4minute Whatcha Doing Today
4minute scored the second No. 1 single of their career yesterday when “Whatcha Doin’ Today” debuted at the top of the Gaon chart. I immediately thought “Sajaegi!!!to this for three reasons: 1) K-pop fans both in Korea and abroad have been mercilessly trashing this comeback for being  too weird or too generic (depending on which idiot you ask). 2) The song hasn’t done too well on the digital charts since its release, and 3) Both 4minute and producer Brave Brothers have been suspected of chart manipulation in the past.

Whatever got this song to No. 1, I don’t really care — I’m just happy it’s there. What I’ve realized from this comeback is that I fucking love 4minute and I think that they may actually be one of my favorite girl groups. The closest I’ve ever come to disliking one of their singles is “Heart To Heart” (I initially despised “What’s Your Name?” but eventually recognized its genius and became obsessed), and with the girls getting prettier with each comeback thanks to dangerous dieting and the surgeon’s scalpel, 4minute just keeps gettin’ better and better in every way.

Here’s exactly what I think about PHOMINNIT’S return, broken down into four parts, of course.

4minute Brave
1. Brave Brothers’ bonkers production

When Brave Brothers finds a formula that works, he sticks with it for as long as humanly possible, squeezing every last drop out of the sound until it’s time to create something new and start the cycle all over again. “Whatcha Doin’ Today” is one of his rare fresh templates with a sound that can’t specifically be compared to anything else he’s done before. The bizarre production combines K-pop’s penchant for producing hits that sound like five different songs in one with Brave’s skill for writing stupidly simplistic hooks that turn out more addictive than a shot of propofol.

Aside from some rap breaks, everything in “Whatcha Doin’ Today” sounds like a chorus or a pre-chorus — and I mean everything. From the idiotic refrains (“La la la la la la!“) to the farty horns and tropical synths, there isn’t one part of this song that wasn’t designed to be an earworm. The downside is that there’s so much going on that the opposite can happen and you might find yourself with nothing stuck in your head once the audio goes off, but it sure as hell makes for one hell of a ride when it’s on, and isn’t that the important bit?

4minute visuals
2. The enormous increase in beauty

I don’t like to bring up celebrities looks when it’s something that they can’t change, like just being naturally fugly, but in my mind I’m always secretly judging when there’s an idol that lacks in both visuals and talent. Sohyun was one of those idols, and I’ve always wanted her booted from 4minute for dragging the visual average down and contributing nothing to the group in vocals or rapping or charm or anything. Well, I don’t know what happened with this comeback, but all of a sudden Sohyun is frickin’ gorgeous! I don’t care if it’s plastic surgery or if she simply just grew into her gigantic moonface — bitch is so cute now! She’s finally serving all the charms that a maknae should. I guess she learned from Gayoon unnie, who shaved her jaw down into a fine point and developed a serious eating disorder before 2YOON’s debut.

And can we please talk about HyunA? I always thought her charisma was more her overall persona than her actual looks, but she’s an utter knockout in the “Whatcha Doin’ Today” MV. The padded body proportions, the lipstick, the black bob and big eyes — it’s the best she’s EVER looked. I was always a HyunA fan, but now I’m a certified stan.

4minute Whatcha Doing Today MV
3. 4(minute) out f(x)’s f(x)

4minute’s over-styled hipster fashionista concept is straight out of f(x)’s style book, but 4minute’s taken it to places that f(x) has never dared to go. While f(x) know how to serve the left-field pop bops and avant-garde cover art, they fall short on everything else — their music videos never break the generic dance-in-a-box mould, and their performances and choreography suffer from a severe lack of creativity. 4(minute), on the other hand, have gone all out (and then some) for the “Whatcha’ Doin’ Today” MV.

Overloaded with cartoonish kink and sexual imagery, the video is excessive, even by K-pop standards. There’s the usual titillation  –HyunA booty popping, HyunA writhing around against a pole, HyunA showing cleavage– but there’s also a lot of weird stuff — namely, the bathroom fixation. Jiyoon raps and masturbates on a porcelain throne before later peeing into a men’s urinal, and the metallic male backup dancers that flood the video even put their faces in the urinals and shoulder-pop in toilet stalls. One man is also shoved into a locker, two of them kiss, and three get spanked while locked in a spit-roast sex position.

Considering that “Whatcha Doin’ Today” is a song about filling up spare time with casual sex, what are all the homosexual references in the video trying to tell us? To hit up the local beat and get blown behind the toilet block? To enjoy the benefits of glory holes? I think it’s a broader message about making sex fun and indulging in our fetishes, no matter how dirty and socially-unacceptable they may be. Not the sick crossing-the-line kind of fetishes, obviously — I’m talking vinyl-clad French maids, having gay sex on drugs, partaking in watersports. That sort of thing.

