MAMAMOO – “Um Oh Ah Yeh” Review

MAMAMOO – Um Oh Ah Yeh (Live Performance)

MAMAMOO – Um Oh Ah Yeh (Audio)

MAMAMOO – Um Oh Ah Yeh

Reviewed on July 8, 2015

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Personal Message: Although I am, once again, a day behind my intended schedule, I will be able to compensate via longer writing sessions. MAMAMOO’s summer comeback, “Um Oh Ah Yeh,” has been indirectly requested; a reader desired a review on MAMAMOO, and though no specification was made, I have personally chosen their latest song. Nevertheless, with a friend recommending it the day it was released (and, with her being a huge Chorong Apink fan, I am now aware that Apink is having a comeback soon, of which I will cover), and also, a reader mentioning the song as well, I highly anticipate “Um Oh Ah Yeh.” I have already reviewed MAMAMOO in the past with “Piano Man,” a song that, despite the four ladies being classified as rookies, held an astonishing nine for the Vocals category. Although my past writing most likely failed to bring them justice in regard to their extraordinary talents, I will, hopefully, correct such through this review. MAMAMOO’s vocals are incredibly potent and, astonishingly, even arguably surpassing veteran groups’ vocals.

Sharing brief opinions on “Um Oh Ah Yeh,” for a more jocular comment, a disclaimer will be made: If within the review I misspell the title, I do apologize as, for unknown reasons, I desire to call the title “Um Oh Ah Yeah” or “Um Uh Ah Yeh” versus “Um Oh Ah Yeh.” Ignoring personal worries, for the song, while I did not instantly find it alluring, as I began to brainstorm for the review, I have come to enjoy “Um Oh Ah Yeah.” Vocals, expectedly, are to MAMAMOO’s standards (though, once the review begins, there will be thorough discussions). the sections are, as of minimal deconstruction, enticing, and other categories are equally pleasing.

Addressing the links, an official live performance is included, though there is an audio link should readers desire to hear “Um Oh Ah Yeh” in its clearest quality. On the subject of links, I have watched the music video to “Um Oh Ah Yeh,” and while it is somewhat perplexing at first, once deciphered, I do enjoy its message of claiming males are obsolete humorous plot, as will the Lyrics category explain, and for a more subtle layer, the positive social messages “Um Oh Ah Yeh” brings (on a serious note, the music video does not suggest males are obsolete, but rather, that every male, specifically those not well regarded socially, is worthy, as will be explained at that category).

Transitioning to an utterly off-topic digression, one that is, intriguingly, not akin to social topics (for those uninterested, skipping to the review should be done), a reader did ask a very exclusive question (summarized): “Any tips for how long I should write for and how do you organize your writing?” As answered to the asker, since other readers may be curious, I delayed personally answering so that I could now publically disclose my personal tips. That said, I do apologize for the delay, especially with the answer being implemented in a review, and therefore, being even more delayed. Nevertheless, I am very thankful for this question, and with how I intend to be an English teacher, I am exceptionally zealous to discuss writing related topics. Of course, however, while English holds as one of my passions, it would be erroneous to label me as an expert as I am far from such, and thus, my advice should be taken moreover as one perspective, not as an indisputable one. Much growth is still necessary on my part, and more accurately phrased, constant growth is necessary, but nonetheless, I will offer as much help as possible.

In focus of the first portion of the question, a simple answer exists: none. A solid question, but as stated, there is no ideal duration for writing. Factors include due dates, what is being written, and so forth. Sharing my personal writing sessions’ durations, there have been days where I would write for ten minutes at most, and for other days, a relentless session of six hours since I had a ten-page research paper due in three days that I irresponsibly put off, my highest record (though I did have five minute breaks per hour). Currently, for my average length, four hours a day tend to be the time, though, more precisely, it is broken into two sessions, each of two hours (two hours around afternoon, and then resume the remaining towards the evening).

On topic, to give a more helpful answer to how long one should write for, I have developed a personal guideline: no matter the hesitation, always write, undisturbed, for ten minutes. Explaining why, often time, these two general situations occur: a person barely writes, and as a result, is unproductive, or secondly, for a seldom mentioned perspective, a person excessively writes, and while seemingly productive, will often time be mentally exasperated and, more importantly, unproductive in the context of writing decently and enjoyably. How the “ten minute rule,” my newly invented title, aids such is it provides a gauge; with forcing a time span of writing for ten minutes, a writing session’s duration can be determined. For example, attempting to set a time span without engaging in writing first would lead to shorter sessions; many would, without a proper writing mentality, decide to lethargically write for perhaps twenty minutes at most when, potentially, much more time would be needed. In truth, very few are instantly driven to write. While many certainly love the activity, it is mentally draining, and therefore, very few would be able to promptly write in a very focused, passionate state from the start. Thus, with the “ten minute rule” being forced, regardless of a person’s desire to write, a genuine writing state will become established (or not, which will be addressed later), but now comes the following piece.

If, at this stage, the “writing state” has come in place, such as the feeling of sincerely caring for the written topic or that the writing possesses a desirable flow of thoughts and mechanical work (the actual writing, like syntax and diction), deciding to continue for the longest, realistic session should take place. Endlessly continuing until the drive naturally fades out is what I have found to be most effective. This, blatantly, does highly vary per person and due to topic; a person with more writing endurance may be able to maintain hours once engaged in writing, but a few might only be comfortable with thirty minutes, and if a topic is rather uninteresting, a shorter time will also exist. Regardless, once the “writing state” dwindles, as experienced by how the writing feels significantly more taxing or if little to no writing is taking place at all, taking a break should occur, whether that is walking, a snack, or giving the eyes relaxation. After, at maximum, a ten minute break (I personally have found five minutes to be the best; any longer and I utterly lose desire to write), resuming writing should take place, and from here, two options exist: the “writing state” is once more at play, or writing becomes excessively laborious. Should the latter occur, with judging a deadline and if sincere progress was made, opting to quit should be acceptable. In cases where writing must still take place (due date, for example), then, loathingly, forced writing will have to take place, which, while distasteful, must be done.

Addressing the mentioned side of if, even after the “ten minute rule,” no drive to write exists, once more, after gauging deadlines (if existent), not writing should be the adopted route. Writing is an enjoyable activity, even if mentally expending, and therefore, if no drive to write exists, unless if a threatening due date exists, taking a day off with retries at a later time (if wanted) is a more desirable path. Forced writing, as in its tone, is far from pleasant, and therefore, unless if sincerely pressured, writing is best preserved for a genuine, desired drive, not one of pure dreaded work. After all, during May 2015, I personally can disclose the result of consistent forced writing: burnout. May 2015 for the blog possessed minimal reviews, and of the reviews, horrendous writing was in place, and I do blame forcing myself to write per day as the culprit. Should I have, during the month, waited for genuine desires to write, I could have, surprisingly, wrote more, even if I wrote on less days (as I would have wrote productively for longer on days I did want to write).

