Song Music Video
Concept 5 Visual/Production Value   6
Lyrics & Music 6 Performance/Choreography     7
Catchiness 7 Costume 7
Lisa’s Opinion 6 Lisa’s Opinion 6
Total 6/10

 

In the this new section called “Throwback Thursday”, I will be checking out songs that have been around for a while but haven’t had the chance to review for one reason or another. In this first article, I will be looking at Hotshot’s latest single.

Hotshot are back with a new song for the first time since 2015. Check out what the guys have been up to since then, and get some background on them here at the brand new “All About: Hotshot” section!


Jelly

Song

The song has a distinct EDM style that sounds slightly dated in a summer that was full  of tropical house. Whilst the song does have elements of this summer’s trend, it has much more in common with the heavier, trance songs of 1990s dance music. Once the introduction has passed, and the verse begins, the tones and pace are very reminiscent of the classic EDM track “Enjoy the Silence” by Depeche Mode. It’s easy to see how much this style has influenced this song. With such iconic influence that affected trance for at least a decade in the West, it’s easy to see why a song like “Jelly” can be understood as dated. The repeating high pitched tone that is present for the introduction gives way to the much lower bass style snap that is constant throughout the song. It’s reminiscent of songs released in 2013/2014, when EDM was all the rage. “Jelly” could appear on the same list as SHINee’s “Everybody” and Girls’ Generation “Catch Me If You Can”.

The high pitched tone returns as the verse progresses through to the chorus, even if it’s not as loud and pronounced. It’s replaced quickly with increasingly rapid beats as the song builds to the chorus and it eventually pays off. There are some odd points where there are effects placed on the vocals, most obviously on Yoon San’s in the rap section. There is no need for these added effects, they do nothing to add to the song, except perhaps date it more firmly as a song that should have been released a few years ago.

The lyrics are those of a failed relationship. A relationship that was once so beautifully sweet he couldn’t get her out of his head; for everything he did reminded him of her. All he wants in this entire world is to be with her, but it cannot be. Nothing matters anymore. Even if the girl in question rips apart his barely healed wound, it won’t matter. These are not exactly typical summer style lyrics! However, this was also a pattern this summer: the “perennial sad ex-lover”. In all iterations of the song, be it translations or my own quick attempt, I cannot place why the song is called “Jelly”, other than oddly inserted “Jelly” in the lyrics. There is nothing that I can relate this back to in the other lyrics.


Video

The video shows us the various states of distress that each of the members are in now that their relationship is over. It has all the stereotypical hallmarks of the “dark and brooding” video; the dark shadows, the mirrors, candles, cages, boxing, no shirts, the usual. There is nothing that stands out as being unique or eye catching in this set up. Even the shots showing the members individually are all the “sad and lonely” shots, as the members are shown looking awfully forlorn.

The light that shines behind the members as they complete the choreography gives a new aspect to everything that I have previously outlined. It obscures the members in shadows, but the light explodes from behind them as they move through their routine. It gives an excellent visual, in what is otherwise a pretty standard MV.

Whilst the video has an average production value, it must be mentioned that the quality of the set, props, and styling is a little on the cheap looking side. Some of the newest groups will have videos on par with this one. This may be due to their company not having enough money, or wanting to invest the funds into this particular comeback. However, it’s clear that the company wanted to have a comeback on the heels of Produce 101, and use the renewed interest in the group to garner more attention.

Lisa’s Opinion

I was not surprised to hear that Ardor and Able (Hotshot’s agency) were planning a Hotshot comeback given Sungwon won 11th place on Produce 101 and Taehyun  survived until the third elimination round.They were the first of the groups to have such a comeback, long before Nu’est W and even Wanna One’s debut in August.

The song is catchy in both positive and negative ways. I love the chorus and the rap section; they are solid and I find myself singing them throughout the day. However, I find some of the sound effects in this song to be grating. I end up skipping it when it appears on my playlist, especially when I’m tired.

The group put a great effort in though. It sounds very different to what they have done in the past, and I hope this gives them a little bit more of a boost in popularity. I would like to hear more music from them,hopefully when they have a little bit more time to devote to it.

If you want to hear more Hotshot, I would recommend “Midnight Sun”, “Watch Out”, and “Take a Shot”. “Midnight Sun” is my favourite of them all!