[Review] H.U.B pick up on Latin trends to comeback with satisfactory “Finale”

H.U.B, who you may only know through Hyosun‘s light popularity on ‘The Unit‘, are taking another stab at the charts with comeback song “Finale.” Or maybe you only know that Rui is hot thanks to IAFTB highlighting her. Either way, I was quite excited to see what they had to offer with this release.

This song is right on trend with the recent Latin-inspired pop music we’ve seen rising in popularity in Korea, so if you were already sick of it, this is only going to make you more ill. I’ll start right off the bat saying that this release isn’t without flaw. As the title implies, this ends up being satisfactory for me for multiple reasons.

I find the first verse building into the pre-chorus rather strong. I like that there’s a lot of space in the opening lines only to gradually build both instrumentally and lyrically as we lead up to the main refrain. Within the refrain lies my first qualm, though. The instrumental and melody are catchy, but there’s a lot going on between the lyrics, the doo doo’s , the ahh’s in the post refrain … the chorus could use some space. It feels flooded with sound, but in an unnecessary way. Especially so with the specific choice of using “doo doo” as a vocalization throughout the chorus and post chorus. It’s very overpowering, with ‘d’ being such a hard and pronounced consonant and ‘o’ being a very strong vowel sound. For some, that might be a positive because it certainly permeates everything else. It had me questioning, though, if a simple vowel change could improve the overall landscape. (Such as using something that has a softer vowel sound, like a “na” instead of “doo”.)

Unfortunately, once we get out of the first chorus, instead of dropping back into the spacious verse that I found so successful at the start, we are hit with a rap. The following pre-chorus that built so perfectly no longer builds in the same way and I found the rap not needed. In fact, it was only memorable to me because of how awkward it seemed to fit. Finally, we get to the ending section of the track, and I really wish they gave the bridge more of a moment to breathe and add, again, more space to the song. It feels so short lived, and it fails to build into any real final climax. They could’ve milked this section with the classic Spanish guitar and gradually built back into the full instrumental with layers. Instead, we get something that feels like an after thought. Unfortunate.

What I didn’t find unfortunate, though, is the music video. I really liked the barefoot desert dance shots, and how everything had a desert-like filter with a dusty warmth over most of the shots.

Hyosun, whose hair I found more distracting than anything else, was at the front of most of the dance sequences, but they rightfully highlighted all of the members well. Actually, I found Rui and the main vocal stood out to me as particularly stunning. This group is definitely not lacking visual appeal.

I liked the song and the visual experience of this comeback as a whole. The music has room for improvement, but I still feel this is a step in the right direction and that this was able to showcase H.U.B as a group well. Unfortunately, given the nature of the K-pop industry at the moment, that doesn’t really mean much, and that’s probably why I was eager to review this. I honestly didn’t think we’d be hearing from this group again since they didn’t immediately use the exposure of ‘The Unit’, so hopefully this isn’t the last we hear of them because I can see the potential.

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