Song Review: Hyolyn – No Thanks

Hyolyn - No ThanksHyolyn absolutely killed her Queendom stages. She seemed the odds-on favorite throughout much of the competition, but was ultimately undone by a relative lack of international fandom power. Such is the business of modern K-pop, I guess. For me, she’ll always enjoy “legend” status based on her work with Sistar alone. But, I have a confession to make: although I adore Hyolyn as a talent, most of her solo music just isn’t for me.

Apart from the 2018 triple punch of Dally, See Sea (!) and Bae, not many of her songs have connected with me. I think it’s mostly a case of the producers she chooses to work with. Hyolyn’s greatest charm lies within her vocals, and a track like No Thanks doesn’t take advantage of that talent. It’s serving looks, but I’m craving hooks. There’s only so many ways you can mutter “no thanks.” It’s just not a compelling centerpiece.

No Thanks delivers an addictive beat, hinging on a wonky bassline and bright percussion. And when its sing-talk delivery becomes more melodic during the pre-chorus, it seems we may be headed toward something great. But sadly, the song’s inert hook robs it of momentum. Rather than grooving along, I find myself becoming disinterested. I wish more of the track sounded like its bridge, where the instrumental bears more teeth by injecting some fun synth textures. Alas, most of No Thanks places K-pop attitude over memorable songwriting. A talent as undeniable as Hyolyn’s deserves a more well-rounded showcase. At least this is a big step up from Waka Boom!

 Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7

12 thoughts on “Song Review: Hyolyn – No Thanks

  1. Honestly, I quite dislike this one. Especially that chorus, it’s so lazy and irritating. Hyolyn doesn’t deserve such a throwaway material, she’s capable of doing much more than this. Btw, for some reason this song sounds like it was released in 2014 for me.
    My rating would be:

    Hooks: 6
    Production: 8
    Longevity: 7
    Bias: 7
    Total: 7/10

    I’m really disappointed.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The song is trying to hard to be a solo release plu meme or TikTok or something and succeeds at being none of the above. Also, how many costume changes and crotch shots does one really need to do to make up for the lack of decent hooks and melody?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. i guess when you’ve already given us see sea (one of the best kpop songs, and maybe pop songs in general) you’ve already cemented your status, but is it too much to ask to keep delivering songs like that? hyolyn is such an incredible performer with a voice made for selling the hell out of bright, summery pop. she deserves a lot better than a 2015 fifth harmony/meghan trainor knockoff


    • That’s usually something wrong with the structure of the system supporting your career. It also doesn’t help that it IS Hyolyn’s label that she has a personal financial stake in. I’d wager there isn’t a single person surrounding her that will say “If you keep releasing music like this, you might not have a career or agency much longer.” I also feel sorry that she is someone that clearly cares about music and artistry, but what comes naturally to her and what she is best at clearly isn’t the music she wants to be making or vice versa. That doesn’t mean she has to completely stop making the music she wants even if its unprofitable. It does mean she needs to be smart about it, treat those songs just sunk cost that won’t be recovered, and also release music that is more…. commercially viable (ie. what the general public wants to hear from her)… to generate revenue to support what would be viewed as her side, more “artistic” or alternative endeavors, because aside from her skills as a performer and reputations, she really doesn’t have another way in place to financially supplement her career through other means.


      • “It does mean she needs to be **smart** about it, treat those songs just sunk cost that won’t be recovered, and also release music that is more…. commercially viable” — THIS. Totally agree with you. Girl really must try to be smart in choosing songs.

        Liked by 1 person

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