SECRET’s sex symbol Hyosung had one of last year’s surprise solo hits with her debut single, “Good-night Kiss.” Although it didn’t win on music programs like Sunmi or hit No. 1 like Ailee, the song hung around on Melon for months and eventually made the Gaon yearly chart.
The success was enough to reunite her with “Good-night Kiss” hitmaker Duble Sidekick for a second solo single, the sultry, sax-y “Into You.”
Hyosung follows countless other K-pop stars over the past 12 months by joining the ’90s trend on “Into You,” which is so steeped in nostalgia that it shamelessly steals the synth riff from Spice Girls’ “Say You’ll Be There.”
If only “Into You” was as catchy as one of the Spice Girls’ classics. It’s less sticky than your standard idol pop song, with more focus on its dreamy groove and Hyosung’s breathy sexuality than a huge hook. It’s still great, but it doesn’t really sound like a hit; it feels more like music created for Hyosung to strip to and showcase how insanely hot she is. That heat is then supposed to translate to record sales.
HyunA did this with “Red,” although she was more clear about her vision and intention, not to mention a much bigger star than Hyosung so she can afford to take these kinds of risks.
Hyosung, on the other hand, is very confused. “Into You” and much of its raunchy music video hark back to the ’90s, but then Hyosung’s main concept outfit is a fancy blazer and Victorian era scarves and costume jewellery with stripper bondage gear underneath.
I guess she’s trying to make this rococo skanque thing her signature since she did some of it in “Good-night Kiss,” but it would’ve worked better if she’d just gone simple ’90s sex kitten instead and worn the denim car wash outfit from the MV with a scrunchie in her messy hair.
There’s also no strong point dance to the routine besides Hyo taking her clothes off, which is surprising considering how TS Entertainment media played about enlisting Son Dambi’s choreographer for this comeback. Dambi has minimal talent and about two real hits to show for her entire music career, but every K-pop fan remembers her sitting on that chair and bobbing her head to “Crazy.” Hyo really needed a similar moment for this comeback.
The goal with “Into You” seems to be to take K-pop back to pre-2007 when idol music wasn’t all highly-concentrated hook songs and meme-worthy dance moves for the YouTube generation’s short attention span, but it doesn’t totally work. Things change for a reason, so Hyo should’ve referenced the past whilst still staying modern at the same time.
Anyway, regardless of some of the flaws, “Into You” is still probably the sexiest idol single you’ll hear all summer. (The Fantasia album is also great–especially track 1!) It’s just not going to push Hyosung into the upper echelon of girl group soloists, which is where she deserves to be.
On the bright side, it’ll probably remind the public that she’s K-pop’s defining bagel girl, so that’s something. Others have tried, but there’s only one Hyosung.