Chungha is finally back!! It has been a long time coming, especially with the many pre-releases that Chungha was unveiling over the past year. It all started off in April 2020 with the release of Stay Tonight. Her second pre-release for this comeback was with PLAY in July. Her third release, which will be reviewed and published on the weekend, was an English track with R3HAB titled Dream of You. While this was shaping to be one epic comeback, Chungha’s comebacks plans were halted when she tested positive to COVID-19, which delayed her fourth and final pre-release single, X. This ended up occurring in January and pushed out her previously confirmed comeback date of 4th January to 15th February (today). And today, she drops her new title track, Bicycle, and her first studio album, Querencia.
Described as a R&B pop-trap song, Bicycle comes swinging at you with its powerful energy and intensity. As a result, one word comes to mind with this song – fierce. And knowing the trajectory that Chungha has been on with her solo releases, this one has managed to one up all her previous outstanding releases. It comes off as an intimidating song, as Chungha does quite a lot in this song to make sure that Bicycle is relentless. While I do want to point out that the song is her least melodic from start to end, she gifts us with strong and elegant vocals throughout. But they weren’t always elegant. Some parts framed her as quite seductive sounding, such as the sequence following the second chorus. Other times we get a bit of the melodic touch from her, such as during the chorus. And in at other times, she is quite fierce with the way she ends her lines in the chorus. She also presents us with a show-stopping rap verse for the second verse (which is all in English). It definitely showcases her development and maturity over the years. Based on what I understand, only the music video and the performance contain the foot-stomping dance break. I wished this was part of the official song. It just reiterates that fierceness quite well, by providing the song a more powerful sequence and edge. I also like how they used the bicycle bell sparingly throughout the song. It easily could have been overused and been a distraction if that was the case. I think my only other complaint with the song is that we don’t get much opportunity to hear her high notes in the foreground. They are always hidden in the background. I thought Bicycle would have been the perfect setting for her high note in the front, as that really would have emphasised the fierceness of the song (if it was done right).
Visuals galore. Whoever is Chungha’s stylist(s) really need a pay rise because her looks throughout the video were on point. From the amazing outfits to the simple closeups of her face, everything felt like perfection on that front. I also liked how her outfits were part of the set design as well, such as that massive black dress at the peak of the song where she was flying up. That part looked epic. The set designs were quite cool as well, going hand-in-hand with the outfits in each part.
Performance wise, I thought the comeback was really good. The fierceness that I mentioned earlier was definitely displayed, along with her confidence and seductiveness. I also have to mention that her charisma is very alluring, especially throughout this performance. The entire performance is a highlight. But more specific moments that I enjoyed are the human bicycle for Chungha to pedal on and the foot-stomping dance break.
Song – 9/10
Music Video – 10/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9.3/10
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