Welcome to my first post of 2021! The first few posts come in the form of album reviews that I was meant to schedule over my break, but ultimately forgot to do. I have just returned from my break (back to work as of tomorrow with song reviews coming your way) and have decided to quickly post these album reviews as soon as possible, as I don’t want to really be holding onto these album reviews which would delay the 2021 album reviews (which I would like to avoid). First up is Mamamoo’s Travel, the group’s 10th mini-album since their debut almost seven years ago! The mini-album features the pre-release track Dingga (which performed better than the title track) and the title track, AYA. The mini-album also contains other songs which is why we are here today. Let’s check out these other songs as well.
1. Travel – Travel opens up the mini-album with an extremely pleasant pop track, one that I will gladly listen to whilst on a road trip/holiday (whenever we can next do that). In addition to making me dream about a holiday, the song has this layer of nostalgia, which I find to be very soothing and likeable. I really like how the members vocals compliment the pleasantry nature of the song. Usually, I prefer Mamamoo with their power vocals. But it was a good call to leave that approach behind for this song. Moonbyul does bring a bit of a kick through her rapping lines at the end of the choruses, which helps change up the song slightly without causing major disruption to the song. (9/10)
2. Dingga (딩가딩가) – Click here to read the full review of Dingga. (9/10)
3. AYA (Title Track) – Click here to read the full review for AYA. (6/10)
4. Chuck (척) – When I first saw the title Chuck, all I could think of was Seventeen’s Chuck. Seventeen’s Chuck was definitely very memorable and impactful. However, I was confident that Mamamoo wouldn’t pull a Seventeen styled Chuck, so I was intrigued with the song. What Mamamoo ended giving us was a pretty robust track. I really liked the striking nature of the instrumental, from the repetitive beat in the chorus to the wooden xylophone-like tapping in the post-chorus. The intro gave me Blurred Lines vibes, just a lot more classy. Mamamoo’s vocals were amazing in this song. I love the tease of the powerhouse vocals during the opening moments of the chorus and the energy they bring to the chorus. I also enjoyed the alternating Chuck that they simply speak during the post-chorus hook. (10/10)
5. Diamond – Diamond was an unexpected track on this album and for the group. It takes on a sensual vibe that is quite alluring to listen to. It is also quite refreshing, given that this isn’t Mamamoo’s style of music. However, they nail it. I really liked the elongation of some of their words, dragging it out as if they are teasing us with their vocals. And the way they vocally spell out the word Diamond was quite interesting. Both Hwasa and Wheein really flourished, given their vocals fitted this style. Moonbyul’s signature rapping is brought back in this song and she blends in perfectly into this song. My only issue with this song is that it just didn’t go anywhere. (8/10)
6. Good Night (잘자) – It doesn’t help that I am writing this review past midnight. The first section (and ending of Good Night) is putting me asleep. Not because it is boring. But rather, these sections of Good Night appears to sound like a ballad and features piano that felt almost like a sleepy tune on Spotify. The song then suddenly changes into a café style music by incorporating some percussion and energy, and it slowly builds from there. I am unsure why though this was necessary. As the song builds, we get more and more (and it ends with a high note from Solar). Definitely no longer a sleep tune. But that complaint aside, the song definitely sounded good and everything was well executed. (8/10)
Overall Album Rating – 8.3/10