It’s been a fairly busy summer for Hyemi, Kyungri, Sojin, and Keumjo. It’s been just about two weeks since Nine Muses held their second solo concert titled RE:MINE, and it hasn’t been long since the group wrapped up their promotions for “Remember” either. With the group making a glorious return with the repackaged album MUSES DIARY PART 3: LOVE CITY just a month and a half after their last release, it looks like there’s no stopping these girls just yet!
This Time, Brighter!
A complete 180 from “Remember,” “Love City” is more upbeat and colorful. And while it’s a lot different from their previous comeback, the elements for this return are a mixture of some of the concepts we’ve seen from them before.
For starters, I’ll say that “Love City” is “Hurt Locker 2.0,” and I mean that in the most positive way possible. The first time I heard it, I immediately thought of “Hurt Locker” because the first verses of the two songs have the same drum pattern, and the overall feel of both tracks had a similar heavy electronic vibe to it. I’m calling it “Hurt Locker 2.0” because despite the similarities between the two songs, “Love City” completely makes up for what “Hurt Locker” lacked.
While I liked “Hurt Locker” when it came out, I feel that this song has a lot more surprises in its structure (especially that sexy Sojin rap at the beginning) and a less predictable composition. It’s a lot catchier, and it’s the type of song that gets stuck in your head longer.
The Perfect Balance
Lining the electronic dance drum pattern in the arrangement, the most prominent point of the production is the dirty synth bass that enters from the first verse. At first it blends in with the kicks and snares, but you hear it clearly during Sojin’s rap break after the first chorus which, for me, is the most badass moment of the track. The piano is also mixed in along with that element, driving the track onto a more melodic route during certain moments, which plays a big part in giving the track the right balance.
The opening “L.O.V.E.” lines do a good job of immediately capturing the listener's attention, proving to be something of a strong point that goes perfectly with the song’s unpredictability. The track also has very clean production quality. You can tell just by listening that everything was well thought-out and executed, and I can’t point to anything I want to change with the song. Everything was simply perfect—line distribution, melodies, and attitude.
Visually, the music video for “Love City” is quite reminiscent of the music video for the sub-unit track “Lip2Lip.” The two videos share a common color palette during certain shots, though this time the director appears to have used pastel green hues instead of the color pink. This, for me, is the group’s best music video with just the four members (which includes their release as Nine Muses A), simply because it featured a lot of great variety. It was refreshing to see the abundance of choreography shots this time, mostly since the group seemed to have discarded that element with the “Remember” music video, not to mention the great mix of neon lights and dark backdrops in various sequences. My personal favorite parts of the video were the transitions in the first verse where the camera pans out onto each member as the shots progress. That was so cool to see.
I shouldn’t have to say how great the visuals of the four girls are, because that’s a given, but I just have to reiterate that the looks of all members are on point this era. Sojin, in particular, has winning visuals this comeback.
The comeback for “Love City” balances out the group’s musical choices this year. After coming back with something really new and dark with “Remember,” the group is able to showcase something more familiar and fit for the season with “Love City,” and I think it’s the perfect amount of effort for a group that wants to cater to fans of both types of concepts. The only con I can see with this comeback is that this would have been the better track to have introduced at the start of summer in place of “Remember,” as it’s a lot brighter and up-tempo. I feel that the latter might have been a better track to showcase during the winter, but that could just be me overly considering seasonal factors. Anytime throughout the year is, after all, the perfect time for a Nine Muses comeback.
Title Track Score - 9.5/10
Music Video Score - 9.5/10