Nu’est’s disbandment remains one of last years most unfortunate and surprising revelations, casting aside a group that had risen from the brink of death to one of Korea’s finest and most popular. And while their sound had been slightly stalling in recent years, a Nu’est comeback always proved an exciting yearly prospect. Hidden Side comes as Min Hyun’s first real musical work since then and casts a similarly slinky soundscape to great effect.
Though not the most commanding nor texturally unique, I’ve always liked Minhyun’s voice. His smooth vocals are very easy on the ears and work particularly well with the more sophisticated house sound that Nu’est pulled off so well. His 2019 track Universe still stands as a particular favourite, harnessing a wonderfully atmospheric guitar driven soundscape to create a real standout. Hidden Side is similarly atmospheric but instead aims for something much more upbeat and the results are almost as intoxicating. The production has a real classic touch to it, melding elements of house and slight future bass influence to deliver a pulsating final product that feels as though it’s really got some life to it. It’s very 2019/20 in execution and while that may only be a few years ago, feels quite nostalgic to these ears. Similarly, Minhyun attacks the track, imbuing it with a sense of panache which maintains interest throughout.
Similarly, the melodies hit well. They aren’t the most unique nor impactful of melodies but they’re firm enough to hold their own, rarely collapsing under the weight of the production. I like how the track swerves at just the right moments, creating a sense of lift and intensity which prevents it from potentially growing stale. However, I wish it leaned further into its more experimental or harsher tendencies. Hidden Side is a little too smooth around the edge for me, lacking the kind of knockout element that would really send it soaring. And while it does shift a little during its climax, I believe an additional breakdown or melodic line could really have made an otherwise strong debut single, even better.
Final Rating: 8 / 10