However, before ending the first answer, there is one final point to mention: writing is a mental discipline. By constantly writing, stamina for doing so does build up; at the very start, a person may be capable of solely writing for thirty minutes before feeling entirely deprived, but with continually writing, a session of three hours becomes miniscule in terms of feeling weary. Therefore, for those who do wish to be able to engage in more productive, active writing sessions, practice, as trite as the word may be, is key. Continually writing for longer will result in more writing endurance. Also, since I have not mentioned so, a workplace for writing should exist. Though it varies per person for criterias (no noise, some noise, lighting levels, and more), having a space of pure focus on writing and work vastly helps, or, accounting for diverse lives, to attempt to create the most focused work area. There are many who do not possess the privilege of, for example, owning their individual room of solitude and quietness, and as a result, attempting to minimize as many distractions will be the best option. Lastly, for those heavily struggling with becoming engaged, I also have another tip, of which relates into the next answer.

In terms of how I personally organize my writing, once more, content will be the catalyst for how I outline. For larger academic works, I tend to dedicate a full day to outlining a thesis and how to support said thesis (and if readers are curious on how I do so, sending in a question will help; due to it being relatively difficult to explain, I will hold off unless if a reader desires for it). However, in the scenario of shorter writes or less rigorous ones, such as “writeups” or, for my example, reviews, I utilize a very jocular strategy: “caps lock.” Stating overarching ideas, or, based on interpretation of capitalized texts, yelling overarching ideas, are my methods to brainstorming a writing. I will create an example for understanding:

[EXAMPLE] MAMAMOO’s VOCALS IN “UM OH AH YEH”

SUPER MELODIC (EXAMPLE 1, 2, 3) + SUPER POWERFUL (EXAMPLE 1, 2) + OTHER GOOD QUALITY STUFF (MORE EXAMPLES)

With this being a random example (I have yet to deconstruct “Um Oh Ah Yeh”), many may be confused at the obscene writing, however, I will elaborate. Relating the prior point of struggling to become engaged, in the situation that basic writing (as is this sentence for an example of “basic writing”; the actual act of writing/typing) becomes difficult to begin, turning on the “caps lock” key and typing general, encapsulating ideas tend to encourage a “writing state” to become established. With this brainstorming strategy, for less complex writings (for a research paper, for example, dedicating a full outline would serve more efficiently and effectively as stated), main ideas of what will be written are already placed, and thus, the work is no longer generating ideas, but rather, merely putting those ideas into actual words and sentences. With the main obstruction to writing often time being the mechanical writing itself and, for many occasions, not the ideas, this specific brainstorm strategy helps with temporarily evading the mechanical writing while, in certain aspects, still continuing productivity, and eventually, creating a firm writing drive.

Reiterating it once more, this will vary on the writing material, but for many cases (such as for reviews), this is how I personally organize my writing. Ultimately, while I do hope to give insight, I expect solely such; my tips are given to not become standard protocols, but instead, to give ideas for those wanting to improve their own writing experience. Everyone possesses their own preferences and styles for writing, and as such, finding strategies and methods that work best for personal needs should take place, not thoroughly adopting a different person’s routine (unless if it equally helps and works). That said, to the asker, thank you very much for a question that, very interestingly, is neither related to K-Pop or social topics, and for being exceptionally patient. While, as stated, I do hope to help, the best aid for writing is to discover what works best for personal needs, and of course, to practice. Utilizing my analogy, writing is makeup; continuing to use it will lead to improvement, and in a plethora of aspects, makeup and writing are incredibly similar. In the future I may expand on this comparison, but in short: writing can be split into “mechanical” (makeup products) and “ideas” (makeup application and styles). Also, for those finding this comparison highly absurd, I would consider it equivalent to “normal” analogies of, for examples, sports or even cars. The fact that makeup would be rendered a “strange” comparison does unveil concerning connotations, but this discussion will be saved for a future time.  

Returning to MAMAMOO and “Um Oh Ah Yeh,” with the four members, Solar, Moonbyul, Wheein, and Hwasa, being exceptionally talented vocalists, high anticipation exists for the song, but as a song is more than pure vocals, dissecting “Um Oh Ah Yeh” in its entirety will be necessary to decide if it is moreover “Ah Yeh” than “Um Oh.”

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

– Vocals: 8/10 – In a past review, MAMAMOO earned a nine for the Vocals score, and in “Um Oh Ah Yeh,” peculiarly, it does fall short. Most likely, it may be that during the review of “Piano Man,” I was still blindly scoring songs excessively generous with ratings, and thus, MAMAMOO might have received a faulty nine. But, it may also be that, due to “Um Oh Ah Yeh” itself, the vocals in this specific song are not to the previous standards of “Piano Man.” Nevertheless, for what remains pressing, the vocals in their latest comeback are still impressive for multiple reasons.

For a very potent attribute, “Um Oh Ah Yeh” discloses variety: the notes range from low to high, power and pacing fluctuate, and overall, a copious amount of singing styles exist. Focusing on the vocals’ note range, with both assets of voice and skills, MAMAMOO is able to showcase a vast spectrum of pitches, one that many groups seldom possess. For example, with Moonbyul and her deep voice (and for an obligatory compliment, she has an incredibly beautiful voice, as does everyone, and I personally very much love it), blatantly, the lower notes of “Um Oh Ah Yeh” are covered. Furthermore, however, besides merely manipulating a member’s natural voice pitch, intentional lower notes are also heard, such as at the verses. With the deeper pitches covered, middle and higher notes are obtained via, for examples, the second rap and choruses, respectively. Due to the larger spectrum, much appeal is constantly maintained throughout the song as, unlike songs oriented towards a specific note range, “Um Oh Ah Yeh” utilizes a versatile range, and therefore, each section does not sound akin to the prior.

Addressing the second component of change in power and pacing, and relating a more overarching topic, the various styles of vocals, each section in the song possesses its own unique concept for vocals. The verses, as examples, focus moreover on slower, lower notes, and additionally, more passive singing. Conversely, however, the choruses orientate towards being energetic and higher in notes, and for another section, the raps possess their own style as, blatantly, rapping vocals are conducted versus singing vocals. Similar to the prior point of various notes, with each section containing not only their own tune, but furthermore, overall vocals style, ample appeal is given.

Accounting for the amount of diverse traits the vocals in “Um Oh Ah Yeh” possess, a nine would seemingly hold, but, strangely, even with the variety, one component fails to reach such: the mechanical portion to the vocals, and more specifically, at the choruses. Every other section does prove enticing from a sonic standpoint, and in fact, potentially to the caliber of a numerical nine rating as discussed earlier with the adept, variated singing, but for the first half of the choruses (as will be explained in more depth at the Sections category), contradictingly, it is repetitive. Each section’s vocals does vary from the other sections, but in terms of an individual section, the choruses do hold tedious singing that, though a minor issue, will prevent a full nine. Should the choruses’ vocals be more dynamic, a nine would most likely exist, but with it not, an eight will hold which, overall, is still an admirable rating.

