Song Review: HyunA – Nabillera

HyunA - NabilleraEarly on in HyunA’s new single Nabillera, she references her 2011 mega-hit Bubble Pop. It’s a bittersweet moment, because it reminds listeners how incredible her music can be. Match a dynamite song with an artist as charismatic as HyunA and you have K-pop that defines the entire industry. Songs like Red and Roll Deep saw her at her creative peek, melding quirky hip-hop with insanely catchy hooks. With Nabillera (나빌레라), the quirky hip-hop remains, but the hooks feel less inspired.

Over the past few years, K-pop has become more comfortable with single-word or single-phrase hooks, repeated often without modulation. It feels like an easy way out, and only works if you’ve got an absolutely incredible instrumental to back it up. Nabillera’s simple chorus doesn’t inspire much excitement. It’s oddly monotone in delivery, underlined by a spare bass-driven beat. It’s not annoying in the way these hooks can often be. It’s just… there.

HyunA herself could never be accused of being “just there.” Her charisma fuels even the slightest of tracks, and it’s always a treat to hear her play with a song. Her flow is light on its feet throughout Nabillera, and the pre-chorus gives her a (brief) chance to inject some vocals into the mix. The song is pleasant and groovy throughout. It just doesn’t go anywhere or do anything to draw attention. Rather than offer a watered down version of past glories, it would’ve been fun to hear HyunA push her artistry in new directions.

 Hooks 6
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8

15 thoughts on “Song Review: HyunA – Nabillera

  1. I’ve learned something today. I finally looked up what “Navillera” means, and it is roughly “to fly like a butterfly” just as Hyuna sings or chants here.
    That’s all I got.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sorry but she just hasn’t had an amazing release since Retro Future with Triple H in 2018… her songs under P Nation have all been very disappointing.


  3. Dammit…that was such an unwelcoming assault of a legendary artist like HyunA.
    I mean, wtf is this absolutely throwaway, ultra-lazy chorus which does nothing but spins its wheels with her repeating “nabillera! nabillera” for a trillion times?! One more time I’m asking, ain’t it just SO FUCKING HARD TO WRITE AN ACTUAL CHORUS NOWADAYS, huh? Seems like K-pop says “no” without hearing the fans themselves…
    Btw, because of this (and million reasons more) I’m getting more and more disconnected from K-pop as a whole one day after another…..

    Talking of how I’d rate this song, low-5’s for me. How unfortunate that we have to suffer from lackluster releases like this😒😠

    Liked by 2 people

    • I feel the same. It’s not just missing choruses though, it’s lazy and piss poor production values as well. IMO, the vast majority of K-pop singles in the past six months have been utter rubbish. I have to replay old TWICE or Red Velvet once in a while to remind myself that it didn’t always used to be like this, but it seems so long ago now.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It blows my mind that PROFESSIONAL MUSICIANS made this. I understand that the industry is prioritizing image and fanservice over artistry now. But you’d think someone who literally makes their living making music wouldn’t find it too difficult to make something interesting. If I put in this little effort at my job, I would get fired.


  5. I personally dig it a lot, super catchy and that hook will be stuck in my head. Maybe it’s because it’s my type of music. It’s a classic Psy production, especially the chorus and rap is so him lol, so I wasn’t surprised he co-wrote it with Hyuna & Dawn. Production is surprisingly minimal coming from Daniel Caesar of Caesar & Loui, since they usually have those “big” productions like their SM songs.

    I just wished they exploded with the usual Psy/P Nation ending. Gonna have to see if it ages well in the live setting, especially I’m Not Cool shined in festivals.



      + i really cant watch the mv.. kept getting distracted by how good that dancer on the right ( min 02.33 ) with tan skin looks. might have to search for his ig now


      • Does she really lift her boobs at 2:22 … ?!!!

        Anyway, I see your right dancer and raise you right and left dancer. You’re welcome. ‘


  6. I actually love this! This is like the hipper spiritual successor to “Flower Shower” (which is still one of my favorite HyunA releases, absolutely zero apologies). I really like that PNation is giving her these sort of delicate, almost playground, gleeful tracks with absurdly sexy video concepts– only HyunA can pull it off. It’s cute, she’s cute, this whole track is pretty cute.

    Liked by 1 person

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