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
You can actually vote many times for the 2017 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. Some categories are extremely tight, while the leading nominees constantly change. So in order to get your favourites to win, make sure you continue voting!
Uhm Jung Hwa is back with her latest track, Ending Credit. She previously made her last comeback at the end of 2016 with the first part of her mini-album, The Cloud Dream of the Nine. Her return 1 year later features the second part of her mini-album, where Ending Credit is the main track. Uhm Jung Hwa also collaborated with Lee Hyori in another track (Delusion) which also features on the mini-album.
I dig this song a lot. It sounds very plain when you listen to it the first few times. But after a while, it caught on very quickly and is soon becoming a song that will dominate my replay list. The song is so smooth and just fits into the genre of music that I am loving. The chill side of the song is so damn good and the first few seconds (before she starts singing) would be fitting for many TV shows currently on our screens. Once she starts singing, you can identify the retro vibes that dance track is trying to portray. Her vocals glide very easily over the instrumental, giving it a very strong (in a subtle way) presence. It isn’t a catchy song, but somehow it manages to become impactful. And even more mysteriously, it has me going back for more.
If a particular music video is 100% retro, then Ending Credit is probably at 110% retro. From her outfits to the lighting, to her hairstyle, the video takes you back to the 80s. And I really enjoyed all of it. Even the hazy filter that was placed over the video looked so damn good. The theatre was a nice place to set the entire video, giving it an aesthetic look. And to complete the video, it featured its own Ending Credit.
The choreography looks nice. Parts of it reminds me of voguing, while other parts felt like a normal upbeat dance. I want to see a full live stage (mainly because the one shown on Weekly Idol looks extremely promising and that full theatrics would make it an iconic stage), but the chorus looks so nice.
Song – 9/10 Music Video – 9/10 Performance – 9/10 Overall Rating – 9/10
The Queen of KPOP has returned. It has been years since we last heard from Uhm Jung Hwa on the stage. To be precise, 2008 was the last time she promoted on stage as an artist with her hit D.I.S.C.O, which features T.O.P from Big Bang. For those who don’t know, Uhm Jung Hwa made her debut, on the stage, in 1993 and is currently one of the most senior artists in the industry. Her hits include D.I.S.C.O, Poison, Invitation etc.
Dreamer is a dance track that has this sensual sound that you can definitely hear throughout the song. It is almost a sound that you would associate with Madonna. Come to the think of it, since both ladies are ‘Queens’ in their respective industries, it is a sound that royalties of their magnitude would do. While Dreamer (and Watch Me Move) are new songs, she maintains that singing style that is known for. The song is quite catchy. I also noticed a really even balance within the song. Her vocals do not overpower the song, but the instrumental doesn’t overpower her voice. The only thing I would have to say about the song is that it really doesn’t scream. It stays the same from start to end and it just doesn’t seem to have a peak moment. Watch Me Move is a song of a different style, but can also be described the same way. This song is more dance track, more Madonna sounding and more pop-ish (if I had to add). Like the other track, Watch Me Move is quite catchy and addictive. It also stays true to her style. However, this song does peak and I do think Watch Me Move is a much better track than Dreamer. The start of Watch Me Move reminds me of the songs that would be used in the soundtrack of How To Get Away With Murder (Yes, I am a big fan of the show. Come join the club!!!). Actually, I thought the song would have fitted the soundtrack while I was listening to the song.
Love both videos. They are something on another level that I don’t think many artists will ever reach. Once again, I am referring back to Madonna. There is that vogue concept running throughout it as well. The video also screams out Kylie Minogue during the early 00’s. Both had a mysterious theme flowing throughout it. Dreamer was a lot darker, while Watch Me Move had a little splash of colour. They both do not necessary have plots and that make the video less appealing to watch because, at a certain point in time in the future, I will consider the video boring. But at the moment, I am just taking it all in as it is. Not a big fan of her make-up in Watch Me Move. It does creep me a little bit when I look at her. I love the scene where she (along with the backup dancers) start dancing in the hallway while facing the windows. That looked cool.
The dances are quite good. For a person who is nearing her 50s, she still manages to pull off the looks and the moves for both songs. From the vogue moves in Watch Me Move to the confident choreography in Dreamer, everything looked perfect and amazing.