While Lee Hi‘s “Breathe” was a pleasant song for a dying whale, “Hold Your Hand” was more along the lines of what I expected to here from her to begin with.
I complained about “Breathe” for laying down a completely uninteresting instrumental and just letting Lee Hi wail over it, but “Hold Your Hand” was an example of how to utilize a voice like Lee Hi’s correctly. The instrumental’s doo-wop and soul feel set a perfect stage for Lee Hi’s similarly inspired vocal performance, which matched perfectly within the element of the track. With her slight rasp but definite buttery-smooth soulfulness, I struggle to find an easy comparison to a Korean artist for her vocals, which makes her performance on “Hold Your Hand” all the more unique and memorable. It simply stands out.
Besides the relatively original sound that serves as an effective break from the utter sameness (that “Breathe” contributed to), I was impressed by how well “Hold Your Hand” just flows together seamlessly. The transitions in and out of the chorus, as well as in and out of the bridge, were almost faultless. Additionally, “Hold Your Hand” did the little things like adding pre-chorus finger-snaps the second time around, as well as adding a clever nursery rhyme interlude to break the potential repetitiveness along the way.
There simply wasn’t a lot to complain about with “Hold Your Hand” as a song, as it was well-executed and well-constructed all around.
The music video is equally impressive, at least conceptually, with its late-80s pixelated video game theme combined with some kind of shamelessly shojo anime setting.
The combination of that with a modern/futuristic aesthetic at points shouldn’t have worked…
…but it did, primarily I think due to the directing work done on the music video that never makes you break immersion even if the setting is completely ungrounded in reality (if that makes sense).
For as cliche as music videos can get nowadays, this combined all sorts of different elements to make for a entertaining and appropriate alternative to the norm that complemented the song perfectly instead of distracting from it.
Overall, it was difficult to find fault with “Hold Your Hand”. After “Breathe”, I decided to ignore “Hold Your Hand” until later, and I wasn’t planning on giving it much attention. That was a mistake, as “Hold Your Hand” instantly changed my mind on what I expected, and the combination of an original, catchy sound and a unique, engaging music video made the whole experience impressive.