Lyrical Saturday: HA:TFELT - Ain't Nobody

Saturday, August 16, 2014

In this Lyrical Day edition, I will be sharing the awesomeness of HA:TFELT's "Ain't Nobody". You might notice while reading that I will be doing slightly more talking today because I won't just be focusing on the lyrics, but also give my thoughts about the whole song, including the music video and choreography. Rather than being just a tribute to beautiful lyrics, today's post is more like a mini-review of sorts. 

First of all, I'm pretty sure anyone who is up-to-date about K-pop is already familiar with this song and video by now (if not, have you been living under a big rock perhaps?), but even so I felt compelled to write about it myself as well.

Funnily enough, when I first watched the video for "Ain't Nobody", I did not realize that this was the solo debut of Wonder Girls' Yenny under the pseudonym HA:TFELT. For a moment there I thought JYP Entertainment had a new solo artist in the works. Nothing about the song nor the video reminds me of Wonder Girls, to be honest. And this isn't hate against the group, but more like a compliment to Yenny who managed to recreate a new powerful image that is separate from Wonder Girls. And while I do see some similarities to Sunmi's solo releases (mainly in the choreography), HA:TFELT's "Ain't Nobody" still stands out to me with its own uniqueness. It is also worth noting that Yenny was personally involved in the composition, writing and arrangement of all the songs in her solo album "Me?".

"Ain't Nobody" is a wonderful mix of an emotional ballad and dubstep, which might sound off-putting on paper but actually works out unexpectedly well. It's intense and moving, despite sudden transitions from simple piano to heavier electronic sound. In the verses, Yenny's voice is chesty and low, but in once the song reaches the chorus her voice jumps to powerful higher notes. The song includes already familiar K-pop sounds, but they're put into new interesting combinations that give it a very memorable effect.

The lyrics, which describe a woman's heartbreak over a man who is chasing after other girls, seem rather personal (the same applies for the entire concept for the album, in fact). Those hurtful feelings are further expressed in the music video, which stands out most for it's beautiful and tortured dance scenes. In the video, Yenny seems rather passive and numb from emotions, until she breaks into intense dance sequences during the chorus. She twirls, falls, crawls, spins and pounds her fists. It looks uncontrolled and spontaneous, though there's definitely a lot of thought put into the choreography. For that reason, I've seen it being compared to Sia's "Chandelier" which also features a very dramatic and expressive dance, but I was personally more reminded of the choreography in Christina Perri's "Jar of Hearts" video.    

In any case, I'd say that HA:TFELT's "Ain't Nobody" is definitely one of the most intriguing and meaningful songs K-pop has seen in a while. With this solo debut, Yenny proves herself to be very talented not only in songwriting and composing, but also in image creation, along with impressive dancing and vocal skills. 

Lastly, here are the lyrics.

English translation:

I know there are so many pretty girls in the world
And how much I try, no matter how much I try, some things just can’t be
I know you just have a lot of curiosity
Like butterfly, you are attracted to the flashy colors

But u gotta know

No one can love you like I can
No one can understand you as much as me
Ain’t nobody nobody nobody gonna love you like I do
I do I do Ain’t nobody

Love you like I do

I know why no one taught you love
And how to love a girl, you think of everything as a game
You take youth as a weapon and experience as an excuse to find new feelings of love
As you wandered through the darkness, you probably erased me for a moment
An electrifying wave probably wrapped around you

Tell me who’s the winner now
You’re crying and I’m crying
The only thing that’s left is pain
Tell me what we gonna do
Even after everything fell apart, I still love you

Ain’t nobody

(Translation from Pop!gasa, credit goes to the translator. Hangul and romanization: Color Coded Lyrics)

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