Bingsoo Mix Vol. 2 was inspired by thebiaslist.com’s post about a highly important discussion in the Hallyu world – the best songs of Nine Muses. It didn’t really match with mine (something that OP also emphasized) but it’s high time as well that K-Pop’s most underappreciated discography (once again) gets the spotlight that they deserve. So here you go, the nine best tracks from Nine Muses!
But before that…
Nine Muses, huh. How do I even begin to describe Nine Muses?
For starters, this group is messy af. If you are a MINE (fandom name), you probably have undergone eras where it is embarrassing to call them by their name just because it doesn’t make sense. For example, Nine Muses were called Nine Muses when in fact they only had six members mid-2014.
I always get nervous for this group ever since 2013-2014 happened because I feel that their curse is just around the corner. 2015 saw three promotional rounds for the group but even though they seem stable (with the concert and comeback rumor), I’m still not raising my hopes up for this year because somebody might leave out of the blue! I need some sort of validation that there will be no 2014 2.0 era for this group, c’mon Star Empire!
Putting the lineup mess that could make Sugababes the world’s most peaceful girl group aside, this group’s strength mainly lies in their music. A huge part of that is thanks to their longtime collaborator, the almighty Sweetune who has crafted a distinct sound for this group. If we look at all the artists that Sweetune has worked with, it is in Namyu where their production (albeit sonic and aggressive still) takes a more chic, feminine, and sensual form.
This list features a combination of title tracks and b-sides from the group’s releases up until today. If you follow Nine Muses’ music, you would know how difficult it is to compile this. I limited it to nine as well so that they could be consistent with the numbering for once lol.
Sidenote: I also used the 2013 lineup as a cover photo because we know it was during that time that they were really winning. Sorry, Sojin and peculiar muse Keumjo.
Anyway, here we go:
- Choice (from Drama, 2015)
The Drama era was such a crucial period for Namyu as it was their first release after all those “drama” in 2014 (three strong members guys, never forget). Along with that change was a shift away from Sweetune as well. This worried a lot of MINEs because Sweetune x Nine Muses = gold. Thankfully, this EP had the conscious effort to maintain that Namyu sound as much as they can and this is evident in tracks like “Choice”. Although Drama (one of 2015’s best K-pop songs #fact) was amazing, Choice was also worthy of being promoted to title track status. (imagine this with a rollerskate disco concept, daebak right?)
- Last Scene (from Primadonna, 2013)
Nine Muses serves some great ballad too. This ditty from 2013’s Primadonna is a great example, featuring two strategically placed guitar breakdowns which allows the song’s melodramatic and sensual nature to sink in skin deep.
- News (from Sweet Rendezvous, 2012)
News is one of Sweetune’s highly sonic and layered moments, production-wise and this is a characteristic that the team has perfected to a T. Think of News as their “The Chaser” or “Pandora” and you’ll have a better grasp of how intense this song is. Coupled with Namyu’s aggressive vocal delivery (GIVE ME MY GREAT GOODS, LEESEM!), News indeed made headlines in the realm of Namyu’s songs.
- Ticket (from Sweet Rendezvous, 2012)
Ticket explodes as the song kicks in which is why I love it. I purposely repeat the intro everytime it comes on because it has that much of an impact. This song is probably one of the group’s most commercially viable hits because it has the makings of one – strong production, a freakishly catchy hook, and a dance that will send your arms flying. To be fair, Namyu got some buzz with Ticket so in a way, it’s a mid-tier success.
- Wild (from Wild, 2013)
Wild is similar to News in a way that it is a sonic Sweetune spectacle but what makes it better is how it accentuates the femininity that is synonymous with the group. The song sees a highly aroused Namyu singing about becoming one with their lover under the heat of the night. This vulnerability seamlessly soars through the busy production of Wild (which actually is pretty repetitive if you listen to the instrumental, again Sweetune’s magic), making it a strong statement as to how well these two groups complement each other.
- Dolls (from Dolls, 2013)
This song is the beginning of the era where Nine Muses was so on point that all other girl groups should just have disbanded back then, haha. The lineup’s intact, the concept’s interesting, and the song’s banging. Dolls is the Namyu song that gets better with time, try listening to it now and hear how fresh it still sounds. K-Pop classic.
- Who R U (from Sweet Rendezvous, 2012)
It is in funky disco where the Sweetune x Nine Muses collaboration really shines, which explains my top three tracks. Sweet Rendezvous, the group’s first EP, is that album where you can say that all tracks are lead material (well, three out of four tracks were promoted as singles). The fourth track, called Who R U, makes a pretty strong case for that. In this song, you can hear the girls cooing over a Sweetune disco/funk beat and effortlessly emanating a lot of “sensual energy” that they speak of. Here’s the accompanying choreography video to complete the amazing exprience that is Who R U.
- Glue (from Glue, 2013)
Glue served as their fourth comeback in the majestic 2013 era and the group was crazily peaking at this time that it hurts. The song is a K-poppified version of Get Lucky which is a win, the video is Nine Muses executing the supermodel-dols concept with such finesse (win), and the line distribution – this is what sealed the deal for me with this song (triple crown!) With Glue, one can say that Nine Muses was an act to beat. When will SNSD? (kidding, love them)
- Figaro (from Sweet Rendezvous, 2012)
Figaro is Nine Muses’ renaissance. It started that blazing trail towards the reputation that Nine Muses is enjoying now. It was a brave, graceful rise from their infamous debut. This was the song that accentuated the group’s potential, vocal and performance-wise (see video and be amazed with their military precision). Figaro is like Parks and Recreation transitioning to season two where everything started to become awesomesauce. Figaro is the reason why Nine Muses should not be dismissed as a group that will be “gone by the midnight”. I could go on, but you get what I mean.
Since Namyu’s songs are all solid bops, here are some other songs worth noting:
- Sleepless Night
- Miss Agent
- A Guy Like You
- All of the intros in their EPs (What is Love, Spotlight, Primadonna, Pilot Episode, Muse, 3:00 AM).
Do you agree with my list? Well, I don’t care if you don’t but if you feel like contesting, leave a comment and I’ll judge your taste hahaha. Or perhaps you could help me make another list like this for other acts? Thanks ^^