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a commanding return to type

Previously few years, MAMAMOO have taken sluggish, regular strides from the vocal-heavy performances of their early years to lighter, disco-inspired releases akin to their friends’ within the 2020s. It’s a transfer that’s resulted in additional misses than hits. Opinions on 2019’s ‘gogobebe’ stay fairly divided, whereas 2020’s ‘mumumumuch’ felt misplaced within the best hits compilation it was launched with, a forgettable addition to an album designed to showcase the quartet’s legacy.

MAMAMOO’s newest launch, ‘Mic ON’, continues to attract on wider business traits, nevertheless it marks a return to type for the quartet. It flaunts the assured sonic id that endeared them to many with out downplaying the lighter, groovier sound they tailored to.

Title monitor ‘ILLELLA’ kicks the door down with shiny advert libs and wealthy vocals over a robust reggaeton instrumental punctuated by guitar riffs and resounding percussion. Given her involvement in producing the monitor, it’s no shock that Moonbyul’s efficiency stands out probably the most right here. She weaves between fiery raps and sultry vocals, describing a passionate affair: “Leaning in opposition to the moonlight / You and I bundled up / Hearts about to burst.

As an entire, although, ‘ILLELLA’ feels underwhelming. The monitor, which runs shy of three minutes, doesn’t go away a lot room to correctly construct as much as the pitch shift within the remaining refrain and finally sounds rushed and incomplete. And whereas the hook of “Illella hae, illella, ille, yeah” is sufficiently attention-grabbing at first, it begins to sound monotonous by the point the second half of the tune rolls round.

Thankfully, the 2 different tracks on ‘Mic ON’ make for extra cohesive and fleshed-out listening experiences. The document’s catchy opener ‘1,2,3 Eoi!’ – named for MAMAMOO’s battle cry earlier than they carry out on stage – drums up pleasure for the remainder of the venture. A masterful mixture of electro and hip-hop components, it juxtaposes Photo voltaic’s silky vocals with wealthy, rhythmic verses from the remainder of the group. Photo voltaic crooning “I say MAMA-MAMA-MOO” isn’t only a cheeky reference to the group’s introductory jingle, it additionally provides a easy, jazzy texture that enhances the chants within the refrain.

For a document that appears to revisit MAMAMOO’s sonic roots, it’s solely becoming ‘Mic ON’ conclude with a monitor that attracts closely from their signature sound. Borrowing a snippet of 2015 hit ‘Um Oh Ah Yeh’, upbeat nu-disco monitor ‘L.I.E.C.’ throws down a beat and punches it up with the group’s signature soulful vocals. Wheein and Photo voltaic’s wealthy, charismatic voices are on the forefront of ‘L.I.E.C.’, inviting listeners to let unfastened in a chorus powered by harmonic hooks: “Let’s all get collectively / Put the phonе down for some time / Seize a taxi, experience, let’s ridе / Eat and drink, I’m feeling alive.

Between the discharge of a best hits album and a founding member of MAMAMOO leaving their administration company, the yr main as much as the discharge of ‘Mic ON’ stuffed followers (this reviewer included) with apprehension for the group’s future. Nevertheless it appears like a break from making music as a full unit was simply what MAMAMOO wanted to make a document like ‘Mic ON’. Maybe the insights they’ve gleaned from specializing in their solo releases helped them shift their focus from cutesy, forgettable tunes to substantial songs that take advantage of out of their vocal power and fiery personalities.

It could be some time extra earlier than we see a brand new MAMAMOO launch that really pushes the envelope (assume 2014’s ‘Décalcomanie’ or 2018’s ‘Egotistic’), however ‘Mic ON’ is a robust try and recreate the excellence of their early work.



  • Launch date: October 11
  • Document label: RBW



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