How Can I – 박혜진 Park Hye Jin | Album Review

Track Listing

Like this
Can you
How can I
How come


Deep house is one of those genres that’s perfect for studying or warming up a dance-floor in nightclubs. Only, when it comes to Park Hye Jin’s latest EP “How Can I” it’s very difficult to categorize this as anything other than experimental – and that’s a good thing.

2 years after her first EP “IF U WANT IT”, Park Hye Jin returns for 6 more tracks that begin in deep house territory before rising up to become something very different altogether. With some head-bopping beats and very simple lyrics, “How Can I” is certainly an enjoyable album but is held back by simplistic vocals that outstay their welcome long before the end of each track.

The album starts with the strongest song on the album, “Like This.” With a slower tempo and a real warm-up vibe to the track, the chords work harmoniously with the hypnotic vocals to produce a really strong track that eases into what’s to come later on.

From here, the album cranks up the emotion – and tempo – for something that exudes angry, hypnotic energy that can be felt through the lyrics on offer in “Can You”. With a simple repeated phrase, the backing vocals crackle into life around the middle of the track perfectly capturing this raw energy.

“How Can I” slows things down again and essentially acts as a bridge track before that aforementioned angry energy returns for the industrialized feel of “NO”.  One of the more interesting concepts on this EP comes from the following track, “How Come”.

The drum beat teases the early foundations of drum n bass but juxtaposes that fast tempo with a much slower and simple ambient chord structure. It’s such an interesting concept that somehow works really well to keep this one feeling fresh.

All of this compelling work crescendoes with the final instrumental track, “Beautiful” which cleverly combines everything we’ve seen across the EP and squeezes it together into a 3 and a half minute dive into experimental music.

“How Can I” won’t be an EP for everyone and those looking for something a lot more conventional or confined to one genre should probably keep looking. The lyrics are sadly lacking here though and definitely hold this back from being a better album. If there’s one blemish here, it comes from this.

However, the album does also boast a broad spectrum of musical influences and there’s definitely some really interesting ideas explored. If you can take to the style on offer and fancy listening to something a little bit different, “How Can I” is well worth giving a go.

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  • Verdict - 7/10

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