May kicks off a spree of solo debuts by some of the biggest female idols in Kpop. As the first to enter the field, Secret’s leader, Hyoseong, does not disappoint. But does"Goodnight Kiss" have what it takes to shoot Hyoseong into superstardom?
The song is energetic and compliments the velocity of Hyoseong’s dance moves. But it’s certainly not perfect - the K-I-S-S-I-N-G lullaby gives the song a strange adolescent quality that doesn’t mesh with the adult sexiness of the rest of the song (or Hyoseong’s personality). A closer look at the lyrics: “This is a lullaby for you” brings clarity to the use of children voices in the chorus. Other lyrics forgo any semblance of complexity: “Baby kiss on my kiss on my kiss on my lips.” And then: “My heart boom boom that zoom zoom…”
The awkward bass bellowing, “Hands in the air,” brings the song to a halt and, much like the lullaby, distracts from Hyoseong. These distractions interrupt the upbeat tempo with elements that feel like they’re misplaced, or, at the very least, trying to do more with the song than is needed. We want more Hyoseong!
These elements were surely thrown in to give the song an added dimension and we’re not saying that this is necessarily the wrong idea. It clashes though with the techno dance groove that this song is doing so well. And though Hyoseong is known more for her dancing than her singing, she still has impressive vocals that could have been better utilized in her debut song. Instead of the distractions, we could have heard more of Hyoseong’s powerful voice.
All that being said, the song is fun, pure Kpop, and it gets better with each listen. It’s not complex enough to be memorable, but Hyoseong isn’t going to be a superstar for producing killer lyrics. Hyoseong and the video itself more than makes up for any of the song's deficiencies.
There’s been plenty of talk about the value of sexy concepts. And yes, the past year has seen one too many girl groups going for sex over substance.
But we’re relieved that with “Goodnight Kiss,” Hyoseong has returned to the undeniable sexiness that we haven’t seen since Secret’s “Talk That” video. We’ve always felt that the cute concepts taken up by Secret’s recent videos just don’t fit the star (or the rest of Secret) naturally. If you watch their adult sexiness of “Poison,” accompanied with intense chest pumping and hip shaking, and right after watch Secret’s most recent video, “I Do I Do” with holiday smiles and hands playfully helicoptering, you can see how jarring the shift really is.
No one seemed more out of place in these new cute concepts than Hyoseong. At her best, Hyoseong’s sexiness is as glamorous as it is fierce. Think Beyonce with a touch of Grace Kelly. It’s strange how long TS Entertainment has held Hyoseong’s raw sexuality back when her talent, energy and curvaceous beauty could easily make her a suitable rival for Ga-In or (dare we say it?) even HyunA. We’re not saying that she’s exactly like either of those stars. We’re saying that she could be just as popular. Maybe more so.
We see “Good-night Kiss” as a much needed course-correction. Hyoseong is in her element here, wearing half-a-dozen gorgeous outfits and dancing with confident ferocity.
There is a small story in the music video (a fling with a groom before his wedding or years before? - scandalous!). But the real fun is seeing Hyoseong's wide ranging charisma, from seducer to seduced, from vixen to emotionally embattled to just playing coy. We love Hyoseong’s choreography, though need to see live performances to get a clear look at the iconic moves that could spawn imitators for the rest of the summer. Some have complained of the overt sexiness of some of the close-ups, but this is not a dramatic shift from the Hyoseong we’ve seen before. In fact, those shots don’t seem exploitive so much as completely natural for her.
And no, we don’t quite understand the kiss with the diamond. But it’s...sexy? Kind of.
In “Good-night Kiss,” Hyoseong certainly feels like a superstar. We’re finally seeing her back in her element. And even though the song isn’t perfect, it is catchy enough to become a hit. What’s most important for Hyoseong right now is reestablishing her image. Yes, that image is sexy, and yes, that’s been overdone this past year. But there’s a big difference between Hyoseong and a majority of idols doing sexy concepts. Hyoseong does sexy right.