mini-album review: cignature “Listen and Speak”

Are you familiar with C9 GIRLZ? If you aren’t, that’s okay! Consisting of former members of GOOD DAY, as well as containing members who were previously on the reality competition show The Unit, C9 GIRLZ became a hot topic. Eventually, they would go on to debut under the improperly-spelt cignature with fun track ‘Nun Nu Nan Na’.

They return with their very first mini-album titled ‘Listen and Speak’, tackling a sound that may be confusing upon first listen. This begs the question: is this ‘ARISONG’ a bad song because of its ‘arisonghae’ cig-nature or does it make it unique and fun? Read on!

Nun Nu Nan Na / ASSA / ARISONG / DALDALHAE / HingHing
For more ‘cignature’ reviews, visit the archive.

눈누난나 (Nun Nu Nan Na)

Romanization/Translation: Nun Nu Nan Na

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Ayo, are you ready to feel something special?

Released as their very first debut single, “Nun Nu Nan Na” is a fun little debut jam that kicks off with a vocal introduction by face of the group Jeewon. Then, we’re thrown into the beat of the track that’s heavy on synth, proceeding with a hyper, upbeat synth beat meshed with hip-hop trap beats. On its bridge, the synth hits lower for a very Kids-in-America vibe until we’re pa-pa-powed into the chorus, which is just as catchy as the words of its title. It’s a formidable debut effort that showcases the power the girls have in both rap and vocal, and its beat is one that stays in your head. It’s a fun little ditty that might be hard to get into at first but once it does, it gets you repeating after them: na nun nu nan na!

아싸 (ASSA)

Romanization: ASSA
Translation: Oh Yeah

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once those bass riffs hit, “ASSA” really makes its way into the scene. Going for an even more girl-crush-badass vibe, ‘ASSA’ is my favorite of the two ‘debut singles’. With clapping beats, background shouts, all while the bass riff goes on, ‘ASSA’ feels tough, and then when it gets to ‘feeling nice’, the sensation from that point forward feels SO nice as they assa-sa-sa! It is here that the beats are slightly sped up with some synth to give a build-up feel and the chorus hits at a whistly, bass-heavy beat that has you head-bopping. The formula continues but it just feels so right. cignature has got me calling them ASSA.


Romanization/Translation: ARISONG

Rating: 5 out of 5.

We’ve hit the title track of the mini, “ARISONG“, which feels very Zimzalabim, as well as very OOPSIE (My Bad)… but it’s just as good as both (if not, even better). In fact, I fell in love with the song from the moment I laid my ears upon it. Maybe I just like really disjointed tracks that have the girls putting a lot of emphasis on a cutesy sound (a la ‘HMMM’) but still showcasing their talent and keeping up with the melody. In case you didn’t know, ‘arisonghae’ means confusing, and the play on words throughout the song is very clever. With its fierce rap segments, its intense warped electronic instrumental, and the power the girls have in singing the song, “ARISONG” may be a confusing hot mess, but it is a fabulous one.


Romanization: DALDALHAE
Translation: Sweety

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Things start to kind of wane with the remainder of the album, starting with “DALDALHAE“, which is just as all-over-the-place as ‘ARISONG’, but it’s not quite as good. In fact, it’s a little bit more annoying, as it goes for an even further attempt in cutesy territory. The more I listen, the more I feel like my ears are grating. That being said, the instrumental is pretty quirky and interesting, even when it goes from a high treble to heavy bass through the song and incorporates a variety of sounds from synth, bass, and robotic noises. However, it just feels like the song itself is not a fun listen altogether. I’m gonna have to pass on this, sweety.

힝힝 (HingHing)

Romanization: HingHing

Rating: 2 out of 5.

HingHing” ends the mini on a slower note, delivering a midtempo ballad that is fueled by guitar meshed with some snaps, synths, bass to give it a little bit more of a beat. It is a little off-beat, with several of the melodies not blending quite well. There’s bits and pieces of shouts here and there from the girls to further add some interesting parts to the track. However, it all just feels really disjointed, and if the song is meant to be a slow-burn ballad, they really should have avoided adding too many things to make it ‘unique’ in sound. I’m sure this might be good for someone else, but I’m not hinging on this song any longer.


Not bad for a first mini-album! cignature has their title tracks down, and they are fierce, fun, and fabulous. That being said, I don’t think I’ll be listening to the entirety of the album. The last two tracks that they offered have no real substance and are complete fillers that do not have any real catch to them whatsoever. I still cannot wait for more releases by cignature, but if it is their title tracks that have everything to offer and nothing more, I’d be really disappointed. Still, give this album a first listen and see where you feel with it!


Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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