HWA SA – 'MARÍA'
1. Intro: Nobody else
2. Maria *Title
5. I’m bad too (Feat. DPR LIVE)
Hwa Sa has just released her debut solo EP. 'María' has six new songs, as well as her smash single "Twit." The youngest member of MAMAMOO is now topping iTunes charts worldwide with this latest release.
"Intro: Nobody Else" is a pretty amazing song for an intro track. Hwa Sa gets emotional on here, and we get to hear her amazing vocals. The song itself is good enough to be a full song. Her voice echoes, giving it even more weight. She gets down to dance track basics on "Maria." Starting with an oddly- pitched voice, it eventually turns into a Latin inspired tune. Not wholly one thing or the other, it's a pretty well-crafted pop song.
"Kidding" sounds a lot like what I would expect from MAMAMOO. Despite being produced by Zico, it's got that cool, jazzy sound that teases and always pleases. "WHY" sounds like the song the intro track was teasing, at least in the beginning. Then it turns into a high-energy banger, every bit as intense as the beginning, but the dance part of the song is more frantic. I love this tune.
"I’m bad too" was a good song until DPR LIVE's part. The rap did not sound as good as I was hoping. Worse, it felt tacked-on, after the fact. I'd love a version of the song without it. "LMM" is a slower, more epic tune, in the vein of tracks like the intro, or the start of "WHY." I love songs like this, slow and momentous sounding, that are done well. This is definitely one of those. "Twit" is her first solo single. I know it was a smash hit, but I wasn't impressed with it. I'm still not certain it really fits with this collection of songs.
In a nutshell, this is an astonishingly good album. Other than a couple of tracks, she gets it so right. And my personal preferences don't necessarily detract from what she does well. The intro and title tracks themselves are worth the asking price. Even B-sides like "WHY" and "LMM" are worth a listen. If you thought "Twit" was good, you ain't heard nothing yet.
The MV is nothing if not stunning. Scene after scene has at least one thing you didn't expect, from her covered in blood dining on a human heart, to her being offered several flames to light a cigarette, to her taking a milk bath with rose petals floating on top. This isn't bad -- it works in its favor.
There's so much going on you might chalk it up to a director's fever dream, and you might be right. What else can you say about an EKG unit that shows a heart shape on the screen, to a zillion pencils lurking in corner of the ward, floating, pointing at her? I'm not sure, other than it's definitely shocking.
Which I think was the intent. Since there's not a whole lot of rhyme or reason to this 3-minute masterpiece, they needed a way to keep your eyes glued to the screen, as if Hwa Sa weren't enough. She looks better than I've ever seen her, even if she's in casual wear for most of the MV.
If you're looking for something that teases the eye, it's certainly this music video. And it enthusiastically gets my thumbs up.
MV SCORE: 9.0
ALBUM SCORE: 9.0