[This review reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of allkpop.]
It has been roughly a year since AKMU's last release, so we are excited to hear from them in 2020! This sibling duo has graced us with, "HAPPENING" a single that follows well over a year after Chanhyuk returned from his mandatory military service. Though the reason for the long hiatus is not clear (aside from Suhyun's solo endeavors), AKMU is finally back on the circuit.
"HAPPENING" is acoustic and downtempo with a mellow feeling throughout. After Suhyun's fun and dynamic release of "Alien," AKMU's "HAPPENING" feels a bit boring in comparison. The song itself leaves me yearning for a bit more of a climactic point, as the song is melodious throughout with no visible focal point. That being said, the song isn't bad. It's a nice return to the industry's forefront and the meshing of their voices doesn't disappoint. The song is natural and distinctly AKMU. I'm interested in seeing what direction the duo will choose to go in subsequent releases.
"HAPPENING" is about love lost and the music video portrays that extremely literally. The use of contrast was well done in this video as the cuts between a happy, bustling setting and a dark, dim nightmare. Suhyun's scenes are slightly more artistically depicted; however, the skeletons in Chanhyuk's clips are a bit low-budget looking. The feeling is there, but the visuals just don't hold up to the weight that their voices carry in the song. The 2000s alternative feel of AKMU's "HAPPENING" does let the MV get away with a campy feeling without much fuss.
MV Score: 7.3
Single Score: 7