[Review] PRESENT – Moonbyul (MAMAMOO)

Another KPOP act to make her comeback towards the end of the year is Moonbyul. For some odd reason, Moonbyul’s comeback with PRESENT felt out of the blue. But I cannot pinpoint why I feel that is the case. It might be due to the fact that she has been quite busy in 2022, with a fairly active start to the year with solo releases LUNATIC and C.I.T.T, participated in MAMAMOO’s first subunit with SOLAR, and she just returned with the rest of MAMAMOO for ILLELLA. Anyhow, Moonbyul’s comeback is titled PRESENT (as already mentioned) and its release coincides with her 30th birthday. Happy belated birthday Moonbyul!

Just listening to the song alone, PRESENT is, put simply, a pleasant song about Moonbyul’s wishes for her birthday. Nothing more, nothing less. The track falls into the R&B realm, but it does features a bit of funk through some brass elements in the chorus, which helps liven up the song a bit and give it some groovy energy. It isn’t anything major or show-stopping. Rather, it just invokes a happy and gleeful tone that contributes to the pleasant nature of the song. Whilst PRESENT is primarily about her birthday, Moonbyul also adds a bit of holiday flair with the addition of sleigh bells to the song each time Christmas is mentioned in the lyrics, as she makes references to the fact her birthday is just three days out from Christmas. And you cannot really celebrate a birthday that close without acknowledging the upcoming holiday in some manner. Melody and hook-wise, nothing stands really stands out. But I did feel Moonbyul’s nasally tone was quite comforting in the song, and I enjoyed her weaving in and out of vocals and rapping throughout the song. PRESENT isn’t anything spectacular, but it is a nice listen nonetheless.

Just how I mentioned how it is hard to celebrate a birthday just a couple of days out from Christmas without making reference of some kind to the holiday, this video references both birthday and holiday. In addition to seeing Moonbyul set up and celebrate her own birthday, there are also Christmas/holiday references throughout the video. Overall, it is a cute video to watch and there was a nice warm tone to it. In particular, I quite liked the whole montage during the bridge that brings Moonbyul to the cake. There was something with the spotlight and the idea behind the montage that made it a memorable scene/shot for me.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8/10

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