Never did I think that 4minute would be the group to deliver K-pop’s answer to A Dirty Shame, but I guess stranger things have happened. (Like 2NE1 somehow not flopping with “Come Back Home,” aka the worst K-pop song of the year.)

4minute Other
4. Please fire this member

Every time I write about 4minute I always go out of my way to mention how Sohyun and ‘Other’ (I refuse to use her real name, whatever it is) need to be fired. Now that Sohyun has come into her own and finally contributed something to the group, it just leaves us with Other. She can’t sing, she can’t dance, she has no charm, and she’s the oldest member. She’s pretty, but in a beige actress-y kind of way. 4minute would be so perfect if she just quit music for movies, and then the group’s member number would finally match their name. It’d be a win-win for everyone involved!

#StopOther #4minute4members

  • talinekae

    What made me like the song is the choreography. It’s as catchy as the song!

  • KingBeaArthur

    #4 – I’ve always jokingly agreed she should be booted, but after seeing her give NOTHING (while Sohyun shockingly killed!) in the dance practice vid, I’m petitioning CUBE legitimately to hand her her walking papers or move her to the acting division ASAP.

    I love this comeback! Whatever your feelings about the quality of the song, it’s another Brave concoction that won me over after the first listen.

    The mv is the real selling point for this era. Everyone looks amazing and the visual assault of color & debauchery was golden. But most of all, it’s nice to just see a group having fun, and not trying to be cute, serious, or sexy (although HyunA sweats sex, so it’s hard not to notice her – that opening walk and pop… o_o). Best moment though: Jiyoon on the toilet SPITTING HOT FIRE while wearing a bedazzled vagina top! Your fave was exiled to China soon after~

  • omg FINALLY! i will bitch because it took so long for you to review this. i absolutely love it from start and i was anxious about your opinion.

    i agree with every little thing you said cept for jihyun…i actually like her. not like like i stan her, she just doesn’t bother me lol i like moonface since what’s your name and i she reached all my high levels of cuteness on is it poppin’ [btw, what an underrated song that was!].

    and shall we mention that the mini album is beyond great? the opening track is very 4minute intro, but i’m glad it’s a full song this time. hyuna shines all over the thing and jiyoon is a queen, i love her since 2yoon and well she’s the lesbian queen of this group and i love how she’s a marvelous vocalist and how cube allowed her to rap on this track. she matches hyuna perfectly.

    speaking of hyuna, what a lovely track is that one of hers with gayoon. so sweet and sexy. and the bossa nova track they do at the end…really! i’m in love with this release

  • Allen Alexander

    I LOVE THIS SHIT. I guess someone in Cube’s staff is new because they are getting the biggest comeback stages of their career with this song and I love how fun the video was and that it didn’t take itself too seriously. My favorite bits were Jiyoon spitting that REALNESS and then Hyuna and Jiyoon’s later rap duo bits (Hyuna sometimes gets this look like she could cut you in half and that’s one of the parts where the lights reflect in her eyes just enough to make her look DANGEROUS.) Special mention to Sohyun for holding it down as well! Jihyun….she needs to go.

    • PoppinName

      Their CEO is new since Hong (the original CEO) is now sick someone had to be appointed to take his place. Before, when Hong was in place, it was BEAST getting the best production, but now, I think they’re focused in 4Minute more since “What’s Your Name?” is now considered as the best single CUBE Entertainment has produced.

  • UncleFan

    With everyone hating on Jihyun, I feel compelled to rush to her defense! I get what people are saying, but I think you guys are missing something. Jihyun fills a role that seems to exist in every K-pop girl group: the conventionally attractive good girl that a (Korean) man would want to bring home to Mom. The clues are all the articles about Jihyun’s “bare faced beauty” and how all the men in real life ask her for her number. Just because international fans don’t like her doesn’t mean she isn’t there for a reason.

    Besides, what if your wish was granted, and Jihyun got kicked out of 4Minute for being too boring? Who would be next? Jooyeon from After School? The nameless half of A Pink?? *Gasp*… Yoona?!?! …… I don’t even want to go there.

    • Other is the type that only looks pretty in the MVs are photoshoots. On stage she’s so dull and awkward looking. And you can’t actually compare her to those other icons.

      Yoona = Goddess beauty and ethereal charm
      Jooyeon = Flawless bad ass bitch
      A Pink = a group of basics minus Eunji and Naeun so it’s not like there’s one particular member bringing the group down.

