After drawing everybody’s attention with amazing individual image teasers, Nine Muses released “Hurt Locker” and instantly vaulted themselves to the top of the girl group heap so far this summer.
Let’s start out with the negative, cause I only have one complaint apart from the fact that I could’ve used another 20 minutes of video. The main thing the song could’ve improved on is maintaining on the build from the first verse to the chorus to the second verse instead of dialing the volume all the way back down for the second go around. I would’ve liked to have heard the same instrumental in verse two that was used for Euaerin‘s rap bridge in order to keep the tempo up, but other than that there was little to complain about.
“Hurt Locker” actually starts off rather slow, but it’s with a purpose, as it builds from talk-singing to talk-rapping to the pre-chorus, all the way to the chorus, which was amazing to listen to. The chorus was memorable and catchy, and finally we got an actual upbeat tempo that works in one of these never-ending wannabe summer/club songs. The whole thing was like a volume up, less static, improved version of Rainbow‘s “Black Swan“, which I know sounds like an insult because it bombed, but both me and theyellowslug thought that was a great song as it is.
The music video for “Hurt Locker” really helps accentuate everything and was highly effective. It was an amazingly shot music video with an eye-catching outdoor setting at a shipping yard that I assume took major influence from Tinashe‘s “All Hands On Deck“. Since that setting was such a great idea, I find nothing wrong with Nine Muses using that to provide a much more open music video experience than the usual stuffy K-pop box affairs (while literally dancing on top of boxes).
The director did a great job of making us forget that this was indeed all filmed in a grimey-ass shipping yard by maintaining a colorful, diverse background and utilizing creative overhead shots. Better yet, and most importantly, there weren’t too many annoying cuts and the editor allowed ample time for all the members to get their individual time to shine.
And shine they did, because visually, well shit:
My only concern? It won’t chart well, especially because the hook might be too EDM-esque, which seems to have completely died out in terms of selling in Korea. Regardless of how it charts though, “Hurt Locker” deserves to be Nine Muses’ breakout hit.