Minzy’s debut mini album as a soloist has been highly anticipated since she left YGE’s 2NE1 a little over a year ago. And as a whole, it does not disappoint. Having initially been quite disappointed with the lead single ‘NINANO’, I was surprised that I found Minzy Work 01: Uno as enjoyable as I did.
1: Ninano – ft. Flowsik
The song’s “ninano” chant and the clapping in the pre-chorus make reference to the traditional Korean folk song ‘Nilliliya’. Interestingly, this song is also referenced in G-Dragon’s 2013 ‘Nilira’, suggesting that Minzy still holds YG Entertainment roots close to her.
Ninano’s beat offers something unusual and intriguing, however, the “kkume geurin paradaiseu” refrain is too disjointed from the rest of the song. The air horn also very distracting, but thankfully Flowsik remains true to his name and his well constructed rap minimises its impact. Overall, this is not a bad debut song, however, it is also not particularly memorable.
Aside from ‘Ninano’, this is the EP’s most heavily promoted song. With its heavy R&B influence and the smooth verse to pre-chorus transgression, it displays a vulnerability to Minzy that we didn’t see when she was in 2NE1.
The reggae, R&B and hip-hop influences are truly unified in this track. The prominent EDM synth sounds, Minzy’s powerful tone and some great hooks all contribute to making ING arguably the best song on the EP. The refrain “don’t tell him that I love him, no” has a deep bass sound that wouldn’t be out of place in any club.
4: Flashlight – ft. Jay Park
Oh man, I really wanted to like this. The slow R&B song starts off promising and showcases Minzy’s vocal talent. Unfortunately, Jay Park’s whispery rap lets the track down and he ends up being drowned out by the instrumental. Although he often raps in this style in his own work, and it works perfectly, it does nothing for him here, and brings down the quality of the song.
5: Beautiful Lie
The EP closes with a heartfelt and sincere ballad. With this being Minzy’s first song-writing credit, it’s an impressive feat. Unlike the other songs on the mini album, this one has less evident editing on her vocals, allowing for them to really shine through.
As a whole, this is a strong debut effort from a K-Pop veteran. The five songs on the EP all have a very distinct individual flavour, but sometimes this gets lost under all that is going on. It’s a promising start, and her future is a bright one.
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