– Sections: 6/10 (6.17/10 raw score)

Introduction, Chorus (half), Verse, Rap, Chorus (half), Verse, Rap, Chorus, Bridge, Conclusion (Chorus)

1. Introduction: 6/10

2. Chorus: 6/10

3. Verse: 7/10

4. Rap: 7/10

5. Bridge: 5/10

6. Conclusion (Chorus): 6/10

– Analysis: Truthfully, this review has become heavily delayed due to personal activities, such as preparing for college via materials (a new laptop is arriving, which I am very excited for) and checklists, taking a small trip to a relatively far restuarant, and, as honesty is necessary, watching “Unpretty Rapstar” versus writing. I have already watched, if correct, approximately seven hours of the show within a concerning amount of three days (two episodes are left to finish), and thus, this review would have been finished many days ago if I were dedicated. On that note, I do apologize, and addressing “Unpretty Rapstar,” I will review the show in the future as, astonishingly, despite its overarching theme of being a rap survival contest, I have come across many thoughts, whether related to social topics or plainly the show itself and, admittedly, a few tears surprisingly dropped during a certain scene, though “scene” may become plural as I have yet to finish the show, and considering I have created a more efficient show review outline, even more reasons exist to review it after a few more summer comebacks are covered. On topic with summer comebacks, in focus of MAMAMOO and “Um Oh Ah Yeh,” for the song’s sections, an overall six does hold. Though the vocals are to a high standard, many sections are lacking in comparison.

First gauging the more sound sections, both the verses and raps rate at a seven. Glancing at the verses, with both its mechanical and structural components rendering decently, such a score is understandable. Mechanically, the contributed vocals grant “Um Oh Ah Yeh” a smooth, lower pitched melody, and furthermore, with the instrumental equally replicating the vocals’ style, it leads to a combined pleasing and cohesive sound. In terms of the raps, predictably, with both Moonbyul and Hwasa conducting the sections, a strong mechanical component also exists, as in the verses. Moonbyul’s deeper voice emanates a hefty presence as more seldom notes are disclosed, and of course, with her voice itself, a delightful tune is already possessed. Hwasa further contributes to the rap sections’ sonic layer via providing a contrast to Moonbyul’s voice; her rapping lines reside on lighter pitches and faster pacing while Moonbyul adopts the utter opposite. Synthesized from the contrast is extra emphasis towards both members: Hwasa’s hastier rap becomes more sleek, and Moonbyul’s lower notes carry more distinction.

Now, for the structural portions to both sections, both contain a homogenous role: serving as “pre-choruses.” Unconventionally, “Um Oh Ah Yeh” does not possess any pre-choruses, and with such a section traditionally owning the role of fluently carrying a song to its chorus, it does prove concerning for MAMAMOO’s song to lack it. But, with how the verses and raps carry out, discreetly, the standard pre-chorus role is still fulfilled. The verses play in a passive manner, and thus, standard progression is created, however, once the raps occur, the song gradually escalates to a more upbeat fashion, as are the raps, and relating the choruses, a natural, mellow transition exists to it as now the choruses’ own intensity is matched by the rap sections.

Swapping to the three sections that have all scored a six, the introduction, choruses, and conclusion, all hold as “slightly above average.” In focus of the introduction and conclusion, explaining their scores, for one aspect, while both adequately serve their roles, it is to such a degree: adequately. With the introduction, though it does snatch attention via initiating the song steadily with a gradual, awakening instrumental, and furthermore, by veiling MAMAMOO’s full vocals, the musical component does lack. An overly sluggish rate for the instrumental, though effective for creating anticipation, is ineffective for disclosing an appealing musical trait as, with “Um Oh Ah Yeh” specifically, hollowness and lifelessness are attached traits. For the conclusion, the same issues arise, though conversely; the conclusion, being in the form of a final chorus, clutches an exceptionally potent mechanical layer, but for a drawback, its main role of concluding “Um Oh Ah Yeh” is unmet. Elaborating, with the closing chorus possessing high tier vocals, such as with two-part singing and note holds, and certainly, the default ongoing singing for the section itself, the sonic layer thrives as MAMAMOO delivers powerful, exceptionally melodic vocals. However, for a conclusion, while it may leave a climactic point in the song, an abrupt ending does take place as the conclusion’s intensiveness does not fade out. Resulting from such, a poorer end exists, but similar to the introduction, the stronger component does compensate enough to bring it to its rating of a six.

On the note of choruses, the choruses proved most difficult to grade, but, in the end, as stated, a six holds. Mechanically, the choruses flourish: stronger vocals are utilized along with an endearing melody. Especially towards the later half of “Um Oh Ah Yeh” where the choruses in their entirety are sung, the vocals are to a high caliber. A variety of traits occur, be it the change of paces or fluctuation in power, or the general, harmonious singing. Overall, with every factor merged, a solid score would seemingly be deserved. That said, a six holds as, for the purpose of consistency, the half-choruses must be accounted for, and once doing so, the half choruses hinder both the section’s score as well as the Vocals category from achieving a pure nine. Expanding on such, while the full choruses are successful, disturbingly, losing the second half does create multiple issues. For one, the structure becomes highly mundane; “Um Oh Ah Yeh” is repeated relentlessly, and overarchingly, the first half of the chorus is a basic repeat of a single line. Thus, without the second half bringing in variety, the choruses do languish. Furthermore, the second half contains vocals that progress from the initial singing, and thus, the more potent, melodic and powerful singing resides in it, but with the half-choruses losing such, the mechanical layer equally loses charm. With averaging both the half-choruses and regular choruses, a six becomes the score (five and seven for scores respectively).

Lastly, for the bridge, as its numerical score implies, average is how the bridge renders. Both the section’s format and sonic components are neither stunning or thoroughly loathing. Focusing on the format first, a typical form occurs: the bridge follows a slow, paused and lighter concept, as how many archetypal bridges are. The calm, lighter tune from the instrumental and vocals, and in a general scale, how passive the section is, are nothing unordinary. Though viable, with it being completely standard, lack of uniqueness does hinder a higher score as now, sonically, the vocals and instrumental are restricted, and structurally, it is exaggeratedly simplistic. At most, the dialogue, which will be addressed at the Lyrics category, is partially striking, but in whole, it is miniscule and is not influential enough to compensate. Therefore, a five for average holds for the bridge.

For the net value of every section, “Um Oh Ah Yeh” possesses slightly above average sections, which, though short to the Vocals score, is still respectable, though admittedly, it could be higher considering the given singing.

– Line Distribution: 9/10 – Skimming the prior review on “Piano Man,” the group did snatch a perfect score. However, with the critiquing being rather vague (estimating took place versus actual counting), I do believe that the previous ten is, most likely, inaccurate. On the positive side, and in focus on “Um Oh Ah Yeh,” four members is a lower quantity, and therefore, lines should be able to be distributed equally with minimal issues.

Focusing on MAMAMOO’s leader, Solar, her sections total as seven: four choruses, two verses, and the bridge. Though alarmingly high, with solely four members, it is reasonable for a higher count as more is to be covered. Therefore, if a proper distribution occurs, every member should possess a similar, high number. As of now, Solar’s count creates no concern.

For Wheein’s lines, her moments include the four choruses, the two verses, and the bridge. Incredibly, her entire sections replicate Solar’s (understandably as they sing simultaneously, based on the live performance), and additionally, with that, seven also holds as her quantity. Should Moonbyul and Hwasa follow suit, then perhaps the ten in the past review was not a mistake.

In terms of Hwasa, six sections for her distribution. While it is one less than Solar and Wheein, no issues should arise. In terms of her specific sections, Hwasa’s lines appear at the two raps, one verse, two choruses, and the single bridge. If Moonbyul’s count results in a six or seven, a perfect score will hold.

