MAMAMOO – 'PURPLE'
1. As For Me (Yes I Am)
3. Love & Hate (Moon Byul solo)
4. Dad Jokes/Age Gag
5. DA RA DA
MAMAMOO will have you seeing 'Purple' with their fifth mini-album. Five songs are here for your perusal, and you've already heard "Worthless" if you were at the 'Moosical (Curtain Call)' concert. The girls give you another album full of various musical stylings.
The EP kicks off energetically with "As For Me (Yes I Am)." It's these kinds of songs that I really like from MAMAMOO, because they not only rock, you also get more than just a sample of those amazing voices. Retro is okay, but if you can structure a song to show off their perfect pipes, that's even better. This is an awesome fusion of retro and modern, and I like it a lot.
"Finally" is more like the club banger of the album, and it shows off a little different side of the band. There are some bridges here where they harmonize sweetly, and that makes the song that much better. It chugs along at a nicer pace in some ways than the title track, and I think overall that this is the best track on the album.
"Love & Hate" is a smooth modern R&B track. I like the synth stabs here, and the fact that it's Moon Byul's solo makes it even better. She's got kind of a lower register voice that makes these kinds of tunes very atmospheric. There's a sort of 'juke-box-in-a-dive-bar' feel to this tune and definitely gives me some feels. A fantastic track.
"Age Gag" is by far the most lighthearted tune on the album, with a frantic energy that lets you know that this is not serious. It doesn't make it bad, at all, though. There's that staccato thing that I love, and they do it so well here. They have a great hook spelling out "A-Z-E," which just adds some punch to this already insanely catchy song, not to mention the comedic parts provided by Kim Dae Hee and Kim Joon Ho.
It's on "DA RA DA" where they slow things way down, with a nice, tender ballad. Filipino-American singer/song writer Jeff Bernat, and rookie indie artist B.O. also lent their vocals to this one. Whee In has this breathy voice that works so incredibly well with songs like this. The only part I didn't like was at the end. I didn't think Jeff or B.O.'s voices worked as well in those parts. They sounded more overwrought than anything. They did a fine job otherwise. But don't take my word for it -- I'm not a ballad fan anyway.
Overall I think it was a fun album. Their ability to cross genres and do so seamlessly always impresses me. For me, I think it's their voices, which they have such control over and they are almost instruments unto themselves, able to wrap their vocals around any song that flows from their pens. Any MAMAMOO album is a treat, and this one is no exception.
MV REVIEW -- "AZE GAG"
Given that the song is comedic, so is the MV. Though the romanization is "Aze Gag" I've also seen this translated as "AGE GAG," and that isn't far off. It's a pun of the English title, which makes it even funnier. Apparently, there was an issue about appropriating Indian culture which angered some people.
The girls are in an office this time around, though most of it is just sight gags. But they're still funny and things you wouldn't quite expect, as flames erupt spontaneously, or unveiling an un-office-like miniature keyboard, or treating a banana like a phone then taking a bite. Are they amazing? No, but they're delightful the first time around, and there are enough of them to keep your interest.
The dancing itself is actually more on point than "Yes I Am," but it's a lot looser and free compared to most dance routines. What's great about it is that not only do they look good, they seem to be having a good time, and a smile does more for me than most dance routines.
They seem to enjoy hamming it up in front of the camera, and they throw themselves into their roles. Of note is about a minute long additional sequence in there where comedians Kim Joon Ho and Kim Dae Hee crack jokes on a TV while the girls sit, watch, and crack up. Are the jokes all that? Well...um...some of them are funny. The original song was better.
Still, overall, the MV is quite funny, and definitely a worthwhile watch.
MV REVIEW -- "YES I AM"
In keeping with the song, the MV is playful too. Whether it's Hwasa hanging out with pink flamingos, or Whee In in front of a hot pink shelf-festooned wall the girls adopt a cheerful attitude for this one.
There's no rhyme or reason to it, and there's no reason to have any. It's vignette after vignette of the girls in various situations, and it's actually pretty funny.
The dancing is okay, but nothing particularly special. They have moves but that's hardly the point. The point is to keep you laughing, and laugh I did. The point is well taken.
Both MVs are comedic in tone this time around, and while MAMAMOO is no stranger to hilarious videos, I thought it interesting to note. While there's nothing really going on here, the girls look absolutely stunning doing nothing in particular. And that's just part of the fun.
(Scores are averaged along both MVs)
MV SCORE: 8.7
ALBUM SCORE: 8.7