4Minute‘s Hyuna and BEAST‘s Hyun Seung, collectively known as Trouble Maker, have been surrounded by hype and so-called “scandal”, but underneath all that image, how does the song measure up? Well, it has certainly lived up to it’s title. In a good way.
From listening to the song alone, there are two important points to raise, the first of which is less technical than the second.
Even before we talk about the technicalities of “Trouble Maker“, it has already managed to break a stereotype. So is this trouble? Not in the bad way, but you could call it that. More often than not, in a male-female duo, the guy is the rapper, while the girl takes the melodic parts. Of course this doesn’t always happen, and “Trouble Maker” is testament to that.
The arrangement works for the duo though, as the circumstances are against them adhering to the more common allocation of parts. First and foremost, Hyuna is more of a rapper than a singer. Although she got a few singing lines here and there, majority of the melodic parts on the song are courtesy of Hyun Seung, who is one of the better vocalists in BEAST. Hyun Seung has the right timbre and enough technique to properly pull off the song, and Hyuna’s light vocals add another, much-welcomed, dimension to the song.
The second kind of “trouble” that these two have stirred up has more to do with the actual song. Even if you could consider the part where they repeat “trouble maker” a few times as the hook, in reality the element of the song that seems more like a hook is that whistle line throughout the song. Unlike other songs which use a similar element in a similar way, the whistling on “Trouble Maker” is very obvious at the beginning of the song and between choruses and verses. For majority of listeners, the whistling is also what they will remember the most, and what will eventually draw them in to listening to the song.
That in itself is very unusual for K-Pop songs these days. Although the trend is slowly shifting back to more melodic hooks that aren’t as repetitive as they were, current hits still all have hooks that require singing, and have lyrics.
As a whole, “Trouble Maker” has broken quite a few of the norms of a K-Pop hit, but in my opinion that’s what will ultimately get people listening to them, and the song. It has a very cool and relaxed sound, but it’s convincing and it packs a punch, courtesy of all the cool instruments and little details they’ve put in, like the variety of synths showcased throughout the song. A solid effort from Cube and the duo, definitely something that won’t be forgotten at the drop of a hat.