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Original Content
Posted by LorraineYe Friday, February 26, 2021

[ALBUM & MV REVIEW] KIM CHUNG HA - 'Querencia'

AKP STAFF

[This review reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of allkpop.]

Track List:

1. SIDE A {NOBLE}

2. Bicycle

3. Masquerade

4. Flying on Faith

5. Luce Sicut Stellae

6. SIDE B {SAVAGE}

7. Stay Tonight
8. Dream of You (with R3HAB)

9. Bother Me

10. Chill

11. SIDE C {UNKNOWN}

12. PLAY (feat. Changmo)

13. Demente (feat Guaynaa)

14. Lemon (feat. Colde)

15. BYULHARANG (160504 + 170607)

16. SIDE D {PLEASURES}

17. X

18. All Night Long

19. Everybody Has

20. Come N Goes

21. Querencia (Epilogue)

CHUNG HA has officially released her first-ever studio album, Querencia. The album is inspired by a Spanish word meaning "a place where one finds peace of mind." The album as a whole encompasses several musical influences from pop to afrobeat, house, reggaeton, grime, and more in a whopping 21 songs. Querencia is divided into four chapters: Noble, Savage, Unknown, and Pleasures, all of which constitute CHUNG HA's artistic identity as she navigates through various narratives of emotion.

The album begins with "SIDE A {NOBEL}," an interesting and sonorous progression that feels mysterious and intense. The song leaves goosebumps and immediately goes into the electronic guitar introduction of "Bicycle." With confidence, CHUNG HA's "Bicycle" is sultry and sexy in a way only she can achieve. We are then met with a Latin-inspired "Masquerade." This mix of salsa and pop somehow surprised me, but I definitely wasn't off-put by it. "Flying on Faith" is a classic pop song with a slow progression- this mid-tempo song highlights CHUNG HA's vocals best. We are then met with "Luce Sicut Stellae," a Latin phrase meaning "shine brightly like a star." "Luce Sicut Stellae" is a drastic change from "Bicycle," but the album doesn't feel any less cohesive- in fact, the album is a great showcase of CHUNG HA's grasp on being multi-genre.

As we move into "SIDE B {SAVAGE}," we are met with a raucous house-inspired EDM beat. "Stay Tonight" already focuses on something a little different from the Nobel side of the album. Its house club beat is dancey, enjoyable, and fun. The song's focal point is definitely the pre-chorus into the chorus where CHUNG HA gives her biggest vocal flex so far. The album's next song, "Dream of You," features none other than Moroccan Dutch DJ, R3HAB. There's an interesting filter that they put on her background vocals that capture your attention against the booming beat that R3HAB has so carefully crafted that it's weirdly appealing in a retro way. The last two songs of this section of the album include "Bother Me" and "Chill," two songs with a bit more of a classic K-Pop sound.

"SIDE C {UNKNOWN}" has a much more aggressive and high-energy start, including an intense computerized drum break. There is a number of collaborations on this portion of the album, and we begin with "Play," a collaboration between CHUNG HA and Changmo. This tropical house-inspired song has a nice balance between CHUNG HA's feminine vocal and Changmo's dynamic rap verse and captures your attention as a feel-good track. "Demente" is a hugely interesting song that I feel is the best song on this album. This Latin and K-Pop collaboration is the first time a female K-Pop artist has collaborated with a Latin artist, which is huge! "Demente" is reggaeton inspired and absolutely a must-listen on this album. CHUNG HA's vocals and Guaynaa's rap style are a match made in heaven that I would have never anticipated myself.

"Lemon" features Colde and is a super smooth mix of two powerful artists. CHUNG HA's wispy singing makes the song feel ethereal and other-worldly, while Colde's honest vocal style is a nice contrast to just that. "BYULHARANG (160504 + 170607)" boldly declares that "it's okay not to be fine" as its first lyric, and the song is effectively the first ballad we've heard after 15 tracks. The dates of the song indicate the debut of I.O.I and her solo career, and the track is an effective fan song filled with raw emotions and vulnerability. Unplugged and acoustic, this song is simple, minimalist, and heartfelt. 

"SIDE D {PLEASURES}" is the eeriest and mysterious intro thus far, an unclear indication of how the concluding tracks on this album will sound. Luckily the anticipation doesn't feel too long when we're greeted with "X," another downtempo song that isn't quite a ballad, but isn't quite a pop song either. "All Night Long" then brings us into an R&B track that's sweet melody is paired with a synth-heavy instrumental. "Everybody Has" is again another piano ballad introduction with a jazz-influence, the first overtly jazzy sound that we've heard thus far. It really feels like CHUNG HA has done a song of every genre by this point, an impressive feat! "Come N Goes" makes sure the album doesn't end on too heavy of a note and offers a positive and addicting vocal performance. CHUNG HA's voice is sweet as sugar, and the well-timed lilts and vocal progression are absolutely the song's focal point and biggest strength. This 21-track album finally comes to a close with "Querencia (Epilogue)," a smooth and sexy instrumental that feels conclusive to this massive release.

MV REVIEW

"Bicycle" is a whirlwind of aesthetically-pleasing visuals. CHUNG HA is adorned in so many extravagantly appealing fashion outfits, and the set design against each of these looks is well-executed. The video is a mix of insane visual stimulation and dynamic choreography that makes the entire MV a pleasure to watch. Each scene that included CHUNG HA adorned in jewels were the best part of the MV visually. Offering an exquisite feel that highlighted CHUNG HA's edgy, yet elegant side, "Bicycle" is well-produced, energetic, and full of charisma.

MV SCORE:


MV Relevance…..9

MV Production…..9

MV Concept……..8

MV Score: 8.67

ALBUM SCORE:

Album Production…...9

Album Concept……...9

Tracklisting…………...9

Album Score: 9.0

Overall: 8.83

Listen on Apple Music
  1. Kim Chung Ha
6 4,451 Share 89% Upvoted

4

vivibee
vivibee873 pts Friday, February 26, 2021 0
Friday, February 26, 2021

no downvotes currently as it should be, querencia is such a masterpiece. chungha truly proves her versatility as an artist every single time

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4

9AF
9AF3,172 pts Friday, February 26, 2021 0
Friday, February 26, 2021

Love the intensity of the song and colors of the vid. And, ofc, she looks awesome.

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