Though Mamamoo have always been a vocal-centered group, their secret weapon is rapper Moon Byul. With her ultra-cool, gender-bending performance style, she’s brought fans of all persuasions into the group’s fold — even if her voice is often relegated to a short verse or two within bigger pop songs. She seems like the perfect candidate for a solo career, finally given room to flex her skills. And with Selfish, she takes a break from the Mamamoo sound to hang out with Red Velvet’s Seulgi. This is a dynamite pairing, but the two deserve a stronger track.
Selfish falls into a category of songs I like to think of as “melody-averse.” Yes, Seulgi is crooning something during the chorus. There’s a structure. It’s polished and layered. But, when it comes to the idea of melodic construction, there seems to be minimal effort. Rather than craft a unique and engaging hook, the chorus feels offhand — like the traces of a song wafting in and out of your mind days after hearing it. It’s the kind of chorus anyone could come up with simply by humming absentmindedly for a few minutes. I guess that accessibility is part of its appeal. It’s cool and breezy, but it ain’t memorable.
Of course, Moon Byul’s always had an unbothered appeal as a rapper. It never feels like she’s trying too hard, and that confidence makes her verses a highlight within any Mamamoo track. But without a strong counter punch, the entirety of Selfish feels almost apathetic. It floats by on an air of pleasantness without leaving its mark behind. It’s perfect for those long, hazy summer afternoons — coincidentally the same part of the day when a short nap feels most tempting.