JEON SO MI – 'BIRTHDAY'
1. Outta My Head
Jeon So Mi's much-anticipated single 'Birthday' is out! The former I.O.I singer is now solo. She's one of the artists on YG's The Black Label, headed up by veteran producer Teddy. Speaking of Teddy, he co-composed the title track, along with Jeon So Mi, 24, and Bekuh Boom. The single album has one B-side, "Outta My Head," which she co-composed and wrote the lyrics for.
"Outta My Head" is a slow R&B tune. It's got a definite bluesy feel to it, and I like how she isn't slavish to the metronome and crams as many syllables as she can into a line. You get a good idea of her range from this one, as it showcases her vocals nicely.
Starting with an absolutely awesome bass line, "BIRTHDAY" comes in like a lion. If "Outta My Head" was somewhat subtle, this one is absolutely in your face and dripping with attitude. It's got a hip-hop vibe that I happen to like a lot. Jeon So Mi's rapping on its own is meh, but it goes with the song quite well. The dance break is unusual, sounding like shaken sheet metal (but it's still dance-able for all that). Not to mention that dance break shifts into big brass for the finale. And that thrumming bass and pounding beat is golden.
I've been actually looking forward to her solo debut for a while. While I wasn't a fan of I.O.I, Jeon So Mi stood out, despite JYP's opinion. I kind of like the fact that her voice can be sharp or soft, and she's got a good handle on songwriting and singing. And the title track is tons of fun. And now that I've had a taste, I want more.
And if you thought the song was a lot of fun, you haven't seen the MV yet.
I'm not sure they had a lot to spend here, but then again YG's MVs have been hit and miss with me anyway. What they lack in finances they made up for in style. And color -- lots and lots of color.
Big, bold, and beautiful, everything here is cast in bright and uber-bright hues. From the exteriors of buildings, to walls, to Jeon So Mi's wardrobe. Everything. The only thing that isn't is Jeon So Mi herself (which just makes her stick out more).
And there are all sorts of things going on (and whether it's fun is all subjective). From helium balloons lifting her pigtails to a car with a fuzzy pink covering (still bright), and dancing on and around said car. She flashes printed signs, rolls around from cushions, poses inside a human cannon and wears a wild assortment of costumes. She also plays in a room full of plastic toy balls (and any assumptions you just made are entirely your fault).
And while there is some CGI, there doesn't appear to be that much of it (though I wouldn't be surprised if the colors aren't artificially enhanced), and some of the special effects aren't all that special. Still, with cakes, dancing, and some basic birthday-like activities, it's on point with the theme of the song.
Is it fun? Again, depends on your point of view. They crammed a lot in here, and that by itself is an achievement (and probably an editing nightmare). And it didn't seem like they were trying to tick all the boxes on an MV checklist. So yeah, it's at least worth a look, especially if you liked the song.
MV SCORE: 8.3
ALBUM SCORE: 8.3