MAMAMOO – “1CM” Review

MAMAMOO
– 1CM (Music Video)

MAMAMOO – 1CM (Pride)/Taller Than You

Reviewed
on April 4, 2016

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Personal Message:
Before beginning, looking over the
past month, I am a bit upset that March ended with four reviews and not with my
claim of six reviews. Ignorantly on my part, I forgot the difference between
two actions: posting and writing. It is true that I wrote six reviews in March,
but when it came to posting them all, only four managed to come through. The
two reviews that did not make it into March will be instead posted in April—my
April Fools’ prank review and a review on GOT7’s “Fly.” Nevertheless, though
this does mean March fails to reach a personal goal, on the positive side April
will have a head start and, furthermore, there are many shorter reviews I have
planned for this month (and shorter in the sense of being purely focused on the
song and not digressing). As such, six reviews will once again be the goal, but
this time I am incredibly confident in achieving it as I can schedule out my
posts. (And that is necessary as the remaining two weeks of April will be my
finals and thus, I absolutely have no time for writing reviews within that
period.)

Focusing on this current review,
admittedly this was requested about a month ago (and I apologize to the
requester for the delay). Along with the request of “You’re the Best,” the same person also asked if
reviewing “1CM” was possible, and my reply at that time was that I would cover
it within a review on MAMAMOO’s album of “Melting.” But, needless to say, that
did not quite happen and may not even happen until a while; reviewing MAMAMOO’s
album would be a rather lengthy task given the album is around forty-four
minutes, and factoring in times of replaying songs and then writing a paragraph
per song, it would be quite time-consuming. But, as it is an album worth
discussing, I will perhaps review it once I am on summer break as I would have
the time. (Besides the title, to share a few songs that are quite notable among
the already many excellent ones, I personally enjoy “Funky Boy” and “Emotion”
quite a lot. In fact, Moonbyul’s rapping in “Funky Boy” truly caught me by
surprise and, especially with the final rap, gave me goosebumps—as pitiful as
that may sound. More embarrassing moments have occurred, however, such as crying
with listening to the group’s cover of “Hinterlands"—a cover that possesses the best
vocals I have ever heard in any song.)

Embarrassment aside, on topic with
the review request for “1CM,” I am now resorting to the basic plan: reviewing
it as an individual song—and this may actually be a better route. Although
“1CM” is definitely hilarious and perhaps even relatable to some readers (or
perhaps just me; I am a tiny boy at 162.5 centimeters, though I actually do
prefer this height), if focusing on purely the audio, “1CM” is not as stunning
as people make it out to be. Agreeably, my stance toward the song is rather
controversial; it seems almost as if everyone likes it and that opposing such
would be atrocious. After all, look at those in favor of the song: nearly every
fan of MAMAMOO largely praises and supports the song; regular viewers are
captivated by the ladies’ live performance of “1CM”; and even the famous
American actress, Chloe Moretz, has openly complimented MAMAMOO and “1CM.” How
could I, a person who is indeed a fan (and one who very much strives to be like
all of the ladies and especially Solar, my biggest role model) and a person who
is well aware of MAMAMOO’s skills, be against “1CM”? Given that this is a song
review, unfortunately—or more accurately, fortunately—that does mean I have to
strip aside my biases and additionally, have to look beyond catchiness, comedy,
and so forth, and focus instead solely on the sound of a song. Doing that for
“1CM,” however, does lead to undesirable results.

“1CM” does fall short and I will be
arguing why that is the case. Even if the ratings miraculously score well, and
reiterating the earlier point, even if MAMAMOO is one of the stronger musical
groups, I will be revealing a moment where, for once, a weaker song can indeed
exist from artists who otherwise seem to be musically infallible. And, of
course, though I do enjoy “1CM” and am in no way desiring to personally bash
the ladies, I do want to bring a (hopefully fun and thought-provoking) critical
music discussion: a discussion that claims that “1CM” may in fact live up to
its own name—a minor, one-centimeter-worthy song.

_______________________________________________________

Song Score: 6/10
(6.0/10 raw score) – “Slightly above average”


Vocals: 6/10


Sections: 4/10
(3.83/10 raw score)

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

1.     Introduction:
5/10

2.     Rap: 7/10

3.     Pre-Chorus: 4/10

4.     Chorus: 3/10

5.     Bridge: 2/10

6.     Conclusion (Bridge): 2/10


Instrumental: 4/10


Line Distribution: 8/10

Solar:
Chorus, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Bridge, Conclusion (Total: 7)

Moonbyul:
Pre-Chorus, Rap, Pre-Chorus, Rap, Pre-Chorus (Total: 5)

Hwasa:
Introduction, Rap, Pre-Chorus, Pre-Chorus, Rap (Total: 5)

Wheein:
Chorus, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Pre-Chorus, Chorus (Total: 5)

Equal Value: 5.5 sections per
member.  


