Hate Rodrigo marks Yena’s formal comeback, days after pre-releasing Wicked Love. This song’s title has generated a lot of discussion online. Does she criticize Olivia Rodriguez? Is this an affectionate allusion? Did Olivia become involved herself? I must deliver it to Yena’s group. They know how to stir up conversation!
In the end, the discussion about Hate Rodrigo is meaningless. The song’s quality is more important to me than its awesomeness. Points are awarded to Yena for going back to the peppy pop rock vibe that guided her first few solo releases and even recruited Yuqi from (G)I-DLE as a sparring partner with similar tastes. The vitality is present. The upbeat, guitar-driven instrumental soothes the appropriate itch. But the tune isn’t really… catchy?
Honestly I really don’t hate it, alas I’m not really a pop punk person (metal or nothing babyyyy) but I appreciate the vibe it’s going for. Could definitely be catchier…. but I do prefer it to her other releases (apart from Love War which I really adore, an unpopular opinion here as everyone hates coffee shops rnb sksksksk)
Although being “catchy” isn’t always a plus, punky blasts like these need to have some singalong potential. Just recall the catchy melody from Smiley. Hate Rodrigo closely resembles the pattern of the song in many aspects, even down to the tempo-changing rap in the second verse. Just this time, I don’t believe the melodies are there. There is more sing-talking than singing; the framework is flat and restricted. It’s a squandered opportunity with all the star power involved.