MAMAMOO  – “You’re the Best” Review

MAMAMOO – You’re the Best (Music Video)

MAMAMOO – You’re the Best (Live Performance)

MAMAMOO – You’re the Best

Reviewed
on March 5, 2016

Personal Message:
I am officially on spring break for
one week, so readers can expect plenty of reviews—and this time I truly do plan
to catch up unlike prior breaks. Nevertheless, I still do have a lot of
homework even with break, so my time will not be entirely devoted to writing
reviews. But, there is still much more free time especially in comparison to
having classes. Additionally, I will also use this time to catch up on
subtitling videos. (Every video but one or so is updated with subtitles, though
peculiarly I have found myself in an interesting case of someone uploading one
of my subtitled videos for their own channel. I hope my polite request for them
to remove it goes without trouble.) Technical and life updates aside, though I
am joyful to finally have a break, this spring break is troubling: many K-Pop
groups have decided to cause me heart problems—or more accurately, “overly
squeezing my stuffed penguin” problems. A copious amount of my favorite groups
are releasing, or have released, new songs. This current requested review (a
more formal thank you later), MAMAMOO’s “You’re the Best,” is one of them.

Before focusing on MAMAMOO, however,
for comebacks that I have to highlight, Fiestar is one. The group is releasing
a new song and mini-album around March 8 if correct. After listening to their
album preview, I can confidently say it is exceptional. It might become the
next album that I deem the best, and that should be a remarkable compliment as
the current top album is Rainbow’s recent one: “Prism.” On this note, I will
actually be reviewing Rainbow’s mini-album. Especially since my review on “Whoo” failed to bring justice to the
ladies in terms of highlighting that they truly are vocally skilled (a song’s
Vocals category score is based on a song itself and not the group), reviewing
their album will hopefully clarify that. Regarding other comebacks, AOA’s
leader, Jimin, has a collaboration comeback with EXO’s Xiumin. I will also
review their song soon. Topping it all off, if accurate, SPICA is rumored to
have a comeback soon, and if that is the case, then my heart will most likely
fail: I cannot endure all of the mentioned groups along with SPICA because my heart already
flutters excessively from just hearing Boa’s voice
. However, once the
mentioned comebacks are covered, I intend to return to the original plan of
reviewing groups that yet to be reviewed at all (or who have minimal
popularity), such as Stellar’s “Sting”—of which has been overly delayed.

Now all that said, a few readers may
be skeptical at how this will be possible. After all, does it not usually take
me a whole month to write four reviews? As noted in the previous bonus show review on “Coming Sook,” I am further increasing my review
rate through a simple strategy: limiting social digressions to every third or
fourth review. This is not to imply that those social discussions are
unimportant; as discussed in an older review, having those academic social
digressions is arguably the most important aspect to reviews as those
discussions are sincerely applicable to daily life and help encourage critical
thinking. But, as noted, this blog is still a review blog; a blog that
predominantly focuses on reviewing songs. Thus, this “three days a digression”
compromise provides the best balance to the variety of readers this blog has:
those interested in solely reviews will now have more content; those interested
moreover in the sociological (and somewhat literary theoretical) approach to
songs (and Korean pop culture in general) will still have weekly reviews to
read. And, on my end, I am now able to realistically meet my goals as prior to
this, there was simply no way to have eight reviews in one month if each of them
had a social topic to discuss (and this being even after greatly cutting down
on review length). Again, this does not mean those digressions are meaningless.
There are so many important topics to cover, and it seems almost impossible to
ever run out as every song does elicit some important topic—intended or not. Such
is the nature of pop culture and media.

Without losing track of this review,
as mentioned earlier, I would like to thank to a reader for requesting this
review. As said in the Q/A, I am incredibly thankful for requests and am always
open for them along with feedback. I desire to hear from readers and would very
much be open to having requests guide the blog. This blog, after all, is for
readers to enjoy. Finally discussing MAMAMOO, ignoring the immense heart pain
they cause from their near-perfection, the ladies have become arrogant: their
release of “You’re the Best” is pointed not at a plot of loving a pretty boy
and his smile, but rather, it is their own compliment to themselves. Then again,
this title is still accurate: MAMAMOO truly is the best, and “You’re the Best”
is most likely the best song they have yet to release. (And if not clear, I am
joking with calling MAMAMOO arrogant. The members are far from arrogant; they
are incredibly humble and relatable—after all, Solar would not be my biggest
role model if not for that. I truly strive to be an amazing human as she is.)

Continuing with the discussion of “You’re
the Best,” peering back at MAMAMOO’s prior release— “Um Oh Ah Yeah,” a song that
is certainly solid and excellent—improvement is miraculously seen. That should
be striking: MAMAMOO is a top-tier vocal group; improving even more should not
be possible as they seemingly were at their best. However, indeed, the members
have returned with sharper, more melodic and mesmerizing vocals. In terms of
song production itself, though I have yet to systematically analyze “You’re the
Best,” I already foresee significant improvement in scores in juxtaposition to
“Um Oh Ah Yeah” (of which has been reviewed). On a random note, admittedly “Um
Oh Ah Yeah” did not score too highly, even if I biasedly adored the song (since
reviews obviously have to be neutral). When it comes to “You’re the Best,” the
opposite occurred: although I initially disliked the style, I knew from the
second playback that it was a phenomenal song. As for how I currently perceive,
many can easily guess: I love “You’re the Best”—more so than even “Um Oh Ah
Yeah.”

All that said, MAMAMOO is a rising
group. 2016 should be a flourishing year for the ladies: they continue, despite
the odds, to improve their musical prowess to even higher levels; they remain
absolutely hilarious and relatable; and lastly, they sincerely care for their
fans. If MAMAMOO is not deemed, at worst, a top-ten group by the end of this
year, there is one reason for that. It is not because of their management; it
is not because of their musical styles conflicting with popular tastes; and it
is not because they are overly obnoxious at times. Should they still not rise
to the top, the reason for that is simply due to causing heart failure among
fans from their outstanding skills, and thus, they are struggling to maintain
fans in this sense.

Dramatic speech aside though I do hope I was not the
only one practically hyperventilating while watching the music video and
performances
, to address the links, both the music video and a live
performance are used. Arrogantly said on my end, however, the live performance
should suffice; MAMAMOO’s vocals are potent to the point that live audio could
easily substitute studio quality audio. With that praise in mind, let us find
out whether “You’re the Best” lives up to its name: proving that MAMAMOO is the
best, or at least, proving that this is the best release by MAMAMOO yet.

_______________________________________________________

Song Score: 7/10
(7.4/10 raw score) – “Above average”


Vocals: 8/10


Sections: 8/10
(7.7/10 raw score)

Introduction, Verse,
Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Rap, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Rap, Bridge (Pre-Chorus), Chorus,
Conclusion

1.     Introduction:
7/10

2.     Verse: 7/10

3.     Pre-Chorus: 9/10

4.     Chorus: 8/10

5.     Rap: 8/10

6.     Bridge (Pre-Chorus): 8/10

7.     Conclusion: 7/10


Line Distribution: 7/10

Solar:
Introduction, Verse, Pre-Chorus 1, Chorus 1, Pre-Chorus 2, Chorus 2, Rap 2,
Bridge, Chorus 3 (Total: 9)

Wheein:
Introduction, Verse, Pre-Chorus 1, Chorus 1, Pre-Chorus 2, Rap 2, Bridge,
Chorus 3 (Total: 8)

Moonbyul:
Rap 1, Rap 2 (Total: 2)

Hwasa:
Introduction, Pre-Chorus 1, Rap 1, Pre-Chorus 2, Chorus 2, Rap 2, Bridge,
Chorus 3 (Total: 8)

All:
Conclusion

Equal Value: 6.75 sections per member.  


Instrumental: 6/10


Lyrics: 8/10

Come on, hey mommy
Come on, hey daddy
Come look at these kids
Come on, hey sister
Come on, hey brother
Someone stop these kids

Pretending like you’re cute or sexy or pretty
I don’t have to do any of that
Because you can see through me
Your common sense, manner, expressions
Even right down to your behavior
I can see right through your sensitive self

You are about one span of a hand taller than me
Every morning I open my eyes to the sound of your voice
The two of us are completely compatible
Come on mister over there
Come on come over here
Slowly little by little
(Hey, hey, hey, yeah!)

Hey you, boy with the pretty smile
You
You-u-u-u, Ah-h-h-h
You are a man that makes me go crazy
You steal looks with your body and face
Hey Mr. You, boy with handsome thoughts
You
You-u-u-u, Ah-h-h-h
I’m confused because of you
Please someone stop me

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
I think of you every day
Do you think of me?
Word up, Moonstar
Blood type A, blood type B, AB, blood type O
Positive or negative, it doesn’t matter
S pole and N pole are attracted to one another,
doesn’t matter which formula
I am attracted to you only because it’s you

You are about one span of a hand taller than me
Every night I fall asleep to the sound of your lullaby
The two of us are completely compatible
Come on mister over there
Come on come over here
Will you quietly whisper to me
(Hey, hey, hey, yeah!)

Hey you, boy with the pretty smile
You
You-u-u-u, Ah-h-h-h
You are a man that makes me go crazy
You steal looks with your body and face
Hey Mr. You, boy with handsome thoughts
You
You-u-u-u, Ah-h-h-h
I’m confused because of you
Please someone stop me

I like eye contact
I bite my lips (your lips)
When we make eye contact (two eyes)
This breathless attraction makes me dizzy
I am your fangirl forever
It’s whatever; whatever, everything about you is perfect
That’s right (that’s right), our relationship
Suddenly I keep thinking, what am I to you?

24 hours 1 minute 1 second
I’m anxious that I might miss you even a little bit
24 hours right now this moment
Come one look at me
Come on you’re the best
Don’t stop us anymore
(Hey, hey, hey, yeah, whoa!)

Hey you, boy with the pretty smile
You
You-u-u-u, Ah-h-h-h
You are a man that makes me go crazy
You steal looks with your body and face
Hey Mr. Ambiguous Piano Man that’s you
You
You-u-u-u, Ah-h-h-h
I’m confused because of you
Please someone stop me

Come on you’re the best

Choreography Score: 7/10 (7/10 raw score)

– Syncing: 7/10

– Key Points: 7/10

Overall Score: 7/10
(7/10 raw score)

_______________________________________________________

Analysis:
Since MAMAMOO is causing breathing difficulties, perhaps it is best to end the
review right here. Horrible jokes aside, this song is perhaps one of the most difficult
songs to review—and that is not due to quality, as I will explain. With
reviews, I sincerely try to be as honest as possible. Eliciting discussions and
bringing in different perspectives are my goals, and that is only possible if a
song is rated accurately without any external influences (such as with favoring
a group, song style, etc.). To now explain why “You’re the Best” is difficult to
review, it is not due to deciding ratings—that is straightforward in this song.
Rather, the difficulty comes in accepting the score: only a seven. “You’re the
Best” nearly meets an eight; the song is only .1 away from reaching that score,
to be exact. As ironic or hypocritical as the following may sound (since, after
all, I am the one giving the scores), this rating is unfair. “You’re the Best”
deserves to make it into the “good; excellent” (eight) rating, but
unfortunately it falls short by the slightest amount possible. As such, SPICA’s
“Ghost” will still claim the throne of being the highest rated song yet on the
blog (ignoring the earlier, newbie reviews), but to reiterate, “You’re the Best”
does deserve high praise. All this said, the instrumental will be inspected
first as, arguably, it is the main aspect that weighs down the song from an
even higher score.

With
the instrumental, even after paying pure attention to it and listening to the
official instrumental tenaciously, it sadly holds at a six, and that is the
difference between a Song Score  of a
seven or eight. Although it is true that the instrumental provides a lot for
the song—examples being creating the tone, helping with transitions, blending
well with vocals, being prominent yet subtle so that attention shifts to the
vocals—there is one weak aspect to it: individually. The instrumental, on its
own, is rather mundane. Understandably, there may be claims that I am being
overly nitpicky since some may believe that an instrumental has to be graded
within the context of a song in whole. Though that is a true point, for a
reply, in addition to remaining consistent with every review I have done, my
musical interpretation is that an instrumental is two-fold: yes, it has to be
seen in context, but furthermore, it has to be seen individually as well. Thus,
while the instrumental is irreplaceable in “You’re the Best,” on its own, the
horn sounds, bass lines, beats, and so forth are rather stale. In fact, if not
for its valuable role in aiding the vocals or transitioning the song for a few
examples, the instrumental would have scored even less. All that said, however,
it should be noted that a six is nothing to neglect: a six is still a “positive”
rating and indeed, the instrumental is still enjoyable. It just happens to seem
mediocre because of comparing it to every other aspect in the song: sevens or
eights.

On
that note, the vocals and sections are phenomenal in the song, and in many
aspects, are heavily related to the other: the vocals augment the sections
through granting powerful, tuneful singing and rapping; conversely, the
sections augment the vocals through guiding the vocals to be diverse. For
example, with the pre-choruses, the vocals are absolutely beautiful. Higher,
softer notes are heard, and with MAMAMOO’s skills, the delivery with such is
expecteedly flawless. What makes the vocals and the pre-choruses even more
potent, however, is how structurally the pre-choruses create both soft vocals
and more prominent vocals—of which is noticed by the change in style towards
the end of the pre-choruses. Other sections also play off a similar strategy:
the choruses are orientated towards linear, melodic singing, but simultaneously,
the “You-u-u-u” and “Ah-h-h-h” moments provide different vocal styles and
structural styles that help maintain appeal and charm. Another blatant example
would be the raps—though pure “rap” is actually accurate: a combination of
Moonbyul’s and Hwasa’s extraordinary rapping and Solar’s and Wheein’s alluring
singing are how the rap sections are conducted, and that pairing works
effectively. Overall, the key result from the chemistry between the vocals and
sections is a song that remains relentless in vocal prowess and in diversity.
It is difficult to ever find the song plain: there are too many well delivered sections
and vocal styles.

In
terms of the non-musical aspects, the lyrics score incredibly high. Typically
lyrics do admittedly seem to cap at a seven, but “You’re the Best” contains a
very unique plot along with diverse, thorough details. With creativity and
depth working in the lyrics, a high score is deserved. As for the distribution
of lines, this is something to clarify. Yes, there is a huge disparity with
Moonbyul and the rest, and yes it seems that I am failing to be consistent
among reviews. Two points to clarify: I am actually not being “unfair” for “You’re
the Best,” and secondly, this is a reasonable score to give. First, I do not
strictly grade the line distribution based on pure statistical counting; in every
song, I do look for context first before the numbers. For example, in songs
where everyone takes on the role of being a “singer” (in other words, not
rapping), I do search for evenly distributed sections. However, in cases where
there are distinct roles—the most common being a group consisting of rappers
and singers—I do have to become realistic. In MAMAMOO’s case, Moonbyul is the main
rapper, but unlike Hwasa’s case of being both a standard vocalist and a rapper
(even if Moonbyul is very capable of singing), this leaves Moonbyul restricted
to solely raps. And with such, unless if a song somehow manages to squeeze in a
rap whenever possible—a very unrealistic and overall detrimental idea—then leniency
has to be given. That said, I am still not entirely excusing this song’s disparity:
the score is a seven and not, for example, an eight or even a nine. After all, gauging
at the members beside Moonbyul, the divided sections are in fact equal and thus
this should warrant some high rating as Moonbyul is supposedly excused. In this
case of a seven, I do hold that Moonbyul could have had some support lines,
perhaps with offering two-part singing or background vocals. Nevertheless, with
context and realistically rating, the score is still admirable at a seven.

Lastly,
with the choreography, it does render above average. The dance remains well
synced to the music, such as with the choruses’ key points of pointing and then
waving. And on that topic, the key points remain fun to watch due to the variety,
playfulness, and its overall suitability with the song’s mood and sound. The
choreography may not be upbeat at all, but as said before in past reviews,
style never dictates quality. Focusing solely on how well the dance syncs and
how entertaining the key points are, it is confidently said that “You’re the
Best” has a pleasing dance to accompany the brilliant song.

All
in all, this is still the most heartbreaking review yet. I went into this
review expecting the Song Score to come out at an eight, but unfortunately, by
a single decimal—a .1—the song misses that mark. (And perhaps this is insight
into the future struggle of grading students’ essays and assignments; I wish
for my students to have good grades—though I am against the idea that grades
are integral to genuine learning—but will have to be fair.) Nonetheless,
numbers never reveal a story, so regardless of the numerical rating, I still strongly
attest that “You’re the Best” is indeed the best song by MAMAMOO yet, and even
more generally, is one of the better songs I have ever heard. “You’re the Best”
is truly a musical masterpiece and it is always an honor to be able to listen
to MAMAMOO’s songs. They absolutely are the best.

_______________________________________________________

Before
thanking every reader, once again I want to thank the person who requested this
review. If not for your words, in truth this review would never have taken
place as I would’ve prioritized other songs. So, thank you very much for the
request. That said, thank you to those who read this review—skimmed or in full.
I appreciate any time given to the blog.

As
for upcoming reviews, to complete the second component of the request, I will
be reviewing MAMAMOO’s first whole album, “Melting,” as well. (“You’re the Best”
is a part of the album, to prevent confusion.) However, before doing so, I do
wish to practice a bit more with reviewing albums as I do intend to change the
outline. Though I feel bad for using the following words, Rainbow’s latest
album, “Prism,” will be an experimental lab rat—but for a good reason. “Prism,”
so far, is the best (mini) album I have ever heard, and furthermore, I wish to
bring the group some justice. My review on “Whoo” failed to do so, even if the
review itself on the song is acceptable. Now with “Prism” being mentioned as my
favorite, MAMAMOO’s album may challenge that, and likewise even Fiestar’s
album, but as of right now, “Prism” holds the throne as the upcoming review
will explain. Therefore, readers can expect that as the next review, and
afterwards, for MAMAMOO’s “Melting,” and after all of those, I will finish up
on Stellar’s “Sting” and an important discussion there. Then, after all of
that, I will focus on the recent comebacks, and from there, unpopular artists
will take spotlight.

Although
a seemingly daunting task, I will, cheesily said, let the flow of music guide
how reviews go. Look forward to the two upcoming album reviews for now. I will
work hard during this break to catch up since, “hey you, boy/girl with the
pretty smile. You, you-u-u-u, ah-h-h-h, you are a woman/man that makes me go
crazy”—in a good way.