. I thought their previous album, Two Five, was really good because most of the songs are sung in a lower register and were less airy and sugary sounding. But I guess Jiyoung isn’t going in that sound direction anymore.


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