Sometimes the end is not the end. Disbandment for groups often means no new music, rare sightings of the members together, or a huge amount of potential lost if the group had yet to show what they were really made of. This might have been the case for Pristin, Pledis’ ill-fated girl group that had shined so brightly at their debut. Thankfully, for four of the members, the end was another beginning. HINAPIA, consisting of Minkyeung, Eunwoo, Gyeongwon, Yaebin, all formerly from Pristina, and joined by new face Bada, made their debut under OSR Entertainment earlier this month with the seductively powerful ‘Drip.’ For a fresh start, it certainly makes a statement. And it’s certain that HINAPIA is a name that will be remembered.
Opening with a ‘dripping’ synth pattern and alluring vocals, ‘Drip gets off to strong start from the get-go. This song isn’t intent on giving powerful beat drops, though it does use subtle ones to it’s advantage. It’s almost a blend of a strong girl crush concept the likes of 2NE1 might have pulled off, and something more along the sexy lines of, say, Girls Day’s ‘Something.’ This blend works to their advantage. It’s classy, but also not too loud. The vocals play on the safer side most of the time, occasionally drifting towards the more seductive side of the scale. This works well for the image that the girls seem to be going for. There’s no high-pitched, out of range vocals here. When the pitch rises, it’s always in comfortable limits, and this gives an overall maturity to the song that stands them in good stead to be taken seriously. The vocal run in the first line is also wonderful to listen to.
Structurally, ‘Drip’ doesn’t stray from the familiar path too much. Instead, it does the standard well. The pre-chorus strips much of the instrumental to give some build-up to the chorus, a welcome change from the heavy bass-driven verse. Even better, when the chorus hits, there are some great almost syncopated hits in the background, the drawn-out vocal lines complimenting this perfectly. It’s not an amazingly catchy chorus – no doubt the repetitive ‘drip drip drip’ of the post-chorus will be the earworm with this one – but it’s a welcome well-rounded chorus that doesn’t feel too void of melody or voices.
The rapped lines in the second verse play around with dissonant sounding notes, contrasting to the backing track. This, and having the rap stay as something rather melodic, means the second verse fits into the overall feel of the song. However, a little more build to the final chorus might have been needed, as well as perhaps a fuller-sounding final repeat. This would have made the outro pay off just that little bit more. Yet as a whole, it still works. By the end of the song, it’s expected and satisfying. Sometimes, a little more familiarity works wonders, and with HINAPIA, it’s given them a solid debut foundation to take leaps from.
The music video, meanwhile, stays in an even safer range. The girls’ visuals are key here, obviously, and the camera lingers on them enough to show it. There are some great shots here too, of a half-destroyed rose of example, of some of the slow sweeps over the various areas the members inhabit.
There does some to be a slight dissonance between the video and the music. The pace and rhythms don’t often match with the slow shots and long moments between cuts. Perhaps this was the intention. At times, it works – such as the opening and the outro to the chorus. Yet with the powerful presence of the music, and the faster tempo, sometimes the music video tends to fall behind.
Choreography is given its moments to shine through. The shots give full focus to the dance and make sure that the viewer doesn’t miss the full picture, which can sometimes happen with excessive close-ups. Thankfully, these closer moments are saved for some beautiful shots of the girls, with sultry, powerful looks that will no doubt be just as memorable as their name.