It’s been almost two years since Hyuna and Hyunseung teamed up to create Troublemaker, Kpop’s most smoldering duo. The paring originally seemed like a nice little side project for the two, and yet, Troublemaker not only became on of the best songs of 2011…it became one of the best songs in Kpop period. Luckily, the duo is shedding their “one and done” label. They’ve reunited for the release of Now, a song that burns with all of the sexual tension we’d expect from…well, anything associated with Hyuna.
Like the duo’s 2011 hit, Now is a slow burning mid-tempo track that simply smolders with sexual tension. The beat is dirtier, even a bit edgier. The minimal production is just brilliant, really allowing the snappy snare drums, mysterious bass, and elegant string melody to flourish without being overstated. Its all held together by catchy synth, making this song a serious toe tapper.
Unfortunately, Now lacks the same infectious hook that helped make Troublemaker an insta-hit. The repetitions of “Tell me now now!” are just no substitute for the infectious “Tro-u-ble, tro-u-ble, tra-troublemaker!” The whistles and snaps have been replaced by a murmuring “Ooooh” that are just as infectious, but a bit less enjoyable.
Vocally, Now shows Hyuna stretching herself as a singer, but her specialty is still her half-sung-half-rapped verses…and, you know…all the sexy that she does in the song’s music video. Hyunseung provides all the vocal harmonies that keep the song tied together. This time around, his parts are expanded to make Troublemaker appear as a much more cohesive duo, rather than two artists simply featuring in the same song. Together, they really show great chemistry.
Overall, Now is a rather unique experience, and is definitely something refreshing in the Kpop market. While I don’t know if its quite as good as their previous release, its still pretty damn good. It also helps that the music video is one of the most original things in the currently stale Kpop market. Granted, its just a repeat of a certain Rihanna video, but still…
Final Score: 3/5