CHUNGHA – 'FLOURISHING'
2. Young In Love
3. Call It Love
The most successful artist risen from the ashes of I.O.I, Chungha has just released her EP 'Flourishing.' Full of summer vibes, this EP has 5 tracks, including the title track "Snapping." She had a hand in the lyrics for 'Flourishing,' and this comeback sees her trying life as a blonde.
"Chica" starts with a number of indistinct sounds before Chungha's masterful vocals come in. It's a female empowerment anthem, and not a moment too soon. She uses an island beat to make her point. This is so good it should be the title track. She gets quieter on "Young In Love," which is a fairly good mid-tempo pop tune. The beat is pretty prominent here and that's always a good thing. I like it. It's a refreshing tune, and very easy on the ears. "Call It Love" is a ballad, with all the baggage that comes with it. She doesn't scream to be heard, but near the end, her voice is all but drowned out by the orchestral arrangements. But she handles this so well. It's OST-level material.
They keep it low-key on "Flourishing." It's quite well-done, and I like the time changes on this one. The magic in this song is Chungha's sweet voice. She sounds almost pleading at the end here, but I like the way her vocals adapt to the needs of the song. "Snapping" is the title track. That one is frankly amazing and hooked me from the first note. And that's where I have to mention her vox again. She does some endearing vibrato in the chorus and changes it up for the bridges. Not only that but she manages to sound quite fierce during some of it. This song is a serious bop.
I found myself intrigued ever since I saw the teaser pic on r/kpop. She's cranked out a string of hits, and I've loved everything she's done. She never disappoints. And I'm sure I've enraged quite a few of you for dunking on certain songs, but at least you know I'm trill. This EP is a great summer jam, and you owe it to yourself to stay cool, put some ice in a glass, and crank this one up. Is she 'Flourishing?' Definitely.
Chungha dances her way through "Snapping."
At its heart, it's a performance video. But there are so many extra bits and stylistic choices, that it turns out to be a damn good MV. This video sees her dancing on a pier with CGI water, dancing with a fencing foil, dancing alone and with other dancers, dancing while lightning forks in the background, dancing with another partner in shin-deep water, dancing while other disembodied shadows dance with her, etc.
And all of that is done quite well. Chungha looks positively elegant as she moves, which is part of natural talent and part top-shelf cinematography. The choreo doesn't look very challenging, but I can't deny it kept my attention.
A lot of the MV centers around water. There are a couple of parts of the song that this could be referencing: "I normally enjoy water but you just leave me stale," and "the white foam rises." While water doesn't take a central part in the song, it works fantastically here, adding more of a fantasy element.
And I have to say this MV had me wondering what was going to happen next. It's a lot more elaborate than it looks at first glance. And it's truly a labor of love.
MV SCORE: 9.0
ALBUM SCORE: 9.0