Ending suspense, for Moonbyul’s count, unfortunately, it is slightly below the desired count. With five sections possessed, as observed at the two raps, the two final choruses, and the bridge, it will prevent a perfect score. Nevertheless, Moonbyul’s spotlight is sufficient, and overall, the line share in “Um Oh Ah Yeh” is astounding.

Giving a concluding score, should Solar or Wheein have given Moonbyul one of their lines, a pure, perfect score would hold, but with an incredibly minor disparity, the score will be restricted at a nine. Due to consistency of reviews and the rubric, unless if a genuine, thoroughly perfect share exists, a ten cannot hold. Regardless, even with a nine, their distribution can be considered practically perfect, and with four exceptionally talented vocalists, having an equal share is desirable. Reiterating it once more, a nine will be the rating.

– Instrumental: 5/10 – Discussing the instrumental to “Um Oh Ah Yeh,” it is the song’s most lackluster category. However, though mechanically the instrumental falters, its structural layer does fare well. In focus of the latter, for one aspect, the soundtrack perfectly reflects the sections: verses are accompanied by a more prominent, heavy beat in order to suit calmer vocals; raps are complemented with a slightly faster instrumental, of which suits the raps’ own hastier rate; choruses are, as foreseen, coupled with a lively soundtrack to connect with the upbeat vocals. As a result, the instrumental can be considered an invaluable asset to “Um Oh Ah Yeh” as every sections’ style and their overall musical components are influenced by it. Furthermore, in juxtaposition of vocals and soundtrack, both aspects perfectly mesh with the other; the vocals are still able to leech the main attention, but concurrently, the instrumental still possesses a noticeable, distinctive presence and, sonically, neither harshly contrasts the other, but instead, both provide a similar, lighter and upbeat tune.

Now in terms of the weaker aspect, one that does hinder a higher rating, the mechanical portion of the instrumental is, as its overall rating, average. While energetic and catchy, the instrumental does lack musical appeal as its main sound is a simplistic, dull electronic noise. Most clearly heard at the choruses, the electronic sound follows a straightforward melody, and additionally, other instruments are also equally plain with tune. Even sections of the verses and raps are dull as, though the bass, beats, and subtle electronic sounds are rhythmic, once more, a basic melody is given. Though this is understandable as the vocals are the main spotlight, and thus, are responsible for delivering “Um Oh Ah Yeh” ‘s melody, and in many ways, why the instrumental’s structural side is solid, it does cost the instrumental in the form of its mechanical layer.

Unfortunately, with a poorer musical aspect, it will lower the score to a five as, while the instrumental’s structure is impressive, in the end, it becomes negligible if the instrumental fails to offer alluring sounds that aid the entirety of the song rather than, such as in “Um Oh Ah Yeh,” purely the vocals. That said, even with average, it does not indicate a mediocre instrumental, but instead, one that is neither promising or loathing.

– Lyrics: 7/10 – After listening to many summer comebacks, most of the recent songs’ lyrics are rather dull (for a side note, I am overwhelmed by the number of releases; unless if I add different forms of reviews, it would be impossible to cover the more popular comebacks), but optimistically, for “Um Oh Ah Yeh,” more desirable lyrics may exist. After all, with a highly vague title, many speculations exist of the song’s meaning. Through the following Korean-to-English lyrics, even if not 100% accurate, the story to “Um Oh Ah Yeh” will hopefully become discovered, and additionally, on why that is the title:

Um oh ah yeh

Oh yes, um oh ah yeh
I’m falling for you, I keep reacting to you
Oh yes, um oh ah yeh
I will go to you, you are just my taste, ace

You passed by me, our eyes met
I like your style, I like this feeling
Nothing’s different today
It’s getting hotter because of you
I like it today, um oh ah yeh

First plan
I’m marveling
You’re the guy I’ve been looking for
um oh ah yeh
You look good on me like my many clothes
These soft words, what do you think?
Second plan, I’ll pull you in first
My eyes are shaking, stand by, cue
If you have time, wanna get some tea?
Yes, how about this?

Oh yes, um oh ah yeh
I’m falling for you, I keep reacting to you
Oh yes, um oh ah yeh
I will go to you, you are just my taste, ace

I’ll follow my instincts, I won’t hide myself
Today is different, I’ll go to you first
My walk is chic, my words are cute
Your eyes that look at me, um oh ah yeh

Help me
Do you have some time? Help me
Because of you, my five senses are acting up
Because of your unpredicted smile
Your manner would make even Colin Firth weep
Your skin might get mistaken for a woman
Your existence alone makes me marvel
Um oh ah yeh
Without knowing, it’s getting hotter
Holy sh–

Oh yes, um oh ah yeh
I’m falling for you, I keep reacting to you
Oh yes, um oh ah yeh
I will go to you, you are just my taste, ace
Your voice, oh yes
Your eye smile, oh yes
Everything about you
From your head to your toes, oh yes
When I see you, oh yes
When I see you, oh yes
Just us two, oh yes
Oh yes

It’s getting hotter
The distance between me and you
One girl is walking in between us
Is she his girlfriend
or just a friend?
“Unnie, who is that girl?”
It was a girl? Oh my God!

Oh yes, um oh ah yeh
I’m falling for you, I keep reacting to you
Oh yes, um oh ah yeh
I will go to you, you are just my taste, ace
Your voice, oh yes
Your eye smile, oh yes
Everything about you
From your head to your toes, oh yes

Before discussing the lyrics, I feel compelled to share that I have recently watched a video of MAMAMOO (it does have English subtitles), specifically the one of them having, indeed, a music session. In a car. Ignoring the wishes for the wellbeing of the driver, especially for her ears, while I am incredibly impressed by their phenomenal live rapping and singing, I am at a lost for words to describe their incredibly jocular and sillier moments. In short, the ladies are hilarious, and now I am tempted to find more videos of the group.

On topic, for the lyrics of “Um Oh Ah Yeh,” a peculiar plot is in place. Though the depicted plot revolves around love, it is not, for example, basic as is the one in AOA’s “Heart Attack,” but instead, vastly complex and exclusive, as will be explained. In terms of the scenario, a main character, specifically a lady, is “falling for [a love-interest], [she keeps] reacting to [him].” It all began when the two “passed by” one another and “[their] eyes met.” From the encounter, she was able to claim: “I like your style, I like this feeling,” even if, as the song’s title, she was anxious yet excited with “um oh ah yeh,” of which are sounds that describe her emotional state. Continuing, she then developed plans as she will “go to [him] first”, but more correctly stated, rather than “plans,” flirtatious phrases were created: “First plan…you look good on me like many clothes,” and for another, her “Second plan…if you have time, wanna get some tea?” Diving into why the main character is highly infatuated with the love-interest, she adores “[his] manner [that] would make even Colin Firth weep,” “[his] skin [that] might get mistaken for a woman,” and, sweetly, his “voice” and “eye smile.” Eventually, the main character catches the love-interest and his friend, but a concern arises: “One girl is walking in between us, is she his girlfriend or just a friend?” With the love-interest’s friend witnessing the main character, she asks a question, one that marks the climactic point in the plot: “Unnie, who is that girl?” Jocularly, while the lyrics conclude with a reiteration on the main character’s love for said love-interest, in the perspective of the main character, it is a despairing end as her love-interest is, sadly, not her dream male since, surprisingly, the love-interest is not even a male. The love-interest was a female the entire time. (In case of a few readers unfamiliar with some Korean, “unnie” is a title by which younger females refer to older females as. In the plot, since the friend referred to the love-interest as unnie, it implied that, humorously, the love-interest was an older female, not a male as the main character thought.)

