Song Review: Hyolyn – Say My Name

Hyolyn has cobbled together solo tracks from the past few years and called it a mini album, which is pretty disappointing for fans waiting for more than two new songs. And, the approach has an unintended effect: it only serves to remind me how much better her 2018 material was than the generic pop she’s peddled this year. As usual, the blame lies on behind-the-scenes talent. She’s moved from Korean luminaries like Black Eyed Pilseung and Duble Sidekick to generic Western producers who deliver polished, but utterly faceless, material.

That’s a good description for Say My Name, which is as about as forgettable as you can get. I never thought I’d use “forgettable” to describe Hyolyn. She’s one of K-pop’s most magnetic performers. But, she needs to find material worthy of her talent. Say My Name’s reheated reggae beat does little to inspire compelling melody. For Hyolyn’s part, she imbues the verses with a plenty of layered backing vocals, delivering that killer tone she’s become famous for. It’s a pity that the song’s tired trap beats don’t offer a similar level of effort.

However, Say My Name’s most glaringly lazy element is its chorus. It’s repetitive, uninteresting and goes nowhere. As boring as the track’s production is, it has potential to support a melody much groovier than this. Instead, the chorus feels way too rigid, without the kind of organic spontaneity that a genre like this should embrace. By the time the song is finished, the only quality I can recall is monotony. That may be fine in some circles, but Hyolyn has proven she can deliver much more.

 Hooks 6
 Production 7
 Longevity 7
 Bias 7
 RATING 6.75


10 thoughts on “Song Review: Hyolyn – Say My Name

  1. Not bad but nothing compared to the trio of singles from last time. I definitely feel whelmed but hopeful she can go through this cycle and come back with something better/more substantial

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with you so much. When I saw the teaser photos I was hoping for something that was similar too See Sea but this was just bland. I feel like if the chorus was good (which it kinda had potential to be?) I wouldn’t have minded the mediocre verses.


  3. I feel like such an old cranky coot with this song, this song being all about contemporary influencer instagram tiktok culture. How many costume changes?

    Style over substance. All about me. Watch me while I do it. Say my name, what.

    This is how the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper.

    Liked by 1 person

      • You and me pal. To contrast, I will go on again about Tom Jones’ career which now spans some 60 years. He always made it about his audience, not him. “Sex bomb, you’re my sex bomb”. Its about you, not me. You and your pussycat nose! His audience aged along with him, and they are still the sex bombs with the pussycat eyes. He still sells out concert halls.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Between ANS and Hyolyn… is “Say My Name” becoming the “Runaway” of 2020? I don’t know why, but that phrase reaches semantic satiation remarkably quickly for me.

    Anyways, Destiny’s Child still did it the best.


  5. Is Hyolyn trying to branch out for a pseudo-US debut? Her recent material and choice of producers certainly makes it seem that way. She’s a remarkably talented performer, and while it seems like she’s settled on an image as a soloist, an established sound is still lacking. Even though the mini is basically just a compilation album of her work since leaving Sistar, it feels very much like the “have a song for any playlist” type albums that have become increasingly popular in the US now. There’s very little cohesive feel to it, just songs that meet as many checkmarks for possible Spotify or iTunes playlists as possible. Too bad this wasn’t released in 2018 with more material from the producers she worked with in the beginning.


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