G.NA is a new name, but for some people she isn't a new face - the girl was part of a 5-member project group under Good Entertainment, the infamous agency Shinhwa fled to after they left SME. The members? The Wonder Girls' Yoobin, After School's UEE, this girl who used to be in T-Ara, Secret's Hyomin, and G.NA, back when she was still called Gina Choi. She was the leader, and supposedly the lead vocalist. Judging by how the members perform now in their respective idol groups, those five must not have been the most vocally-competent band. But that's beside the point.
I won't deny the fact that G.NA has a voice, she does and it's quite pretty, but the voice mixed with the material remind me too much of your typical wannabe R&B starlet here in the Philippines - everything from the melody to the rapper guy from Beast (Jun Hyung, was it?) in the video lead me to that conclusion. Seriously, she reminds me of Amber (not the girl from f(x), I'm talking about the OPM Amber), even if it's been years since I heard her "smash hit". Can you believe she has an Awit Award? Anyway.
Even if the "rational" part of my brain tells me that's what she is, no more than a wannabe doing what any other run-of-the-mill R&B singer can do with a generic song, apparently the part that dictates whether I like a song or not is saying otherwise. And what that part tells me is just as important as what my "intellectual" part tells me - there's a reason I think that way.
G.NA has a pretty voice, yeah, and she can actually pull off songs - but hell, I got goosebumps by the time it hit the chorus, her voice must be more than just pretty. Maybe it's the technique, maybe it's the timbre, but I'm learning more towards the technique rationale - she most probably has the years of training to develop the voice she already had. OK FINE she has a nice voice - did I just contradict myself? I think I did.
Now the song, oh dear the song. Like I said, my brain is telling me something, but my mind is saying another thing - it's telling me that I actually like it! I'm just as confused as you, if not more. The song's gorgeous - it's ever so slightly epic, and the melody just makes me wanna faint. The piano part is nice and floaty, the rap isn't annoying and the whole thing builds up nicely - put together with trained vocals and you have a pretty good package, actually.
I got goosebumps not only with her vocals with the song itself - I don't do goosebumps. That often.
Don't worry, I have a point to put across for somewhat contradicting myself and confusing the hell out of you. No matter how generic an artist's material is and no matter how much he/she seems like a mediocre wannabe, the "effectivity" of the song, so to say, rests on how you carry the material. Pop music isn't really about how unique your material is anymore because everyone basically copies everyone else, it's about how much you stand out with that generic material and how good you pull it off - live or recorded.
I think that's what Cube acts have - they don't have the most creative material in the world and at first glance they seem like spin-offs of bigger acts with more money invested in them, but you look beneath the surface and they actually pull their songs off well - eventually their talent starts to show. It doesn't seem forced, and they really find ways to convince you they're worthy of being idols. Like BEAST - they're no DBSK or D-NA in terms of vocals but they're trying to pull off harmonies, you see, and hear the effort they put in. I know talent is important, it's vital, but talent without effort is useless - if you have the talent but don't put in the effort to actually make something of it, then it's like you never had that talent.