The main character’s reaction of, “It was a girl? Oh my God!” (and for those who do feel offended by the lyrics’ use of the latter phrase, I will state my personal desire of how I do wish the lyrics were “oh my goodness” so that no offences occur) does summarize the plot’s effectiveness; the lyrics to “Um Oh Ah Yeh,” while aimed towards a certain route, did make an unpredicted turn, but resultly, the plot twist proves priceless for the song. With the sudden change of events in the story, a large bonus does become reaped since, as mentioned earlier, many lyrics fail to contain any element of uniqueness. “Um Oh Ah Yeh” highly differing in plot allows it to become individual, and thus, additional appeal is granted. However, for what will prevent a higher score of an eight, the given details, while decent, are not thoroughly diverse. For example, the verses and choruses restate identical ideas; both sections simply repeat the idea of initiating the first move, or in the choruses’ case, even the exact words. Anticipatedly, due to such, the lyrics become partially mundane. But, because of the raps and bridge providing further insight, and overall, the entire plot possessing an unexpected turn, the lyrics will hold as above average.

Seven will be the rating, and so far with listening to the many copious summer comebacks, MAMAMOO’s song does contain, as of my personal list, the most admirable lyrics out of all the comebacks.

– “Critical Corner”: Slightly discussed at the very beginning of the review, the lyrics to “Um Oh Ah Yeh” are very empowering; MAMAMOO’s latest song is one that embraces femininity, a concept that, as discussed in many of my reviews (even the recent one of AOA’s “Heart Attack”), is undervalued in comparison to masculinity. More significantly, the song addresses a more seldom angle of femininity: “feminine” men. Although in the future I hope “feminine” and “masculine” transform to terms that are all positive and gender-neutral, as of modern times, for the discussion of “feminine men,” following the current socialized connotations of feminine, males who follow so tend to face heavy opposition. While I will not dive into depth as of why that occurs (I have lost track, but prior reviews explain why males receive hate from being “feminine”; if accurate, my review of Infinite’s “The Chaser” covers that), I will redirect attention on why the lyrics in “Um Oh Ah Yeh” are, unlike the general structure of androcentric societies, supportive of femininity, especially towards males who also suit it.

Although the love-interest in the song was, comically, a lady after all, a pressing, momentous message still exists: the main character is attracted to men who, like the love-interest, is “feminine.” Clarifying, critical readers may be challenging the term feminine and its meaning (which is excellent and many should question gender labels), but for understanding, for this portion, I will assume feminine to connote to its current standards. Resuming, that message in itself carries much weight as, uncoincidentally, males who do fall within the feminine category tend to be incredibly repulsed. Bringing in further understanding, seldom does the opposite scenario exist; it is rare for a masculine female to be disliked as, unequitably, masculine is rendered normal, and thus, she would be a “usual” person. A main example exists: a female who does not use makeup would, usually, face no repercussions, but should a male use makeup, he will face harsh comments. For another example (as, after pondering over the last example, criticizing females for not using makeup can actually be fairly common), females are accepted for wearing “male clothing,” such as a suit, and should a male wear “female clothing,” much backlash would occur. Referring to past reviews in which this topic is discussed in depth will provide more understanding.

Relating the earlier point, for an overarching argument, feminine males are exceptionally loathed as femininity in general is disliked, but with “Um Oh Ah Yeh” showcasing a female zealously interested in a male who is, indeed, feminine, the overall idea of how femininity is equal to masculinity can be gleaned. Even with the circumstance that the male was, in truth, a female, with the intended idea of the main character pursuing, assumingly, a male, the same message is still viable. With “Um Oh Ah Yeh” being a pop song, its subtle yet critical lyrics become even more exceptionally meaningful, and with that, it is enlightening to witness the song conveying lyrics that promote equity in the form of gender. Personally, as discussed in the review of Infinite’s “The Chaser, since I believe in honesty and intimacy with readers, as a heterosexual male, I do plan on actively using makeup in the future, and thus, this song does send encouragement as I do fall moreover into the current standards of “feminine” than “masculine,” and rather than being relentlessly rejected, as “Um Oh Ah Yeh” claims, there are people, and specifically, partners, who will find my “femininity” attractive.

Sharing more of my personal thoughts on that subject, while I do plan to live a more independent life, I do cheesily believe in very romantic love stories hope that, in the future, that changes as I would fall in love with a very special lady, but being realistic and factoring in social layers, though I would not branch into dressing in “female clothing” (which, in general, should not be an issue nor should that gendered label exist), my basic use of foundation, concealer, eyeliner, and some eyeshadow would, seemingly, deter many partners (and also that I do wish for her to be proposing first). Positively, however, as “Um Oh Ah Yeh” advocates, even with utilizing makeup and being “feminine,” there is a chance of meeting a special lady who, lovingly, does accept that, and of course, my general self in terms of non-physical aspects. Ending the blush-inducing discussion of my personal perspective towards love, for a concluding point, “Um Oh Ah Yeh” deserves much praise for promoting gender equity that, as often time forgotten, aids males as much as it does for females.

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Choreography Score: 6/10 – Shamefully, this review will be, technically, even one more day behind schedule as, from when I wrote this sentence, it is nearly midnight, and thus, the next day has arrived (and that my writing is perishing). Complaints aside, the choreography for “Um Oh Ah Yeh” renders as slightly above average, though it does nearly reach a seven for above average.

Gauging the two main categories of syncing and key points, no alarming problems exist, but equally, no outstanding aspects are unveiled. Remarking on the syncing, every movement does, in some form, relate to the song. However, the level at which it is synced is, while not lacking, far from being utterly visually enticing. For example, at the choruses, though all of the dance motions follow with the song’s flow and intensity, it is not to the degree of fine, minimal details being synced. Rather, large, general maneuvers take place versus ones where every faint musical minutiae would need to be accounted for. Nevertheless, the syncing still remains sufficiently appealing, and more importantly, apparent throughout the entirety of “Um Oh Ah Yeh.”

In terms of the key points to the song, a split occurs: in an overall scope, the song possesses much variety, but within each key point, each one is slightly stale. First, addressing the diversity of the key points, in “Um Oh Ah Yeh,” nearly every section individually (more than section types of chorus, etc.) varies from the other. The first verse is unalike the second, both raps are different, the bridge holds its own key point, and for the choruses, though a few repeats occur, even those sections vary from one another, most notably with the full choruses. Therefore, in the sense of appeal from variety, the choreography excels as a new dance set is constantly displayed. But, as stated, within each of the individual sections, the key points are not to an incredibly high appeal. With each key point being moreover simplistic, visually, the key points do not hold as extremely alluring. For example, most of the movements relate moreover to the lyrics’ plot; much of the choreography revolves around miniature acting skits. While this exponentially works in favor of MAMAMOO as singing becomes prioritized, it will, for consistency of reviews, cost the choreography slightly as, sadly, it is not entirely infatuating.