      Other doesn’t even fill the role you mention because nobody likes her. Even Korean netizens think she’s boring http://netizenbuzz.blogspot.com.au/2013/05/4minute-on-people-inside.html

      • my god! what horrible comments on that netizenbuzz link jacques! i mean yes, no one’s forcing them to be celebrities, but wow the level of compassion these people show towards their idols is so horribly ironic – it makes me sad. crazy world!

        • You don’t read netizenbuzz regulary? Girl, that’s LIGHT compared to the usual stuff. Korean netizens are the scum of the earth. Tbh I used to want to visit Korea but after reading Netizenbuzz I will never go there. The whole site gives such a bad image of Koreans.

          • i never read comments, except here and on popdust. i just don’t have the stomach.

            i’d still go to korea though. internet commenters are not the best example to any society. i bet that even swedish or norwegian people are ashamed of their netiznes.

          • heart2heart

            I’ve been to Korea and not all of the people are like the netizens. Maybe if they are they don’t show it. It seems to me it’s just like anyone else trying to act hardcore behind a keyboard. I also think most netizens are either losers LOL players who have nothing better to do, or upset 13 year old girls that oppar will never date them. Most Koreans over 17 years old don’t give two shits about a majority of the idols.

      • heart2heart

        APink is easily the worst and most boring girl group. I like Namjoo the most actually. Eunji isn’t the worst overall, but her group sucks so bad it makes her suck. Naeun is just a bad Hara ripoff.
        Maybe Cube should transfer Eunji or Namjoo into 4Minute and put Other and Sohyun in APink so Apink can flop like they were truly meant to, and 4minute finally shine like they’re supposed to. Gayoon and a nonsucky APink member’s vox + Jiyoon x Hyuna rap line? fuckin pls.

  • ICONI3

    yes yes to everything. This is their best song to me. EVERYTHING about it is fucking flawless and fierce…I can’t believe bitches are trashing it.

  • Michael Curd

    For me, the song is awful but music video is great. And Hyuna is HOT.

  • oneclearnight

    As much as I love to hate on Brave Brothers and his endless recycling, he does produce some really catchy stuff. This song has been stuck on my head for days, and the mv is completely wacky in the best way possible. I am sad it’s totally flopping though (how on earth did it reach #1 when it’s already fallen out of the top 10 on the instiz real time chart??). Tbh, there’s no justice in the world – Come Back Home is awful, thank god someone finally said it. ILY, Jacques.

    I sort of agree about Jihyun – she’s a total sweetheart, but she’s so utterly lacklustre on stage. Half the time she looks like she doesn’t even want to be there. At least Sohyun tries.

    • heart2heart

      The problem with Sohyun is that she tries so hard to be like Hyuna. Like she’s trying to fill her shoes or something. I don’t know. It’s bothersome to me; 4minute really only need 2yoon and Hyuna – i’d be up for a drastic lineup where the useless hyuns are dropped and they add in someone who brings something new to the group. Jihyun has a nicer voice than Sohyun but Sohyun is more present. it’s annoying.

  • iamallyssaaa

    Oh lord Jihyunnnn. Just thinking of her botched live performances of volume up still gives me nightmares. Her and Dasom from sistar to me are the 2 idols that I genuinely question what the hell they did behind the scenes to get a place in ANY group tbh! In no way do people that un talented and awkward pass auditions… js.

  • Eating disorder jokes now? This blog really has gone to the shitter. <3

    • CookieWookie

      It”s kind of ridiculous joking about an eating disorder

  • ByronZ

    I was waiting for your review about 4Minute’s comeback!.

    I’ve been playing their song like crazy. I stan for them since “Volume Up”. Love they’re back!.

  • heart2heart

    It’s funny that you didn’t like heart to heart since that’s my fave 4minute single, and where I chose my username from. this is such a good comeback, and people need to realize that 4minute are going to keep being more innovative and fierce than all of their faves combined.

    I agree that it should only be 4 members. I still like Other more than Moonface, but at this point idec who would get booted as long as Queen Hyuna, Goddess Jiyoon and Princess Gayoon are all there.

  • Stephen

    Hmm lol I find this hilarious but Jihyun fits the social norm of every odd member per girl group.

    Essentially Jihyun is known as the prettiest member of the group based on Korean values. She has a basic looking face with oily looking skin. To everyone else outside of Korea she looks basic. As far as talent, she’s not the strongest vocalist, but essentially she can hold her own in vocals and is better at singing than Sohyun. She’s the Leader so she has a position to look forward to while HyunA is the rapper, Gayoon is the Main Vocal, Jiyoon is the secondary vocal and Sohyun is the youngest.

    TBH only Gayoon and Jiyoon are the members of 4Minute with any real talent. HyunA has absolutely no real talent aside from her pikachu like rapping and constant pussy popping. Sohyun is just the young one and Jihyun is the tall odd looking member