It seems like a Hyolyn solo album has been imminent for some time now. Till now she’s gone by releasing a number of solid singles, with some immediate standouts and other less successful attempts. This all culminates in the release of ”Say My Name” her first album after leaving Starship Entertainment. Unfortunately, rather than stuff this project with new material, the end result is more akin to a small greatest hits collection as majority of the album is comprised of those aforementioned singles. And much like this particular marketing strategy, title track Say The Name just feels really lazy.
For someone with such as instantly recognisable and engaging vocal, Hyolyn fails to imbue much of Say My Name with any kind of real personality. This is more a production issue than an one about Hyolyn herself, but that doesn’t make the end result any more faceless. In fact, Say My Name feels like it could have been released by just about anyone in the past few years, adhering strongly to the kind of trap-reggaeton beat that’s become increasingly popular. It’s a style that while I don’t particularly dislike, fails to really do much for me. The chorus is tracks most underwhelming and mind numbing moment, opting for a slurred repetition of what can be only described as a collection of catchphrases rather than any real discernible melody. It fails to really make use of Hyolyn’s powerful and unique vocal blend and compared to something as effortlessly cool as See Sea, feels completely forgettable.
That’s a shame because there’s some real potential hidden within those reggae influenced verses. Sure, they don’t really go anywhere but I’m quite partial to this kind of beat. It coasts along on a very sensual groove and I really wish the track leaned a little more into these particular influences. It does attempt make use to them but the aforementioned hook comes along to dull most of the atmosphere created by the tracks connective tissue. Many might be utterly charmed by this approach but to say it’s not for me would be an understatement. Now excuse me while I go give the superior Say My Name another listen.
Final Rating: 6.25 / 10