Since their last comeback with Jelly (released in July 2017). a lot has happened with the members of HOTSHOT. Taehyun joined JBJ who promoted for a period of a few months before disbanding in April of this year. Timoteo and Hojung participated on The Unit: Idol Rebooting Project and placed 10th and 3rd place respectively. As a result, Hojung joined the show’s male project group, UNB. Despite all of this, HOTSHOT has regrouped (with the exception of Sungwoon, who is still a part of Wanna One) with the release of I Hate You.
I lowkey was expecting something along the lines of Jelly, which actually became quite addictive over time with the subtle aesthetics of the synths. I Hate You is a completely different song. It doesn’t rely on synths or electronic sounds, which is already a big difference. It feels more like a ballad, just there is enough in the instrumentation to allow the song to feature some choreography. The song is emotionally driven, which you can hear through their vocals. Their vocals are quite nice in the song. It isn’t the powerful vocals that I tend to prefer when it comes to ballads but it was enough to make me feel different feelings as the song progressed. I really like the “니가 미워” (nega miwo) hook at the very start of the chorus. There is something about it that makes it so beautiful and I quite like that.
The lyrics of the song essentially show their heartbreak and frustrations towards a lover who left unexpectedly. And the video does that. But instead of using the same ‘let’s film her physically walking away from the members’ over and over again, the video uses different ways to show that. While there were some cliche shots in the video, such as the girl disappearing around a corner, the video saw more creative ways such as having the lead actress die in one of their arms to represent ‘leaving’. I really like the contrast of colours throughout the video. The warm golden colour represents their happy moments but the darker scenes showcased loneliness and coldness. It is a well thought-out video.
As expected, the performance didn’t fall into a ballad category and featured choreography. I liked how sharp the chorus looked. While the song doesn’t really call for that, it worked in an interesting manner alongside the song. I also liked how the choreography didn’t feel constricting. The speed at which their movements were performed at and the wide motions really made the video feel quite strong.
Song – 8/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.5/10