Since 2017, Girls’ Generation’s Hyoyeon has established a successful career as a dance artist, exploring various avenues of EDM across a series of singles. For me, her output has been hit-or-miss, with highlights like Punk Right Now and Badster far eclipsing the likes of Second and Dessert. But even if I don’t connect with all of them, I think it’s admirable how she’s embracing so many different sounds.
Those sounds are now compiled on a mini album, which includes music from 2018 to today. It’s a wild ride – kind of like being yanked around by “the scrambler” at a carnival. Taking a step back to look at the work as a whole, new single Deep falls somewhere in the middle. It embraces some of my least favorite elements (clanging percussion, chant-shouting), but does so with a verve that’s hard to resist. The song isn’t particularly melodic, even when it pauses for a sung bridge. And, the pots-and-pans dance break is quite off-putting. But in the plus column, Deep’s insistent drive brings a focused energy. The song knows what it wants.
Hyoyeon also knows what she wants. She delivers plenty of attitude, easily matching the intensity of the production. But though I like the abrasiveness of the delivery, Deep could do with a more galvanizing chorus. The song’s two-part hook shows potential and certainly gets pulses racing. I just don’t think the melody is quite there. And without the killer beat of Punk Right Now or Badster, Deep threatens to become monotonous.