Lyrics: 8/10

Is anyone here taller than me?
If not, nevermind

MAMAMOO, MAMAMOO, MAMAMOO
I’m taller than you, you’re 160, I’m 161
MAMAMOO, MAMAMOO, MAMAMOO
Between between between us, just 1cm difference

Nonsense
First off, I’m not even going to mention Wheein
Okay, we’re best friends but when we’re talking heights
there’s no mercy, small Wheein
How dull, unnies*, you’re making a big deal over 1cm?
Let’s be cool about this
Only I get to wear heels

The difference between you and I, 1cm
(Unnie, your head is slightly large)
Just accept it, dwarf
(That’s right, accept it)
This won’t affect your life
(What are you saying?)
Do you know what I’m saying?

Oh dear, our unnie is trying to show off
to someone who’s better than her
Look here, you still have a long way to climb up
Is this too high up for you?
How’s the weather down there?
Quite stuffy I can only imagine
Sorry, but I can’t go there; too tall to enter

We’re all similar, so enough of this
If you have time to bicker about this, worry about other things
Aww what’s wrong little Wheein, can’t reach?
Don’t worry, I’ll get it for you, this unnie is the tallest in town

MAMAMOO, MAMAMOO, MAMAMOO
I’m taller than you, you’re 160, I’m 161
MAMAMOO, MAMAMOO, MAMAMOO
Between between between us, just 1cm difference

Ayo, after rounding up you’re still short
Try putting in more height insoles
It doesn’t make much difference?
It’s still noticeable when you wear heels
Even when you wear sneakers,
our height order is like Do Re Mi Fa

It’s only 1cm difference (1.8)
Anyone will agree that we are same-same
(Both of you have slightly large heads)
This is a war inside a well
You know what I’m talking about?

Hey you, Moonstar, look at you having a blast
Uh-huh, just admit it, you’re being boastful
Pretending to be actually tall, pretending to be superior
Pretending to be Hong Man Choi, but all you are is an acorn
I have nothing left to say
I have nothing left to say
If Cho Tae Oh walked by he would laugh
That’s how I feel right now: “I have no words to say”

MAMAMOO, MAMAMOO, MAMAMOO
I’m taller than you, you’re 160, I’m 161
MAMAMOO, MAMAMOO, MAMAMOO
Between between between us, just 1cm difference

Is anyone here taller than me?
I’m taller than you
I’m taller, taller than you
I’m taller than you
I’m taller, taller than you
I’m taller than you
I’m taller, taller than you
I’m taller than you
I’m taller, taller than you
Listen up you dwarfs, in this place–

I’m taller than you
I’m taller, taller than you
I’m taller than you
I’m taller, taller than you
I’m taller than you
I’m taller, taller than you
I’m taller than you
I’m taller, taller than you

*What females refer to older females as.

Choreography Score: X/10 (x/10 raw score)

– Syncing: X/10

– Key Points: X/10

Overall Score: 6/10
(6/10 raw score)

_______________________________________________________

Analysis: On
a positive note, “1CM” did not score at a five—a rating that was admittedly my
prediction. This does make sense considering that “1CM” ‘s strengths lies not within
its sound but instead its physical composition (if that makes sense; in other
words, the “non-sound” categories).

First
focusing on the negatives, “1CM” strongly lacks in its sections and
instrumental. Though there is a sense of catchiness to both categories, as
explained copiously in many past reviews, catchiness in of itself cannot be
used a positive mark. Looking beyond such reveals, for example, an instrumental
that is quite plain. Although it is not inherently a negative trait to be
linear in form—hence sounding plain—and in fact in “1CM” is rather beneficial
considering its pacing and focus on slower, rhythmic rapping, the instrumental
could benefit from possessing distinctiveness whether in sound or role. Peering
at the sound, as it currently stands, the beats and sounds used are nothing stunning—even
if ignoring the slower, undeviating style. The instrumental’s sound does not
feel irreplaceable; if there were any slow, deep beats, the style to “1CM” would
most likely still be in place. Nothing about the instrumental is noteworthy in
that regard. And, focusing on its role in the song, the same prior point
applies: nothing utterly distinctive. Sure, the vocals play off the
instrumental, but then again, couldn’t any instrumental with deep beats and
bass work if set at a similar or identical pace? That lack of necessity, of
originality to the song, along with its plain sounds, is what leads to its
current rating.

