[#15] Troublemaker - "Attention"

From: "Chemistry"
Released: October
Territory: South Korea
Previous Best of Entries: First Appearance
Other notable song(s) from 2013: "내일은 없어", "놀고 싶은 Girl"

Despite never writing about them, I have heard both Troublemaker EPs and I did like some of the tracks off their first. Had their first EP not been released in December, they would have made their first countdown appearance back in 2011. While this time I'm not the biggest fan of "Chemistry"'s lead single, I did like one track very, very much.

"Attention" first caught my ear because of how it was able to sound playful without compromising weight and the fullness of the production. The playful comes mainly from the melody and the vocals -- the lines are relatively short, making the song snappy, and there's a lot of rapping interspersed with melodic lines. And I think that's something Troublemaker use to their advantage really well -- quite a number of other rapper-vocalist sub-units are still 70% the singer, 30% the rapper. Basically the playfulness comes from all the movement happening throughout the song, all the background vocals running around, and the instrumental included.

However the instrumental does focus more on giving the song the body it needs. Apart from the brass section, that is, which is very obviously one of the most playful and prominent elements of the arrangement. The bass line however, gives the song a very solid, rounded foundation, and is constant for most of the song. And the drums also contribute to the richness of the song. First and foremost they're real drums and not electronic, and while not as obvious as the instruments in the extreme registers, they're the middle range that rounds everything up.

What has kept me listening, and what also made me rank it this high, is that being a well-put together song makes it a pleasure to listen to. Despite all the repetitions and all the bells and whistles throughout, it doesn't go into annoyingly repetitive territories. It's choppy and therefore snappy, but it still has rhythm. It's all over the place, but knows when to pull itself together.

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  1. I like "Attention" for it's backtrack and snappiness, but I can't get over how out of tune HyunA sounds by trying to sing talk--not that she's actually out of tune, but the resonance is really bad since she hangs a tad flat. Unfortunately it's not just HyunA, for Hyunseung is especially weak on this song too (he kinda sounds like he's straining), which doesn't help me enjoy the song as much as I would like.

    Anyway, I was wondering if you think "Attention" would be better with different singers? Or does HyunA and Hyunseung make the song for you?


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