Hyoyeon’s solo reinvention as “HYO” (DJ HYO, if you’re nasty) has been an uneven ride so far. She’s delivered a few stellar tracks (Punk Right Now, Badster), while others have relied more of guest collaborators. Second pairs her with buzzy soloist BIBI and opts for a percussive sound targeted at summer. While many of the song’s rhythmic elements leave their mark, the overall packages fizzles.
I appreciate the percussion within this track. It’s a bit plonky for my taste (pick up the beat, girls!), but there’s a nice variety of sounds within the arrangement. An insistent rumble of synthy bass lends the song weight, but threatens to steamroll over the rest of the production. Second is at its best when the instrumental breathes during BIBI’s rap verse. A more stripped-back arrangement would have done wonders for this song. I really want to dive into that percussive backdrop, but too many competing elements steal attention from the core groove.
An incredible hook could have cut through this noise, but Second’s chanted post-chorus ruins much of the fun. I enjoy the fast-paced refrain that precedes it. Hyoyeon’s vocal compliments the rhythm and increases the song’s energy. However, that goodwill is undone by the cloying nature of the “it’s gonna take a second” hook. It’s like the pop song version of a meme – short and snappy but hollow and flimsy. Second has so many enticing ingredients, but tries to be too many things, all at once.