nine muses drama
Despite having more lineup changes than Jewelry, never winning first place on a music program, and coming from one of the shittiest, most abusive agencies in Korea, Nine Muses have never been anything less than stellar. Even their controversial J.Y. Park-produced debut “No Playboy” worked with its trashy charm, while the group’s following Sweetune singles have all been nothing short of perfection.

The group’s new single, their ninth, is their first since “Figaro” not to be produced by Sweetune. Lesser known producer Jeong Chang-wook steps in instead, and despite having impossibly large shoes to fill (the Muses x Sweetune pairing is one of K-pop’s greatest), he delivers so strongly with “Drama” that it manages to be just as good as everything else the group has ever put out.

The “Drama” arrangement is really surprising, with an explosive opener courtesy of rappers Erin and Sungah and a sudden, abrupt ending that makes the song feel much shorter than its 3-minute runtime. The obvious wow moments are specifically placed at the start and the finish instead of on the chorus or the bridge like they would be in most songs, which is a really fresh approach for K-pop.

“Drama” sounds like carnival muzak, which is weird because it’s also incredibly funky and chic. I never thought elevator music or fairground tunes could be called “chic,” but somehow the Muses managed to make it happen.

There’s a lot of other odd touches to “Drama” too, specifically the vocal arrangements: the Muses’ voices often ping high or drift off like they were just thrown down a deep gorge, and sudden mini-raps unexpectedly burst in random places.

“Drama” is the kind of song that only K-pop –where the super commercial collides with the super creative– could produce. Even the lyrics are interesting, with the group comparing a real-life love triangle where two friends are in love with the same guy to the drama of a soap opera.

I think a lot of the inventiveness of “Drama” could easily be lost on people who might be too quick to write it off as another typical girl group pop song, but if you really listen to it, it’s a very different, nuanced piece of pop music–it’s just not as immediately obvious as something like an f(x) single.

“Drama” is so amazing that I don’t even wanna dwell on the visual aspect of this comeback too much, but I know it’s my duty to. First of all, I don’t really *get* the concept (what is this whole old Hollywood meets bondage meets German cabaret thing?!), and I don’t know why they bothered copying Rainbow Blaxx’s necktie choreography when they haven’t even bothered to bring the damn ties on stage for half of their performances so far.

Also, new member Keumjo a.k.a. KumJoop needs to GTFO ASAP. She could probably work in certain girl groups, but the legendary Nine Muses ain’t one of ’em. She looks like a premature Muse who was delivered too early so she never fully developed into the womanly supermodel-dol that the Muses are supposed to be. She needs some damn oestrogen shots or something. She’s half-finished and half-baked and she needs to go back to the incubator crib for another three months until she’s ripe and ready for public consumption.

As for Sojin, she clearly listened to AOA’s “Short Hair” because her bob cut has made her blossom into a doll-like beauty and nation’s new first love.

All the regular Muses are fantastic as always, but a specific shout out goes to Hyemi who got prettier somehow, Erin who gets more flawless by the second, and Kyungri who is clearly one of the top five hottest female idols in K-pop today.

Minus KumJoop and a confusing concept, “Drama” is EVERYTHING and further proof that the Nine Muses can survive and thrive no matter who the members are or which producer is making the music.

EVEN THE DRAMA B-SIDES SLAY FOR FUCKS SAKE.

If you’re a K-pop fan and Nine Muses are not one of your biases, then you need to seriously re-evaluate your choices in life. That is all.


  • KingBeaArthur

    KumJoop…KumJoop. Kum. Joop.

  • Julian Jung

    That intro though. Slay Muses are the true gay icon.

    This was such a make or break comeback for these girls, and I’m so glad this song is being well received. While it makes me sad to see Queen Sera not be a part of this single (which would have suited her perfectly btw), I hope these girls can get at least one win this time around.

    Side note, I really wish Keumjo was taller, but I really do see her as Sera Jr. She has such a jpop voice (she could sing an opening for any anime tbh), and lovely tone.

  • roelm

    Not one of their stronger offerings though I still like it. I agree that it is structurally odd and has features that could be developed further in future releases. It is not as fierce as previous releases but is more pleasantly melodic with more use of harmony, I think.
    That video intro sound – not actually part of the song – may have potential in future releases.

    While the “Drama” single does not quite stand out to me, I like the other songs in the mini-album: the album sounds cohesive and quite pleasant. I especially like “Choice” which seems to have borrowed elements from “Don’t stop til you get enough” and “Rock with You” (from MJ’s Off the Wall album).

    I do hope they finally gain greater success with this release. Maybe the change in sound can help.

  • byoing~byoing.

    I remember how I didn’t give two shits about Sojin and now she’s done a Kyungri and Hyuna and just slotted herself in nicely to the group. Man, how wrong was I thinking she’d be useless? There was a performance over the weekend where she was winking at the camera and everything and let me tell you, I was flailing at my computer something chronic. Dear Lord, Kumjoo tho – seriously girl. I’m giving her one more comeback.

