Whether as album tracks or digital singles, the members of Mamamoo have each had their time to shine as soloists. Most of their material has played to the girls’ strengths, which means cool hip-hop for Moonbyul, sassy dance pop and slinky r&b for Hwasa and emotive ballads for Solar and Wheein. There’s nothing wrong with a good ballad, but I think there are more exciting ways to showcase a dynamite voice.
Wheein is certainly a solid singer, and her voice suits ballads well. However, I already knew exactly what Good Bye (헤어지자) would sound like before even listening to it. For me, the best ballads play around with arrangement, incorporating unexpected instruments beyond the standard piano-and-percussion template. Good Bye pulls from the same instrumental catalog as many Korean OSTs, making it something of an aural comfort food. We’ll hear a lot of songs like this over the next few months, and they’ll all be largely interchangeable.
Without unique touches or structure, Good Bye rests on the appeal of Wheein’s performance. She brings a satisfying amount of emotion to the track, though her timbre is pretty par for the course when it comes to Korean ballads. I imagine a duo like Davichi could have replicated this performance note-for-note and left the same overall impression. Good Bye’s melody and instrumental just don’t give much to work with. In the vast world of K-pop ballads, this falls right in the middle.
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But, Nick! It does something an OST never does: it changes key! In a Big Way! here it is, here build build suddenly quiet and … Key Change!
yeah, basic kballad.
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