[#24] Nine Muses - "News"

From: "NEWS"
Format: Digital Single
Released: January
Territory: South Korea
Previous Best of Appearance: #50 -"Figaro" (2011)

To say that I'm glad Nine Muses improved greatly since their "No Playboy" days would be an understatement, because I thought they were hopeless when they debuted. Aside from the fact that they're not exactly the most talented bunch, their debut single was memorable for all the wrong reasons. They've been constantly improving though, and it's good to see them come into as much of themselves as their agency will allow.

"News" is one of those glorious moments in K-Pop when a pretty under the radar group gets a song that fits them like a glove, and further proof that these moments do happen. But that's now what I want to talk about with this song -- I want to talk about Infinite. Call me crazy, or say that I'm taking the spotlight away from "News", but trust me, this is going to be all about Nine Muses. For the most part.

The Infinite-Nine Muses/"The Chaser"-"News" comparison is probably the most striking example this year of how delivery changes everything in a song, so much so that even I didn’t notice it until recently. It’s not blatantly obvious when you don’t think about it and just listen to the two songs, but once you make the connection you wonder how you ever thought otherwise. And that's why it's striking, because in taking so much time to notice, you realize just how big a role delivery plays.

For starters, “News” and “The Chaser” were both written by Sweetune, but looking at the songs themselves they’re actually very much alike not just in sound, but in how that sound was created. Both songs sound very intense -- the elements may not be heavy on their own, and the songs do have crisp sides to them, but the production just rounds everything out, smoothens it all up. One of the more obvious similarities are the synths -- the one that appears on both songs isn't as obvious on "News" as it is on "The Chaser", and for majority of the song they're kind of just there, but still audible. There are even similarities between the vocal treatment and the actual melody -- the vocals during choruses are padded and multi-tracked, and while the instrumental runs around all over the place, the melodies generally stay in one place, or derivatives of that one place. Listen to both songs in succession, or even just hum the choruses, you'll know what I'm talking about.

The reason why I'm singling out the biggest similarities is so you see how big an impact delivery makes. Again, as far as the songs themselves are concerned, as in we're not talking about delivery yet, they're so alike. Taking a bit of the delivery into consideration, "News" sounds like the female version of "The Chaser", and vice versa. But when you look at how these particular groups delivered this particular style, that's where the similarities end.

The delivery of "News" generally lets the song take over. Whatever punch or confidence, whatever grace that the song has, it's mainly due to the song itself, and only partially because of the delivery. And that works, because delivering this song isn't just a matter of singing a few lines and getting it over with -- you have to decide whether you want to match the song, or fight it. You have to decide whether what you want to do will sound good, or just make the song a complete mess, because it's very much possible. And Nine Muses decided to be carried by the song.

To match the song doesn't mean that Nine Muses are chickening out, nor does it mean they're incapable -- it means that they want to focus more on the song itself than themselves. (But that doesn't mean to fight it isn't noble. We'll get to that soon enough, you'll find out.)


  1. My favourite song from nine muses!

  2. This was also my favorite song of theirs... until Glue decided to come along.

  3. @Anonymous: Really? Tbh Figaro-Glue era, Glue was my least favorite track.


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