Nevertheless, a six holds to represent slightly above average. Each section possessing its own key point is one exceptionally admirable characteristic to the choreography, even with the other somewhat lacking attributes.

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Overall Score: 7/10 (6.5/10 raw score) – As the vapid phrase goes, “time flies when you are writing past midnight for a review on a K-Pop group known as MAMAMOO and their, as the scores claim, overall above average summer comeback song.” I may just be faintly sleep deprived. Faintly. Ignoring horrible attempts at comedy, on a serious tone, MAMAMOO’s latest song of “Um Oh Ah Yeh” concludes with an overall score of seven, of which indicates the song is above average, and I do certainly agree. Both dance and song are respectable, and with MAMAMOO, their singing and rapping prowess are once more flaunted. Despite being newer to the K-Pop industry, the four ladies have much potential to exceed, and arguably, they already are on the path of being an exceeding group. And, of course, with all of them being very humorous, MAMAMOO deserves much positive attention.  

As always, thank you very much for reading, and to the requester, thank you for sending in a request for MAMAMOO. I do sincerely apologize for the slower publishing rate. As explained, I had some personal activities, and thus, less writing time, though in truth, it was moreover watching “Unpretty Rapstar” that consumed my time. I do apologize for being selfish in that regard. Optimistically, I will be returning to a faster rate, especially with the upcoming laptop serving as an extra incentive. With that said, since I am reminded of college, unequivocally, reviews will not be halted. Though there may be situations of greater delay, I would not cease reviewing K-Pop songs. In fact, most of my free time is now allocated towards writing (and, admittedly, watching videos and the occasional gaming) as I do very much treasure the blog, as the upcoming review will reflect over. Now in focus of college itself, I am both nervous and ecstatic, as are many students. I look forward to a new learning environment and to classes that I am quite excited for, but, for the nervousness, the workload and academic difficulties of college are intimidating. Once a structure is set up, I do plan on sharing my experiences of university as a few readers may also be following a similar path soon, and thus, I wish to give insight on such.

Finishing the review, once more, thank you very much for the given time and support. I do truly appreciate it all. Also, apologies for the slower publishing rate, and for this review specifically, horrendous writing. I do feel that my writing here was exceptionally poor, and therefore, I will place extra emphasis on ensuring the upcoming review is a decent read. That said, for the upcoming review, I will use a song that is not explicitly stated on my review schedule, but is one that would certainly fit, and for its theme, it does serve as a celebration to the blog’s one year anniversary (I will reflect over the blog in the review). Stay tuned for the upcoming review as, “Oh yes, um oh ah yeh, I’m falling for you, I keep reacting to you,” and that “I will go to you” with a new review since “you are just my taste, ace.”

MAMAMOO – “Piano Man” Review

MAMAMOO – Piano Man (Live Performance)

MAMAMOO – Piano Man

Reviewed on December 27, 2014

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Personal Message: After a delay of multiple weeks, I am finally starting this review. As mentioned, I have been requested to review this song. Firstly, to the requester, deep apologies. Due to poor prioritizing and scheduling, this review has become quite delayed, and for that, I am very sorry. With requests, they deserve top priority and I find that it was extremely rude of me to delay it for this long. Thankfully, here it finally is.

Anyhow, I am glad to have received this song. As the requester stated, this song has a style that varies from other songs reviewed here, and I can definitely agree (although once we systemically take it apart, there may be closer resemblances in reality). The concept for “Piano Man” gives off a musical play aura; the vocals, instrumental, and even some aspects of the dancing give a theater theme to the song. While personally I am not a huge fan of this song’s style, I can still appreciate it and, at the very least, feel completely stunned at MAMAMOO’s vocal capabilities. Nevertheless, I will remain unbiased when reviewing this song.

A final note to add, considering my previously failed attempt at compacting reviews (AOA’s “Miniskirt” was supposed to be a “speed review”), I will proceed with another trial. This time, my plan is to whittle down the Song Structure to solely my reasoning on my scores; I will remove both the description and summarizing piece that I have included in the past. This time around, I feel a lot more confident in a shorter review due to that, but we will have to find out. My current plan is to produce more reviews at the cost of shortening them, but if things are done correctly, the quality will remain practically the same, but the quantity of reviews should be vastly increased.

Progressing on, MAMAMOO may not be a popular group, but I hope that will change. Their concept is unique, and more importantly, their skills with dancing and singing is exceptional. That said, “I’m ready for some action,” but “are you ready for perfection?” Assuming “perfection” is in the form of MAMAMOO’s singing and not my writing, I am completely prepared.

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Song Total Score: 8/10 (8/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories

– Vocals: 9/10 – Strangely, MAMAMOO’s popularity is relatively low despite how incredible their vocals are. For “Piano Man,” the group showcases versatile vocals; high notes and low notes were heard, and going from a gentle tone to an impactful, powerful one was no issue. Additionally, to suit the classier theme of “Piano Man,” the ladies sung with a soothing, slower style. This works out perfectly as it aids both the atmosphere and their general singing voices. Lastly, as expected, their vocals were exceptionally melodic. Different notes were utilized constantly, and as a result, besides further proving their skills as singers, it provides the song with a delightful flow.

Although I will not factor this into their grading, for this live performance, they were, indeed, singing live. An “MR Removed” video (a video that reveals live vocals for a performance) was made to showcase such, and considering it was uploaded to an official “MR Removed” channel, I will give it a decent amount of credibility (but, as always, they should be questioned; refer to a previous Question/Answer post for further information). Anyhow, MAMAMOO are all very adept singers. Every member individually holds exceptional singing, and for the song, their hard work and talent definitely reflects in this song’s fantastic vocals. A high score will be given.   

– Song Structure: 7/10 (6.88/10 raw score)

The song goes in this structure and order:

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

1. Introduction: 7/10 – With this review being the second test to concising reviews, we will see how it goes. Hwasa handles the introduction.

While the introduction might not be musically charged, it is still a valid introduction. Instead of the standard protocol of seducing listeners via catchy vocals and sounds, “Piano Man” opts for a different route. Setting up the stage, literally with the performance and figuratively with “stage” being the song, is the main priority. Hwasa’s lines in addition to the instrumental created the classier, jazz style of the song. Focusing on Hwasa’s lines, they displayed a lower pitch along with being soothing. This creates subtle build-up along with potentially hooking on listeners due to soothing vocals. Later, the introduction does transition to piano keys, and this prompts an appropriate and fluent switch to the verse.

Above average will be the rating. The slower paced setup in terms of both the soundtrack and vocals were effective.

2. Verse: 7/10 – Side note, to already address the concising idea, it is definitely a struggle, but with more practice, I can see this potentially working (or back to outlining different ideas). Anyhow, Solar and Hwasa handle the first verse, and Wheein handles the second verse.

In terms of the first verse, Solar and Hwasa showcase excellent vocals. By remaining on a slower pace and using lower pitches, the song develops naturally. In addition, the vocals themselves prove to be catchy; vocals remain lingering due to the lower notes and a pacing that accommodates to the instrumental. To focus more specifically on the singing, the two members executed a small, lower note stretch at the end of every line. Not only were the endings soothing, but the song’s overall style was also well supported. For what could have been slightly better, switching the format slightly would augmented the verses even more. Both Solar and Hwasa followed the same structure, and as a result, it does become slightly dull.

