[Review] Hop In – Uhm Jung Hwa ft. Hwasa (Mamamoo) & DPR LIVE

During the final days of 2020, we were gifted with a number of releases. Usually, this time of the year is very quiet in terms of releases. But like the entire year as a whole, 2020 was an exception. The first release I want to review is a collabroation between the legendary Uhm Jung Hwa, the trendy Hwasa (from Mamamoo) and DPR Live. The single, titled Hop In, came to life on the 22nd of December and was performed at each of the end of year music festivals.

Hop In starts off with Hwasa in a ballad-like set up. Hwasa has been known to kill ballads in the past and this start is no exception to this trend. But that is only the intro, a small fraction of the song. In a matter of seconds of wrapping up the balladic nature, the song brings in a very energetic and upbeat retro beat (similar to the new jack swing genre of music) that is very lively and brings so much personality to the song. This also marks Uhm jung Hwa’s entrance into the song, which is bold and powerful. All of which definitely suits the legend that Uhm Jung Hwa is. I really like the rock elements in the instrumental, which just amps up the song to a whole new level. DPR Live ‘s featuring is much shorter in comparison to Hwasa’s featuring. At first I enjoyed his part, giving the song some vareity. But as his part progresses on, it just bored me. Hwasa returns at the end of the song to close off the song with that balldry style that she started the song off with. There are two parts of Hop In that I really enjoyed, on top of what I have already pointed out thus far. The first has to be the mini rap-like sequence Uhm Jung Hwa brings to the song towards the end. And the second is the spoken ‘Click Clack’ just before the song’s choruses. Both parts felt iconic and definitely are Uhm Jung Hwa’s strong points. Overall, Hop In was a very strong collaboration between generations that manages to appeal towards the taste of listeners of KPOP today.

I find the music video to be quite well done. It is quite simple, with majority of the music video shot in a dark set and lights being used as effects to fill up the void in the darkness. It is quite effective, as the simplicity allows you to just zone right into Uhm Jung Hwa and Hwasa. And they are performing in leopard print, which fits both of their bold, confident and fierce personas. The coloured lighting in the white rooms were pretty weak and not as bold. I wished they had some oomph to them to be on par with the rest of the music video.

Uhm Jung Hwa and Hwasa are sexy icons. So without a doubt, their performance will go down the sexy route. Those outfits definitely allude to the direction already. It is quite an enjoyable routine and there wasn’t anything overly explicit about it. But despite that, I like that neither holds back, going straight for the boldness that I am sure shocked fans and the Korean public.

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

[Review] Holiday – Suzy ft. DPR LIVE

Making her first return since her solo debut last year and the disbandment of Miss A is Suzy. Last week, I reviewed her pre-release, In Love With Someone Else and this week, it is her main title track’s turn. Holiday (the title track), along with her pre-release is featured on her second mini-album, Faces of Love.

I did expect something a little more upbeat, like her debut track, Yes No Maybe. Holiday ended up being a soothing track that is pretty easy on the ears. It doesn’t feature any booming synths or obnoxious sounds. Instead, it focuses on having a laidback and softer tone, which is quite nice if you listen to it a few times. With repetitive listens, however, it becomes bland and if you strip her voice away, you basically have an instrumental that resembles elevator music.  Her vocals are a great match for the song. I like it how it also glides over the surface of the music and manages to involve that laid-back sound. I have personally never heard of DPR LIVE before. His featuring in this song is quite nice because the way he delivers his section is pretty much similar to how Suzy performs her track. He does add a rougher element to the track but it isn’t over the top. I don’t think the song is personally for me but it does still sound quite nice.

The music video, from what I can gather from news sources, is shot in both New Mexico and Los Angeles. And from the scenery in the music video, it does feel like you are on a holiday. It all looks stunning. Most of the video is essentially Suzy on her travels or walking around the nice sites, so there isn’t much to comment with in regards to the video.

A part of me felt like the song did not call for any choreography. But watching her performance at her showcase, it looks nice. It isn’t over the top and allows Suzy to focus more on her singing. My only other comment is if the performance was somewhat more graceful, it would look more fitting for the song.

Song – 5.5/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 6.6/10