Chungha’s been hinting at a full album release in the near future, and she’s taking a promotional approach more widely seen in Western acts by unveiling several singles before the official comeback. This is a shame, as I really think that April’s Stay Tonight deserved the full title track treatment. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for new release My Friend (여기 적어줘), which feels like the kind of phoned-in coffeehouse fare that can be found all across the Korean charts.
I get that this kind of song is popular because it’s pleasant mood music, but My Friend does nothing for me. Chungha sounds nice, delivering a relatively subdued performance. And I suppose that joining forces with rapper pH-1 scores her some “cool” points. But, the song goes nowhere. The instrumental hinges on that same tired, mid-tempo trap r&b that has long since worn out its welcome. The production doesn’t even attempt to take any interesting turns. It’s pretty much the same monotonous beat all the way through.
My Friend’s chorus has an airy pleasantness to it, but evaporates almost immediately after you’ve heard it. Like the instrumental, the melody is so slight and unassuming that I’m not sure why it exists at all. I assume that the producers and composers (one of which was Zion.T!) took some time with this, but the song just feels like they were making it up as they went, absentmindedly forming melodic refrains that are neither here nor there. I’m quickly learning that there is a sizable audience for this kind of “play it in the background while I’m studying or doing chores” music. For better or worse, I’m just not part of that mindset, so this gets a hard pass from me.
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