Nevertheless, the overall score for the verses will hold as above average.

3. Pre-Chorus: 6/10 – Everyone chips in for the pre-chorus.

The pre-choruses are contradicting in the sense of being unique yet standard. For what is rather typical, the build-up relies on the ladies’ vocals’ looping over and over. Now, for what is different, the use of vocals to create the hype differs from the norm; usually the instrumental’s beats are responsible for this format of pre-choruses. To discuss the actual pre-choruses, a strong point is utilizing MAMAMOO’s high-tier vocals in this form. With their melodic voices complementing the lighter instrumental, not only does build-up occur, but the overall gentler and classy concept is safeguarded. Diving into the weaker aspects, the most prominent one is the format itself. Even with MAMAMOO’s vocals, structurally, the pre-choruses are not thorough; the chanting (if I may label it as that) is plain, even if melodic vocals are added, and the instrumental is equally dry.

Slightly above average will be the score. Mechanically, the vocals save the section slightly, but overall, this format was slightly disappointing. Catchy as it may be, it lacks depth in terms of being an actual structure. By being a simple textbook-version pre-chorus, its sole purpose was hyping the song for the chorus.

4. Chorus: 8/10 – Wheein and Solar team up for the choruses.

Despite a weaker pre-chorus, this section does compensate. The choruses of “Piano Man” unveil MAMAMOO’s stronger vocals. Up until this point, their singing was based on remaining serene, but with this section, the opposite occurs: impactful vocals are heard. Peering more closely, besides powerful singing, a key aspect is how the vocals were guided; the vocals in the chorus retained the established melody, and additionally, remained within the boundaries of the song’s intensity. Blind, unrestricted vocals were nonexistent; instead, vocals that can still be considered powerful yet purposefully aimed are heard.

Due to being rather solid, a relatively higher score will be given. It lacks extra quality and aspects to push it towards a 9, but nevertheless, an 8 will suffice for MAMAMOO’s strong yet controlled vocals.

5. Post-Chorus: 6/10 – Moonbyul handles the post-choruses, although technically the other members are involved for the background vocals, and thus, everyone, in short, handles the post-choruses. Realistically, however, Moonbyul is the one receiving the spotlight.

Considering the post-choruses’ role here is to aid in a smoother transition back into the song, be it the second verse or even Moonbyul’s own rap, it somewhat fails in regards to that. Ironically, the post-choruses undermine that idea, and instead, the transition can be seen as somewhat rigid. Firstly, Moonbyul’s solo lines did the proper job of returning “Piano Man” to a slower, calmer state. However, the added background vocals negate that; the other members’ background lines involved chanting “yeah” in an impactful manner. Since the background vocals replicates the choruses’ style of powerful vocals, Moonbyul’s lines lose their functionality of transitioning the song back into the gentler tone. Focusing on the singing aspect and not entirely the format itself, Moonbyul’s lines possessed little melody. The background vocals do supply satisfying vocals, but as stated, they are out of place.

Homogenous to the pre-choruses, the post-choruses are mechanically sound, for the most part, with decent vocals, but format-wise, the section does falter. Perhaps removing the background vocals, or at the very least, lightening them via reducing the power, would aid the section.

6. Rap: 8/10 – Moonbyul is in charge of the rap, and although her lines in the post-choruses can be considered weaker, she utterly redeems herself through this section.

Surprisingly, even though this song is orientated towards regular singing vocals, this rap section completely suits the song. Moonbyul’s rap contains power, melody, and flow. Of the main factors for a rap, all are present; her words possess a heavier presence due to a mixture of Moonbyul’s charisma and voice, her rap carries a tuneful component similar to the usual singing heard, and most promisingly, her flow holds as extremely smooth and fluent. Ignoring the sheer mechanical aspects, the structure of the rap remains varying, and as a result, the rap as a whole becomes augmented. For example, the initial moment of the rap emphasized the flow and tune, and towards the end, power becomes highlighted.

Overall, a very impressive rap that is deserving of a higher score. Every aspect, whether it is the mechanics or format, are all solid.

7. Bridge: 6/10 – While there are solo words, the vast majority of the bridge is sung by MAMAMOO as a group.

On the surface, this bridge is seemingly rather solid, but once everything becomes accounted for, that is not quite the case. Initial moments of the bridge were decent; the unison singing gave the usual pacifying effect heard at bridges, and Wheein’s background vocals came off powerfully. What proceeds after that, however, is questionable. Specifically, the line of “We are MAMAMOO” provides an unnecessary contrast to the bridge’s established pacing and power. When factoring in even the moment after that line, powerful vocals were always present, and while that line could have been for emphasis, in the entirety of the bridge, it is moreover misplaced than suiting. Furthermore, the overall structure was not too appealing. Repeating “let’s swing, let’s groove” became stagnant, for example.

In the end, the mechanical aspects, as expected, prove to be impressive, but for the section as a whole, the format was weaker. Slightly above average will hold as the rating.

8. Conclusion (Post-Chorus): 7/10 – The post-chorus is recycled for the conclusion.

While the post-chorus in general is not individually spectacular, for concluding the song, it proves to be effective. Rather than following the traditional route of bringing the song to a relaxed, finishing state, “Piano Man” concludes with power. Moonbyul’s lines recur, and as anticipated, the other members’ background vocals are included. In this case of having no section afterwards, the impacting background vocals, unlike in the main part of the song where transition was a concern, become viable to use as a strong finish. This leaves “Piano Man” closing with the final impressions of MAMAMOO’s adept vocals, and overall, the energetic atmosphere is kept.

Overall, a solid conclusion due to a properly reused post-chorus. Above average will be the score.  

– Line Distribution: 10/10 – With only four members in MAMAMOO, the Line Distribution score should be a free 10. Adding on, with every lady possessing incredible vocals, everyone is capable of superb singing, and thus, the share should be equal.

Solar’s lines involved the first verse and the choruses. While that may seem lacking, considering the duration of lines and how the choruses occurred three times, there is no issue with her share. She had sufficient spotlight.

Moonbyul’s moments include the post-choruses and, most prominently, her solo rap section. Since the post-choruses were replayed multiple times, and including how her rap section was solely for her, there are no issues with the line share. Moonbyul left a solid impression throughout the song.

Next is Wheein. Her lines included the choruses and a solo verse. Noticing the current trend, so far, it seems that every member is responsible for two sections. Her moment at the choruses were lengthy, and to ensure her presence was acknowledged, an entire verse was also given. No issues exist here.

Finally, for Hwasa’s lines, she was involved at the introduction and the first verse. Amazingly, the trend still holds true. Like her group members, she had two sections to handle. The introduction had a longer duration, and with the first verse, even her singing was showcased. A perfect amount of time was given.

Adding an excessive factor, a lot of moments involved everyone singing. Whether it was in the form of background vocals or two-part singing such as in the final chorus, even these additional parts had equal share.

A perfect score will be given. This is outstanding for line distributions, and although numerically MAMAMOO is at an advantage, it is nevertheless quite impressive to see a perfectly shared song.

– Instrumental: 8/10 – For the instrumental of “Piano Man,” thankfully and correctly, the piano is the main instrument; after all, with a song title of such, a piano soundtrack should be included. Focusing on the soundtrack, it provides solid support for the song. In terms of creating the song’s classier atmosphere, strictly utilizing instruments that reflect a classy, jazz style aid that purpose. Additionally, individually, the instrumental is pleasing. It holds a soothing and catchy aspect; the beats and main melody from the piano complement each other to deliver a lingering effect. On the subject of complementing, the vocals and soundtrack meshed exceptionally well. With stellar vocals, the instrumental ushered attention towards the singing, but nevertheless, a supportive layer was still supplied to reciprocate the vocals’ power and energy.

A solid score will be earned here. Individually the soundtrack holds well, and with helping MAMAMOO’s singing, that is also covered.

– Meaning: 6/10 – With an intriguing title, people are most likely pondering over its meaning. “Piano Man” might be praising, as the song title goes, a man who is very talented at the piano. Or, instead of praising, it might be flirting with a “piano man.” To end the speculations, here are the Korean-to-English translated lyrics. While they are not 100% accurate, the general idea should become uncloaked:

I’m ready for some action
Are you ready for perfection?
Hey piano man
Hello, um

Such boring conversations
Such senseless guys
My high heels and carefully applied lipstick,
they don’t even notice, how boring
I think it was then you walked in
A piano man who doesn’t fit in this place
When his white finger touched the keys
My eyes were wide opened

(bumppappara bumppappara bumppappara bum
bumppappara bumppappara bumppappara)

Hey piano man, your dancing hands
The piano man, your unpredictable body movements
What can I say, I want only you and me to be in this place

To the right, to the right, to the right
To the left, to the left, to the left
(yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah)

When your fingers brush against the keys
I keep getting naughty thoughts
My heart beats staccato
Hey Mr. Ambiguous
Play my body like a piano

(bumppappara bumppappara bumppappara bum
bumppappara bumppappara bumppappara)

Hey piano man, your dancing hands
The piano man, your unpredictable body movements
What can I say, I want only you and me to be in this place

To the right, to the right, to the right
To the left, to the left, to the left
(yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah)
(Word up, Moon Star)

It starts with the trumpet
Can I get that?
In between is the sound of the hi-hat
Drum drum kick
on top of the sweet dish of rhythm you place in the piano
Let me introduce myself
I like jeans instead of skirts,
but they’re still crazy about me

Oh swing, let’s groove, singing
Oh swing, let’s groove, my baby
Oh swing, let’s groove
Let us introduce ourselves, we are MAMAMOO
Darling you are my own

Hey piano man, when this song ends, come to me
(Come to me piano man)
The piano man, the conversation is now over
The last melody, I want it to be just you and me
(Just you and me)
I want to listen to it

Tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, wanna keep meeting?
(yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah)

My latter prediction holds as somewhat correct; the lyrics depict a flirtatious love story involving a lady and her love-interest, a “piano man.” Unlike the other males that have passed by, the main character becomes captivated by the piano man. His talent with the piano is what drives her interest; his “dancing hands” become an interest, and the act of his fingers “[brushing] against the keys” leads the lady to have “naughty thoughts” (perhaps such as him flirting with her instead of solely playing the piano). Other details further support the lady’s infatuation, and overall, the most unique aspect to these lyrics is the focus on the piano/music to reflect the lover’s feelings.

Between deciding a 6 or 7, I lean moreover towards a 6 due to weaker details, although they are numerous. Some details are miniscule, or somewhat irrelevant. For example, the rap section’s lyrics are not only confusing (although that may be due to translating), but it does not relate back into the flirting concept; music is related back to, but the piano man or the lady’s infatuation are not mentioned.  

For “Piano Man,” unfortunately and fortunately, the “Critical Corner” label-to-be-decided section where we dive deeper and question the lyrics is not too relevant here. I admire that this song does shift away from the typical flirtatious stories where physical appearances are the catalyst for attraction. Instead, the main character is attracted to a certain man due to his talent with the piano, not his looks. Realistically, though, love and attraction should come over time; infatuation should not be an spontaneous emotion, but rather, developed overtime and building up due to understanding and finding out more about a love-interest. Anyhow, I cannot pinpoint anything to critically discuss for this song.   

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Choreography Score: 7/10 – With this final section left, we have the choreography to grade.

Factoring in “Piano Man” ‘s concept, a flashier, upbeat dance is not expected. Simplicity and calmness are this dance’s stronger points. Peering at the syncing, most of the choreography relates to the song; the beats matched movements, and even the flow was synchronized via different gestures and such. Unfortunately, for what is weaker in the choreography, the key points proved to be slightly lacking. While they varied at times, most of them were rather plain. For example, the piano playing key point for the choruses were clever in terms of matching to the song and lyrics, but visually, the dance itself remains insipid. Other key points were also equally uninteresting. Nevertheless, the slightly weaker key points are miniscule, and considering there were some strong key points such as the pre-choruses’ tap dancing, the key points, overall, still hold as decent.

More appealing key points could potentially bump up the score to an 8, but taking a different perspective on the choreography, nothing should be altered; the dance remains less physically demanding due to simpler key points, and thus, more stamina is allocated towards singing. As a result, for MAMAMOO’s purpose, the choreography perfectly suits their main objective of showcasing their dominating vocals. Ignoring this side note, the grade will still hold as above average.

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Overall Score: 8/10 (7.5/10 raw score) – In the end, a high score of 8/10 holds. This is definitely reasonable and agreeable to. “Piano Man” discloses amazing vocals due to the members’ skills, and for the song itself, with decent song sections and a phemenonal line distribution, a high score is expected. Furthermore, even the choreography holds well.

As always, thank you very much for reading. I appreciate that you are willing to spend some time reading this review, so thank you. For the person who requested this, I hope I brought justice to this song in terms of genuinely grading it and with decently explaining. Also, apologies for a huge delay on this review; this song was requested weeks ago, but I have finally got to it. I will ensure future requests are heavily prioritized. Due to having some work to clear, my schedule has not been complete leisure time. Nevertheless, I still expect to finish strongly for December, and with my last week of break, to catch up on all my work. It is time to be like T-ARA’s Soyeon and to push through everything.

For other news, I have been recently getting a copious amount of positive feedback, and for that, I am very grateful. It is great to hear from readers and your thoughts on my review structure and writing. However, do not forget to also bring in criticism; while many shudder at that word, criticism is not necessarily bad at all, especially if it is constructive. Hearing how I can improve vastly aids my reviews, and from the past with feedback, I have learned a lot.

More important information, or at least, for those curious, I have two special reviews in mind. It has been a while since I have done show reviews, but I have two in mind. These will provide a welcoming change after a barrage of purely songs. To give hints on which shows they are, one is somewhat older, but the other one is new and ongoing (which makes me wonder if I can accurately review it). Anyhow, the first show focuses on my favorite male group, and the second focuses on one of my top groups in general. They will both hopefully be out within a few days.

This seems like an appropriate place to close, so once again, thank you for reading, for those who send in feedback, I appreciate all of the support and kind words sent. Although “the conversation is now over,” for “The last melody, I want it to be just you and me.” Stay tuned for the two upcoming show reviews (and usual song reviews). Keep checking back.