One of this year’s rookie favorites, girl group (G)I-DLE, are back on the scene with single “Hann.” After May’s explosive debut track “Latata” hit the charts with astonishing endurance for a brand-new group, anticipation was high for the ladies’ first comeback. “Hann” is exactly what you would expect from the follow-up to any breakout hit: It resembles “Latata” in perhaps 50% of its makeup, which is to say, the part of it that is a lax dance track with an ethnic twist. The similarities extend to the new track’s strengths and flaws, which play out almost exactly as did those of “Latata.”
After the opening whistle melody, “Hann” kicks off with Soyeon’s distinctive voice rapping over a heavy, deliberate beat. Already the song has more personality than many of its chart competitors. There’s an element of uniqueness there, a sense of “this could only be Idle,” which was also felt in “Latata.” Unfortunately, a certain fraction of this standout feeling is lost as layers of doubling and production drown out the tones of the following vocalists such as Minnie and Yuqi. The number one reason “Latata” made for such a good debut was the distinctiveness of the members’ voices—Soyeon with her drawling delivery, Minnie’s immediate charisma, Yuqi with her powerful deep tone—but “Hann,” for some reason, doesn’t comprehensively play to the members’ strengths in quite the same way.
While the members’ voices blend together more than they do in “Latata,” the verses of “Hann” themselves are incredible. That slow but pounding beat, the bass steadily building energy, the changing melody: all of it builds towards something huge as verses should. But nothing huge is delivered. “Hann” deserves a massive drop, but the beat of the verses somehow goes harder than the hook itself. The vocal melody of the chorus is too light, too delicate, to match with the rest of the song’s dark atmosphere. It’s the same flaw as in “Latata”—while the chorus is good alone, it doesn’t contrast with the verses enough to leave its own distinct impression. As a result, the song stagnates faster than it might have if the hook had introduced a new beat.
Despite whatever structural failures “Hann” and “Latata” might share, the fact remains that Idle is one of the most talented girl groups to debut within the last two or three years. As far as I can tell, showing the members off should be Cube’s number one priority production-wise at this point. I hope their next song is built to suit the members the way “Latata” was, because as long as their voices can be heard clearly, they’re going to be remembered.
HANN: KAYBOP OR KAYFLOP? Boppish.
Take a look at (G)I-DLE’s “Hann” MV below: