That said, I just started college today (no formal classes yet or anything), and based on my schedule for this semester, I'll have a lot of free time. To write, maybe? We'll see, since I'm taking 2 English/Lit classes this semester (prerequisites for my Comp. Lit subjects ugh) and I'll be writing a lot there too.
"Hot Summer", oh yes my friends, it is the Monrose song off the now legendary (one way or another, for me at least) "Strictly Physical", which I liked thank you very much, which became Stonefoxx's shot at fame, mainly because it was a Monrose cover. So technically I'm back to my blogging roots - Monrose and Stonefoxx were the groups I followed back when I was still blogging about UK and US music (trying to get back to that, but seeing as I can't even write about kpop anymore, it'll take some time) and one way or another I kinda liked them.
I never really took note of the song itself though. I mean I heard both versions, but either in passing or if I did like either version, it wasn't for too long. Now that I hear it though, it's not half bad. And with the right tweaking, something that could possibly work very well for f(x).
The Monrose version had a lot of attitude, standard Monrose, a very packed arrangement at times with hints of GA/Xenomania here and there ("Sexy! no no no..." anyone?), while the Stonefoxx version had a much more tame and clear arrangement, and very clean, smooth vocals. Polar opposites, if I may say so.
So where does the f(x) version lie? The same way the previous two versions bore the arrangement trends of their time, the f(x) version is very packed. VERY packed. This song definitely got the SM/YYJ treatment - the vocals, the arrangement, the instrumentation, they're all distinctively SM.
And surprisingly, distinctively f(x). At this point in their career, they've established a sound and it's very clear where they can go, and where they will most likely end up. Of course it took several disasters and some mediocrity, all of which I complained about, but this is now. And now is good. Now is them. Very them.
They kept those "eyyy yo"'s at the beginning, not sure if I like it better with, or without. It fits pretty well though. I'm not that fond of synth-fests in general, but there are times when I just feel like listening to heavily-produced, really packed songs, and this falls right into that category. I've gotten used to the talking during the verses and although it's not really something I personally like, they do pull it off rather well. The vocals are treated very much like an f(x) song - it's nothing new, but the familiarity of it is what gives the song an edge.
Looking at everything they've put out, everything from "Chu" to the present actually have even just a few similar elements. Of course I hated "Chu" and cursed "NU ABO", but they delivered with "Danger", and just drove it home with "Hot Summer". The f(x) style is not a style I particularly adore, nor is it something I will look for and really make people look up to, but it's them, and in k-pop it's become their sound. Everything from the melodies, the arrangements, the vocals, they way they're treated and the combination of all those - they own it.
And for that, they now have my respect. You all know it's not something I give out very easily, but they have proved, with "Danger" and now "Hot Summer", that they do have an identity, and they can deliver. Well, I expect nothing less from an SME 5-piece.