We return to the usual transmission of reviews for new releases with the latest comeback. This particular comeback belongs to YENA, who made her solo debut earlier this year with the single SMILEY (ft. BIBI) following her IZ*ONE days. Today, YENA returns with a new single SMARTPHONE and her second mini-album of the same name.
YENA continues to delve into that fun style for this comeback, the same approach she took with her debut track. I must admit that I didn’t necessarily fall head over heels for SMARTPHONE upon the first listen like I did with SMILEY. But this fun style is definitely infectious and I was soon enjoying the track by just having a second listen. The instrumental definitely helps out a lot with this, taking on a very upbeat and energetic pop rock style that is pretty much all the rage now in KPOP. I do think SMARTPHONE‘s approach was more blastful, which instantly earns points for me. There was just so much energy coming from the chorus when the pop rock was at its strongest and coming at us relentlessly. I also enjoyed the extra oomph the synths added to the song, which was gave the song some additional appeal points. The pop rock was the more prominent aspect of SMARTPHONE, so the synths acted like detailing in the song. YENA sounds awesome in this song, with her youthful vocals and raps. The energy she brings into the SMARTPHONE is extremely bright, adding more to that fun and perky style of music I mentioned at the start. And it also helps that SMARTPHONE‘s hooks were catchy and addictive. If I had to be critical, I would point out the pre-choruses were the weakest part of the song, in my opinion. They just didn’t have the momentum I felt it should have to lead from the verses and lead to the choruses. But that had minimal impact upon me enjoying SMARTPHONE!
To match the fun and energetic style of SMARTPHONE, the music video takes it all on board with quite a concept. Essentially, YENA is part of a smartphone game, where she needs to save her friends from the evil and menacing duck, who has kidnapped them. She succeeds, giving the evil duck an uppercut. It was quite cute that the evil duck had sent its duck minions to fight YENA, which she easily defeated. In the end, they all party together – friends and foe – showing the light hearted nature of the video. Aside from the concept, I liked that the video was bright and colourful, and never lets up on these fronts.
The choreography looks great. It embodies the energetic nature of the song really well. I also liked the cuteness element to the choreography. Usually, I am not a fan of this. But I find YENA to be very adorable and her expressions just brought the stage to a whole new level. I quite the like the hand movements during the song’s chorus hooks, and the parts where her tongue are sticking out are quite memorable.
Song – 9/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 8.5/10
Overall Rating – 8.9/10