Song Review: Mamamoo – Hip

Fresh off their success on Queendom, Mamamoo are back with their second title track of 2019. This has been a fruitful year for them, particularly Hwasa. Her name has been lodged at the top of the K-pop brand reputation lists, and her casual but quirky energy has become synonymous with the group’s appeal. Mamamoo have always had an effortless coolness to them, and they’re at their best when they find a way to harness this without gimmicks or goofiness. New single Hip is their strongest in a while, vibing off the group’s indelible charm.

Hip pounces with a tight arrangement stuffed with hand clap percussion, elastic synths and swoops of strings. It finds its groove early on and rarely lets go, offering a hiccupping rhythm that’s as nimble as it is sly. The entire track feels like one winking grin. It’s playful without being silly, and that’s largely thanks to Mamamoo’s assured performance. Rather than reach for big power notes or acrobatic runs, the members deliver a restrained, breathy purr that traces the edges of the instrumental without attempting to dominate it.

This tautness of melody threatens to become monotonous, as Hip loops back to the same refrains over and over. A series of Moonbyul-fronted rap verses helps to break things up, but the song never builds to any real crescendo. This structure reminds me of disco, where a pulsing, continual beat was often more important than dynamic builds and drops. However, Mamamoo are charismatic enough to maintain interest throughout Hip’s entire running time, and the song’s slinky allure never becomes tiresome. This will become another deserved hit for them, and feels like a smart progression of their trademark sound.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8

Be sure to add your own rating by participating in the poll below!


6 thoughts on “Song Review: Mamamoo – Hip

  1. So glad they brought back some of the swing influences from their early material for this. It feels like a part of their identity (next to their vocals, of course) that they’d dropped somewhat in favor of trendiness, so I like that they decided to have both present here.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love Mamamoo – the three best singers in k-pop. This particular song feels inconsequential and is way too repetitive and tedious, it’s not up to their usual standards. I appreciate the image change though, and there are much better tracks than this on the new album.

    Liked by 1 person

    • As much as I personally enjoy this track, I have to agree on the repetitive part and I had the same problem with Gogobebe. With both songs I’m kind of left wanting a section with a more developed melody and vocals… just one piece to the puzzle they left out. I can appreciate most everything else though.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I really like this song. It took me a couple listens to get into the groove, but now I am digging it. This song feels more like a natural evolution of their sound than last year’s EDM Starry night and whatever it was they released this summer.
    The difference is that a few years ago they were more upfront and in your face. Showing off. This song takes them in a more restrained manner. i think it reflects that Mamamoo are so comfortable in their skin, and polished performers, that they know how to and can actually dial it back effectively.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. After watching the video, my take?

    The song with the video = 8 (for me, the real value is seeing them perform it)
    The song on its own = 6.5 (almost has a Britney Spears vibe; not a fan of Brit Brit)

    Prior to Queendom, my mamamoo stan quota was (low to high):
    Hwasa > Solar > Wheein > Moonbyul
    After Queendom (low to high):
    Solar > Wheein > Moonbyul > Hwasa


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