On September 9, singer-songwriter Lee Hi returned with her third album, 4 Only. After featuring on several hit songs, like B.I’s “Daydream” this year, Lee Hi has dropped her 10-track feature. From the fun title “Red Lipstick” to the deep ballad “Only,” each song emphasizes the soloist’s warm vocals and artistry.
Written by B.I, Stally, and basecamp, “Savior” opens the album as a testament to Lee Hi’s R&B sound. Complemented by the rhythmic beat and intricate instrumentals, her rich voice expresses the emotional lyrics portraying a bittersweet and unpredictable love. Rapper B.I delivers a climactic third verse followed by Lee Hi’s serene resolution.
Fitting the lyrical references to “the one above,” the music video is set in a church where Lee Hi and B.I portray young love that has matured with time. Juxtaposing the uniforms worn by their younger versions, Lee Hi is angelic in white dresses and shimmery accessories while B.I’s blouse and jacket are prince-like. In addition to religious themes, the release draws inspiration from the film The Handmaiden. Fans also spotted scenes that mirrored the movie Emma.
A minimalistic track, “Intentions” focuses on Lee Hi’s unique vocal abilities in conjunction with the strings and drums. Lee Hi’s singing conveys passion and frustration over a relationship stuck in limbo through lyrics by Shineae An. The songwriter additionally composed and arranged the track in collaboration with Lee Hi.
Picking up the tempo, “Waterride” has a playful mood. However, the fast beat and fun clapping sequences are just a front to the biting lyrics written by Shinae An. The sharp track was composed by the lyricist as well and arranged by Bronze.
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“Bye” opens with a funky sound and Lee Hi’s rhythmic vocalizations, which seamlessly transition to an ethereal chorus. Combined with the lyrics about leaving a relationship turned sour, the song is a power play. It was written and composed by Lee Hi herself, along with Gray and Dax.
With a cheeky introduction, “Red Lipstick” transports listeners to a retro dance party. Lee Hi’s vocals capture the essence of 90s pop stars. In fact, she pays them homage with posters of Whitney Houston and Destiny’s Child in the background of the music video. Similarly, Yoon Mirae’s rap channels old-school hip-hop. Together, their voices against the infectious beat paint the imagery of a fun night out with loved ones.
The music video depicts the scene with star-studded cameos. Lee Hi and her labelmates from AOMG dance in picturesque settings, creating a hopeful vision of a better day post-pandemic.
R&B track “H.S.K.T.” is the cool-down session after the high energy of “Red Lipstick.” Lee Hi and Wonstein’s sultry, smooth voices come together over lyrics about intense love and devotion. Both singers contributed to the words and composition with PEEJAY.
Composed by Lee Hi and Code Kunst, “Safety Zone” places Lee Hi’s deeper vocals against a slow beat. The combination creates a more intimate sound, allowing the intense lyrics to be felt.
“What is Love?”
Lee Hi and Code Kunst teamed up again for “What is Love?” This track showcases Lee Hi’s vocal color. Her rhythmic singing against the beat throughout the verses leads to the chorus carried by her vocalizations.
With a powerful piano introduction, “Darling” shows Lee Hi’s range. Her voice pops against the keys and creates a dramatic effect perfect for the romantic subject. Lee Hi wrote these words herself and composed the song with Bronze.
The album closes with “Only,” a blissful ballad. With lyrics describing a love so beautiful and pure, it feels like a dance, the dreamy song highlights Lee Hi’s soulful vocals. Created by philtre and Shinae An, credited on Lee Hi’s previous tracks like “Holo,” the song embodies the singer’s signature sound.
Following the sweet yet emotional tone of the song, the music video depicts young people who grow old together despite their struggles. Played by actors Lee Je Hoon and Won Jin A, the couple gets through their hardships with their love for each other and dance.
As 4 Only showcased Lee Hi’s many talents and anticipated collaborations, it was no surprise that fans were overjoyed. They took to social media to share their inspired artwork, reactions, and of course, jokes.
— lll – YANi ᴷᵀ (@Kwangtung129) September 3, 2021
the thing lee hi is gonna do is she is gonna rap and deliver! IM SO OBSESSED PLEASE pic.twitter.com/RkjlPkbsuq
— 💋4 ONLY💋 (@kstlkn) September 9, 2021
aaaaaa lee hi with aomg family💓 they are so cuteeeeeee pic.twitter.com/YqRQ1fV8ZR
— meera🧚🏼♀️ (@__chuyaaaa) September 9, 2021
— LEE HI | RED LIPSTICK 💄 (@themightygal_HI) September 9, 2021
“This pairing is truly cheating. I mean, vocal princess lee hi with vocal queen yoon mirae” SO TRUE BESTIE pic.twitter.com/szgVfAaxpS
— 💋4 ONLY💋 (@kstlkn) September 7, 2021
Lee Hi Reigns
Known for her smooth vocals, Lee Hi has reaffirmed her role as a key player in the K-R&B scene. 4 Only showed Lee Hi’s versatility, allowing her to lend her voice to different genres and aesthetics. It tops off her impressive discography and list of achievements while leaving fans wanting even more.
Looking for more new music? Check out Omega X’s new singles here.
Thumbnail courtesy of AOMG.