It is hard to categorize HUB’s song “Hình Như Là” – or “It Seems Like” in English.
Its bass line borrows from both jazz and blues rock. The vocal performance possesses the raw spirit of punk. The chorus sometimes gets anthemic like a forgotten Arcade Fire cut and sometimes gritty like early Yeah Yeah Yeahs. And in the midst of all that, there is a rap verse from Minh Quân which could have been the hook from any rap hit in the 90s.
But “Hình Như Là” is not the result of a group who lacks direction. In the way the song builds from the verse to its chorus, there is a balance between the steady and the explosive. HUB never disrupts the flow of the song because they understand how to utilize the instrumentation to connect each part seamlessly.
Not only that, in the context of songs written by Doãn Hoài Nam, “Hình Như Là” is a huge surprise because it does not share the gentle melodic traits with his best works, for example “Bất Ngờ” (Surprise) and “Mơ” (Dreams).
In the end, the way Lê Bình delivered the song by blending a mix of disgust (“On what belief do I build my trust?”) and sarcasm, is so utterly satisfying for this stunner.
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