Chaeyeon’s colorful return to music: A “Hush Rush” review


Credit: "HUSH RUSH" official music video

Join WSPN’s Kris Poole-Evans in a review of the EP, “HUSH RUSH.” Former “IZ*ONE” member, Lee Chaeyeon, makes her first solo debut with this EP, which was released on Oct. 12, 2022.

Kris Poole-Evans

South Korean singer Lee Chaeyeon’s idol career began in 2018 with the birth of “IZ*ONE,” a 12-member K-Pop girl group formed through “Produce 48,” a South Korean singing competition show. “IZ*ONE” was active, producing many EPs and albums, until their three-year contract expired in 2021, forcing the girls to disband. The former “IZ*ONE” girls eventually returned to the limelight, with some members joining completely different K-Pop groups and others sticking to solo career paths.

Chaeyeon is officially the last former member of “IZ*ONE” to return to the K-Pop scene, with the release of her debut EP, “HUSH RUSH,” on Oct. 12, 2022.

The title track of “HUSH RUSH” is easily one of my favorite songs. It’s such a soft and comforting song that makes me want to get up and dance. “HUSH RUSH” is the kind of song that I can blast through my headphones, making me feel like I’m the main character of a movie having my moment. The music video for this track takes us through a day in the life of Chaeyeon, except for some reason, she’s a vampire. It doesn’t make sense, but it doesn’t need to. In the video, vampire Chaeyeon does her daily activities without a care in the world. Those three minutes and 40 seconds are like her personal stage, and we have front-row seats.

“Danny” was selected to be the promoted b-side, which is a special track picked to receive the same treatment as the title track but doesn’t overshadow the main attraction. The song will often receive its own choreography, music video and live stage performances.

Choreographically speaking, “Danny” is the perfect song for a duo dance, which is exactly what happened. Chaeyeon dances with a partner rather than having a solo stage. “Danny” isn’t a bad song per say, but I’m left wondering why they chose that song in particular to be on the b-side. One of my friends told me that “Danny” sounded like something from “Winx Club,” a popular early 2000s animated cartoon, and I haven’t been able to get that out of my head. Other than that, “Danny” is forgettable.

It’s hard to pick a favorite track, but if I had to, I’d say that “Aquamarine” is tied for first place with “HUSH RUSH.” If a side track is competing with the title track, that should only solidify how good the song is. Everything about “Aquamarine” is hypnotic. Chaeyeon’s velvety vocals and catchy beat spell out perfection. I have been listening to this song every day, anywhere, anytime. Whether I’m riding the bus, walking to class or making food, “Aquamarine” is always on repeat.

If there’s something every song on “HUSH RUSH” nails, it’s the instrumentals. “Same But Different” has such a sweet and soothing melody. It’s the kind of song I’d listen to while cleaning my room, as the song helps make mundane activities more exciting. The calm and consistent beat also makes the song easy to dance to, so it’s good for a simple exercise.
My only complaint about this song is that as soon as it starts, it’s over. “Same But Different” is just barely over two minutes, so it only has the space for two choruses and is completely missing a bridge. I don’t think having a shorter song is inherently bad, but given this EP only sports four tracks total, I was hoping to get my hypothetical money’s worth.

This EP was my saving grace. There have been a handful of really phenomenal K-Pop solos this year from big names like YooA, Jun, Seulgi and even Nayeon of the group “TWICE.” However, “HUSH RUSH” stands out. A few songs from this EP have been under my ‘most listened to’ section on Spotify consistently, so I think that speaks for itself. Chaeyeon was my favorite member of “IZ*ONE,” and I’m thrilled to finally see her return to music with her very own spotlight. I give “HUSH RUSH” an 8/10. There are aspects of “HUSH RUSH” that I would change, but I believe that if you love something a lot, you can recognize the flaws and enjoy it regardless. “HUSH RUSH” was a solid record, and I excitedly await Chaeyeon’s next release.