Song Review: Hwasa (Mamamoo) – Maria

The year of Mamamoo solos continues, with Hwasa making a long-awaited comeback. She’s a lightning rod of charisma, and sometimes I think her music relies too strongly on that. She can make anything sound cooler than it is, and if paired with the right song could certainly create something legendary. Last year’s Twit nearly got there, but Maria (마리아) is a little more hit-and-miss.

Maria feels strongly indebted to its accompanying visuals, providing a great soundtrack to its eye-catching music video. Removing all the imagery, we’re left with a more standard trap-pop song that rides current trends without bringing many new ideas. Of course, this doesn’t mean that Maria is bad. Trends are the name of the game these days. It’s all about how you harness them to express your own artistry. Maria certainly feels like a Hwasa track, and that’s a strength.

With that said, the song has its highs and lows. The trap beats are wholly unnecessary, and cheapen what could have been a more expansive production. I love the addition of symphonic elements – especially during Maria’s final chorus – and the texture of the post-chorus backing vocals feels fresh and unique, at least when it comes to K-pop. When the track segues into an unexpected dance breakdown during its bridge, Maria briefly catches fire. I wish this energy expanded to its verses, which feel like Hwasa serving attitude without much care for meaningful melodic structure. The same could be said about the chorus, which is enjoyable but never really goes anywhere. Thankfully, Hwasa’s enduring magnetism is enough to keep things interesting.

 Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7
 RATING 7.75

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


11 thoughts on “Song Review: Hwasa (Mamamoo) – Maria

  1. Meh, it’s nice. I find the chorus enjoyable but the rest of the song is pretty forgettable. I’ve never been a fan of idols using Latin culture just for a sexual aesthetic or simply using the same stereotypical “latin-inspired” adlibs (for lack of a better word). What really sends me is the Calibri font at the end of the video… I just can’t take it seriously


  2. Reading the lyrics definitely helped me appreciate this song a lot more. This song is just…powerful in its own way. I was never a huge fan of fierce queen-like stage persona (of anyone) because they always felt somewhat empty. But I can definitely relate to a human being who went through dark moments but still tried their best to not succumb to the temptation of simply falling down and fading away.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Yet another song where it feels like the idea is there and even matched to the right performer, but it just doesn’t manifest itself in the songwriting process like it should have. There’s a sense of what they were going for and what it could have been, which makes it being a miss all that more obvious and disappointing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m a massive Hwasa Stan and this was just flat…… so many ways. Even the video felt a little dated to me. The best part was seeing the other members faces at the end of the video…..not sure what happened here


  5. I usually agree with you on reviews (been following this blog for 2 years now) and also rely on your tastes a lot to find Buried Treasures, but I think on this count I’d have to disagree.

    Between Twit and Maria, I’d rate Maria higher. To be very honest, Twit did not resonate with me when it had first come out, and it was actually your good word that had made me give it another chance. To me, Maria sonically has lot of the similar elements that Twit did, without it feeling like a copy. The pre-chorus/whatever that verse comes before that chorus, is gorgeous, and I really dig the chorus too. One listen and I was hooked, and I found myself humming the whole day (very clear, articulate, objective standard to judge a song, I know). Plus I love that dance breakdown of Spanish guitars and those electronic voice effects. All of these high words I think are also because of the music video which was, IMO, captivating.

    Maybe if it came out last year, I’d not be rating this so highly, but like this year has not been like other years, and in my mind, this one just stands out. A good 8.5 in my opinion.

    Love the blog! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I really enjoyed the whole album. Do you plan to review the other tracks?
    Maria’s strength in its lyrics and what carries the song is the person who sings it. It’s okay. I liked it more than Twit, but I can totally get if this won’t surpass her previous hit.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I think people nowadays value how the beat sound, the production than the lyrics.

    If you read the lyrics it’s a sad song. The MV portrays being happy and sassy infront of others but you are hurting inside. As she mentioned, this is all for the Marias that are in the same situation as hers.

    This is from personal experience of hwasa where media always plays critics. Saying that she’s ugly, doesn’t fit korean standards.

    It shows how strong she is by putting a “not bothered” face despite of being bashed by netizens who only look on the outside. The part where mamamoo members show up is because they are the one who truly see how sad Hwasa (maria) behind the camera when reports make false stories about her.

    Hope people will read the lyrics first then understand every scene that symbolizes what bashers and haters made her feel.

    Liked by 2 people

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