MAMAMOO Exudes Spring Vibes With Yellow Flower
Amongst the mass of idols produced every year, you find rare gems that manage to completely stand out and create their own genre. As soon as MAMAMOO debuted into the industry, it was quite clear that they weren't your typical girl group. Not only were they completely different in terms of their attitude towards the cookie-cutter approach that is prevalent in the industry, they had an insane set of skills to back it up.
MAMAMOO is finally back, and oh my God are the visuals are out of this world. The teasers were already creating quite a buzz due the different vibe the members gave off. Releasing four albums as part of a four season project, each member gets her own stake on an album. We were introduced to this concept through the music video of the dazzling, minimalistic ballad “Paint Me,” where each member was associated with a different color. And with different members being associated with different elements of nature, you have the name of the very first album: Yellow Flower. As the first installment of the series, representing member Hwasa, they’ve already set the bar quite high.
Prior to releasing their album and dropping the music video for their title track “Starry Night,” we were introduced to a laid-back, candid, and sentimental track “Star, Wind, Flower, Sun,” a track talking about valuing the presence of your loved ones, penned by Solar herself.
While we’re all used to seeing upbeat, theatrical music videos from the girls, rarely do we get to see a stripped down music video that allows their vocals to shine. As established performers in the industry, they have always delivered what we have expected and wanted. However with their previous single “Paint Me,” they began a journey to prove why they are some of the best female vocals in the K-Pop industry at the moment.
With “Star, Wind, Flower, Sun” not only do we get some real personal lyrics penned by Solar, we see a perfect blend of their personalities and aesthetics. Musically, much like “Paint Me” it’s a ballad that allows the members to showcase their own vocal colors. This of course also includes Moonbyul, a member we were all very curious about but hadn’t heard much from before. As soon as I heard snippets of Moonbyul’s voice both in the previous single and the pre-release, I was ready to be amazed. This album most definitely delivered on that promise!
Under the Same Starry Night Sky
Gone are the playful, quirky sides and in comes a more mellow, confident and, dare I say, sensual side of MAMAMOO. It almost feels like they’ve been building up to preview this mature side of themselves. In accordance with what Wheein previously stated, when talking about their ambitions with their music, they most definitely did produce a mature sound as well as a concept that is more serious compared to their previous releases.
Whatever I was expecting after listening to “Star, Wind, Flower, Sun” was completely blown out of the water from the moment I heard the haunting Latin guitar riffs. In a territory that’s completely new to MAMAMOO, they are completely confident almost as if they’ve been producing music like this for years. “Starry Night” is a song about missing someone on a starry night, an ode to loneliness. What I love is that it’s not your typical break-up track, while the guitar riffs do add a tinge of melancholy to the song, it’s not long before the typical house beats kick in. I’ve always felt that a lot of MAMAMOO’s songs have been in a key that doesn’t really work with Moonbyul’s deliciously low timbre. However this album, especially this song, most definitely works and finally allows her to shine. We also get to hear the other members access their deeper registers, which is so absolutely refreshing.
This is the first time that I’ve had to watch a music video twice purely because I’ve either forgot to listen to the song or watch the video. Gifted with gorgeous vocals and beautiful location frames, the music video is definitely a sight for sore eyes. Add distinct vocals and powerful charisma to the mix and you’ve got yourself a fusion of heavenly art that is “Starry Night.”
Towards the end of the music video we get a slight taste of Hwasa’s solo track “Be Calm,” which is also the next song on the album. Since the album represents her, having a solo song from her makes sense. Filled with R&B vibes, both from the music and her voice, the track is perfect for a chilled out vibe.
One of my favorite tracks, only by a very small margin, “Rude Boy” is a catchy track about Solar falling for a flirty boy and the other members warning her he isn’t good for her. With a catchy melody line aided by the members’ smooth delivery in lyrics, the song provides a flow that’s very easy to follow and easily addictive.
“Spring Fever” is a track that I feel is very on trend with the whole spring, indie vibe, with its fresh melody and quirky lyrics. Moonbyul definitely shines in this track with her harmonizations and low range. I find her voice to be the most interesting mainly because it still has the subtle cheekiness to it while at the same time has an air of femininity to it.
And of course it’s rounded up with the power ballad “Paint Me,” a track that very much has MAMAMOO’s signature style written all over it.
No Winter Lasts Forever, Spring’s Finally Here
What I love about MAMAMOO is that they always keep you on your feet with their music. This shift in genre was pretty well timed, since it felt like they were beginning to settle in the performance area of K-Pop. They showed us that they aren’t just belting vocals and are able to play around with their style and delivery. They are also quite forward with their contribution in the production of their own music, and this is most definitely felt in this album. They perfectly deliver the spring vibe, from emulating a flowery, bubbly aura to more of a spring break kind of atmosphere. This was also the first album where I felt like each member was finally able to shine as an individual and as a group. With the other tracks, I’ve always felt that Moonbyul has been a bit overshadowed by the power vocals around her. However, not only do we get beautiful vocals that add a whole different color to their songs, but her rap also flows with each track perfectly. This album perfectly proves just why MAMAMOO holds a unique spot in the female idol market at the moment. As proved with the success of the song charting at #1 on five charts, I’m sure the anticipation is high for what the girls have in store for us with the future albums. Until then, we still have plenty of gorgeous stages and hilarious variety appearances to look forward to!