    Also yasss to the b-side stanning. The only think I don’t care about was 9/17. However, Choice and Tears are EVERYHTHINGGGGGGGGGGG.

    • DKabre

      CHOICE IS SO GOOD

      I bet there are plenty of hoes who already called Star Empire trying to buy the song for future use.

  • Nana’s Disco Stick

    Star Uhmpire baked KumJoop with Sera’s mold. her vocals (though not as powerful or memorable as Sera’s) gives the group enough vocal substance to fill the gap Sera left. (heck it even sounds like Sera’s at some points, see: their version of Wild at their Show Most showcase).

    what’s sad is that they seem to have planned to make KumJoop a miniature version of Canada’s goddess, which resulted to her becoming a midget because Sera is already miniature.

    • DKabre

      lmao all this kummidget shade is the best.

  • ByronZ

    Drama and the B-sides are beyond perfect.

    Kyungri <3 <3 <3

  • Suzy Sooyoung

    I think this song is another winner for our girls and at this point can they do any wrong? The song grows and grows with each listen. And the whole mini is OMG so good. They really put an effort to slay and I hope they get a bit more success than last time, even tho I don’t know why they didn’t get a true hit already.
    I like both new members, for different reasons. I think Sojin as short as she is, has lots of charms. As for KJ, she is the new Boram to me. I hope y’all give this fragile-dol a chance because she adds kind of a girl next door look to these super hot models. And by girl next door look I mean old goblin looking wretched face.
    The MV and concept as confusing as they are, look at least cute, I guess.

    LETZ GO GURLZ.

    • James Smith III

      Spain is trying to be the next Lee Sem

  • Db

    That screencap with Hyuna’s butt… HNGH!!!

    I don’t think the song is as strong as Sweetune’s productions. It kind of stays flat without any kind of climax and it ends too abruptly. That doesn’t mean I haven’t had it on repeat since it was released. They could release the shittiest of songs and I’d still eat it up because it’s Nine Muses.

    The mini is great too!

  • jizabel

    Kumjo is going to spend February-March in China getting that leg extension surgery and afterwards you all will eat your words when she shoves her one of her now-six-foot-long legs down your froats. btw the organ-y fairground music is a throwback to the standard organ lead-ins of olde soap operas. Observe:

    http://youtu.be/h1ilpiGgbHs

    So, in fact, this song is not only a fucking bop, it’s actually one of the wittiest uses of an instrument in kpop herstory.

    • Wow that’s so clever and makes a lot of sense! When I first heard it I thought it was muzak like Hyomin’s Nice Body but mixed in with some fairground music, but this soap opera theme music makes sense, that’s why it still sounded kinda sophisticated instead of straight goofy.

    • Suzy Sooyoung

      I know they’ll all stan for the fragile-dol KJ once she gets killer surgeries!

  • Sunny

    i’m glad they’re making Hyemi look less cute and more womanly (her angry face at the end of MV gave me LIFE)

    ty for providing a summary of the lyrics as well. some of the other kpop reviewers don’t talk about the lyrics at all.

    • Explicit.

      I think she fixed her teeth. But she was so cute though with her old snaggletooth and it separated her from the pack. Forever missing my lone virgin <3

  • MinahFag

    Keumjo is so cute tho D:

  • lildarien

    KumJoop looks like a little sister trying to play along with the big girls.

    “She’s half-finished and half-baked and she needs to go back to the incubator crib for another three months until she’s ripe and ready for public consumption.”

    THIS

  • William Love

    Keumjo is so adorable she’s like the classy kawaii princess nine muses never needed! She definitely doesn’t fit the nine muses mold though and it’s really fucking awkward how this teeny bopper is the new main vocal along with kyungri (who I would go straight for btw)

    Praying that their next addition to the group is some fucking sexy gorgeous model and/or clara, cause that shit would SLAY

    • I’ve been saying Clara needs to join for ages!! But my twitter friends shaded me when I said it!

  • BadB*tch

    Love the song, girls are on point – def poppin it. Only distraction is the girl in the red two piece dress (0:42) (with the black bra sticking out), her nose! I mean those nostrils are humongous! Kinda looks like a who from the Grinch.

  • James Smith III

    Hyuna never ceases to give me everything!

  • 8muses*
    It’s not the same if they’re not 9, and if one of them is not called Sera. The single is great, though.

  • yosafbridge

    For those who still miss Sera, she just released a MV :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6V4SC227Mfo

  • JustJam

    They all look stunning! Looks like they’ve tried to re-invent themselves a little here. The song reminds me of Dolls which is still my favorite song from them. The new members seem to be great additions as well. Hope they do better this year