Review

Song Review: Sunmi – Noir

Sunmi is in the middle of what many music fans would call an “imperial phase,” where basically everything she releases is gold. New single Noir arrives without any music show promotion and very little pre-release teasing, yet will be the track on everyone’s playlist based on her name alone. And with two singles in my top ten countdown of last year, I’ve fallen under her spell as well. It’s with these sky-high expectations that Noir (누아르) feels just a bit underwhelming at first, even if it’s a very strong song in its own right.

Noir continues Sunmi’s love affair with synth-fueled, 80’s production. It’s a musical style I never want her to abandon, and fits her commanding voice perfectly. The song itself feels less populist than her 2018 work, dulling its hooks and upping its subversion. After a moody opening, the instrumental launches right into its propulsive groove, heightened by touches of rhythm guitar and drum machines. In contrast to this brisk tempo, the verses’ melody wafts over the top, drawing out its phrasing rather than opting for a more rhythmic delivery. This heightens the mood but softens the overall impact.

Noir’s strongest element is its chorus, which ups the drama with a full-throated vocal that manages to be hypnotic and powerful at the same time. It’s not as instant as Siren’s megawatt hook or Heroine’s juggernaut drop, but I suspect it will age well. I’m not as thrilled by the trap-influenced break just before the second chorus. It feels shoehorned in — a concession to trends rather than a vital part of the track. But, Sunmi gets away with it. She is the most magnetic solo performer working in K-pop right now, and Noir continues to harness that lethal charisma.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75

~

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Song Review: Sunmi – Noir

  1. “Siren” was such a good song that I don’t know if any follow-up would have lived up. As it is, I think “Noir” is as a good a comeback as could have been. I definitely see a place for it on the upper-half of my year-end list – but of course, it’s only the beginning of March!

    Like

  2. Pingback: Top Three K-Pop Songs of March 2019 | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

  3. Pingback: Song Review: Sori x Folded Dragons – I Am Not Alone | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.