[Review] 4Minute’s “Crazy” is fire and showcases the group at their best

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After releasing a music video that was outside their usual MO in “Cold Rain,” 4Minute has now released the proper title track for their comeback, “Crazy.” While “Cold Rain” may have been a ballad-like departure for the quintet, “Crazy” is a pure distillation of the 4Minute sound, which also happens to rank among the group’s best efforts.

The most amazing thing about “Crazy” is that it manages to pace itself as nicely as it does. The production borders on manic. Transitions come and go with barely a warning. Drum rolls appear out of nowhere before disappearing with all the swiftness of a hand wave. Horns, sirens, electronic whoops, and shattered glass swirl together to make a blizzard of noise that is miraculously melodic. Describing “Crazy” makes one sound insane, but that’s honestly why it works so well. The beat marches on with a determined fervor and never lets up.

The vocals are the main reason why the beat can get away with employing a whole kitchen sink of hip-pop tricks. With as many sound effects (and that’s really what it is) as “Crazy” goes through, the vocals have to keep pace and give structure to everything. Luckily, 4Minute more than holds it own (hell, between this and “Volume Up,” 4Minute have shown that they can hold down a beat when called upon). HyunA tears through her rap bits, while Sohyun and Jiyoon effortlessly blend rapping and singing without missing a beat. Critically, Jihyun and Gayoon put forth some flawlessly powerful vocal performances which help balance the frenetic pace of the production and singing/rapping that surround them.

There is never a moment where 4Minute doesn’t feel in charge of the production, no matter how many disparate sounds are thrown their way. The group is able to convey a tone which perfectly toes the line between cockiness and arrogance. “Crazy” may be chaotic, but 4Minute turns it into controlled chaos. “Crazy” is essentially what SNSD‘s “I Got A Boy” was aiming for and what it should have been.

The video doesn’t excite nearly as much as the music does, but it gets the job done. “Crazy” is a pretty standard “dance-in-a-box” concept which uses a black and white filter and calls it a day. The members basically snarl and wear bucket hats and look hot while doing so.

Strangely, because the music is so fast-paced, the usual headache-inducing editing of K-pop videos works with “Crazy.” The rapid-fire strobe lights, half-second cuts, and blazing quick pans are disorientating, but they fit within the context of the music and the choreography which appears to be a lot of synchronized shimmying and shaking. The black-and-white filter keeps the video from getting too overbearing, and the small dashes of color add nice pop. It’s pretty boilerplate stuff, but when the song is already as packed as it is, having a standard video to go with it is a bit of a relief.

Also, Jihyun is a goddess.

The year is young, but 4Minute may have already released one of the strongest releases of 2015, because “Crazy” is a blast. The production stuffs so much into a short three minutes, but 4Minute knows what to do when given an intense electro-trap-pop beat. They take the reins and turn what could have been a trainwreck in the hands of a less experienced group and make it an unforgettable high-wire act. Most impressive of all is how every member contributes to the success of the song. “Crazy” is not the HyunA show at all, and every member of 4Minute throws themselves at “Crazy” while none of them can be pointed at as a weak link.

“Crazy” is sprawling yet precise. It is energetic yet measured. It is 4Minute operating at their best.

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