On
that note, the sections also receive much criticism. In summary, every section
minus the raps is either average at best. The introduction, for example, while
inviting of the song, does languish when accounting for its dull sound. Even
the section that would otherwise seem fine, such as the pre-choruses since
MAMAMOO—again, a very vocally skilled group—sings, suffers in some aspect. With
this section, while effective in terms of establishing “1CM” ‘s tone, its
structure promotes stagnant singing lines—this being detrimental and, with this
review focusing on the song itself and not stage or tone presence, is what
matters. Sadly, the most irking sections fall on the bridge and choruses:
obnoxious, repetitive lines. Most notably at the bridge, “1CM” loses its
cohesion with rapping and singing and even its entire structure, and instead
becomes a chaotic, jumbled mess. Again, though this serves well in terms of
“1CM” ‘s tone and comedy—the main
focuses of the song—in a musical lens, I have to be critical of what
occurs during these moments. And, with arguably the most shocking rating yet,
the vocals are scored at a six—two scores below their usual rating of eight. If
not for the raps, this would be even lower. Explaining why, the prior points
about the sections can translate over: the sillier and disorganized vocals at
the choruses and bridge are to be blamed.

Now,
though readers and perhaps even MAMAMOO fans may be devastated at my words, as
noted “1CM” is not concerned over sounding beautiful like with “You’re the
Best” or “Words Don’t Come Easy” (a song from their album). Thus, there are
still some positive points to cover as, thankfully, this review format does
attempt to respect songs for more than their mechanical sounds. In terms of the
lyrics, it is quite brilliant. First, the lyrics are definitely original; as
clearly seen, the lyrics are not of some recycled theme such as coping with a
breakup or finding love. “1CM” is instead, jocularly enough, about MAMAMOO
themselves arguing over their heights—an argument that Wheein sadly fails to
resolve, as the lyrics state. Therefore, in this sense, much appeal already
exists for the lyrics’ uniqueness. Secondly, the lyrics are exceptionally
detailed. The degree of such, in fact, overcomes sections that lack in depth
such as the bridge. Nearly each section—each individual one and not just the
type (chorus, verse, etc.)—is its own and not a mere repeat. And, for the final
category, the line distribution remains strong—a pleasant change considering
Moonbyul is usually stuck with fewer lines due to her role as the main rapper. (Also,
while there is indeed choreography for the song, I will be skipping over it for
this review—though this is a shame as “1CM” is a “performance” song and thus
the choreography is very likely an important piece.)

In
the end, “1CM” concludes at slightly above average. Although the song is weaker
sonically, the rather equal line distribution and clever lyrics do greatly
compensate as the latter are what “1CM” highlights. Ultimately, bringing a
musical discussion is the main purpose of this review (and the rest); this
review is not to shame “1CM” at all and those who are fans of the song (and
besides, I do enjoy it as said) but rather, it is meant to deconstruct it in a
critical fashion. And so, here is where the fun begins for readers: formulating
a personal opinion, whether that is challenging or supporting this review’s
stance or perhaps even finding a middle-ground as binaries seldom exist. And, if
nothing else is gleaned, then at least this review also carries the perk of
showcasing the individuality of songs. In other words, even if MAMAMOO is one
of my personal favorite artists and are well recognized for their skills,
indeed no song is automatically strong (or weak) based on a group’s background
alone; songs’ qualities are based in a song’s own composition and its quality
is not entirely predicated by the artist(s) involved.

_______________________________________________________

To
the requester, once again huge apologies for the significant delay but this
review is finally done. Thank you for your great patience, and I do hope this
review is intriguing given how it conflicts with many opinions regarding “1CM.”
Also, for other readers, thank you as well for spending time looking over this
review. Though it is robotic to say after every review, I am obligated to thank
those who do invest their time reading or skimming this blog. I highly
appreciate it.

With
this review over, there is now a troubling problem: if I will be able to review
MAMAMOO’s “Woohoo”—a new song to be released on April 4. This song is not a
comeback per se, but it still is a new release and an amazing one at that. “Woohoo”
is, from my understanding, a commercial OST for the LG G5, a new cellphone by
LG. Although it does seem to be quite a stretch to make a song to complement a
cellphone, I cannot complain as the song—based on a live showcase and audio
that is from a recording camera or phone—is truly infatuating. I am already
charmed by it and that is not even by listening to the studio audio, so I am
quite ecstatic to truly hear that. (Though understandably, MAMAMOO’s live
singing is nearly equal to studio audio so this may explain why I am seduced by
the song.) Perhaps to compensate for excess reviews on MAMAMOO, I will have to
release many other reviews by a variety of different artists. Time will tell
what I decide to do, but my heart does tell me to review “Woohoo.” After all,
is MAMAMOO not the definition of perfection?

Unless
if changes occur, look forward to MAMAMOO’s “Woohoo” or maybe even GOT’s “Fly”
(depending on when I decide to post it), and of course many other songs. Since
I “have time to bicker about this” I should probably “worry about other things,”
such as university work and subtitling a certain video. Stay tuned for whatever
is to come.