Review

Song Review: WJSN Chocome – Hmph!

After four years of steadily-increasing success, WJSN (Cosmic Girls) have unveiled their first sub-unit. The ridiculously-titled Chocome consists of members Soobin, Luda, Yeoreum and Dayoung, and promises a quirkier concept than the group’s usual space-and-fantasy themed material. As with all sub-units, the quality of Hmph (흥칫뿡) could go either way. Thankfully, the girls fully commit to the song’s exuberant style, giving Chocome an appeal that’s all its own.

Longtime K-pop fans will hear more than a little T-ara and Crayon Pop coursing through Hmph’s musical veins. Right from the start, the track’s pulsing dancefloor beat brought me back to a different era. Add a brass loop on top and you’ve got all the ingredients of a second-gen smash. Of all the directions I might have expected a WJSN sub-unit to take, this was not one of them. I appreciate the approach, but I wish it had been anchored by a more robust hook. Classics like Roly-Poly and Lovey-Dovey relied on simple choruses, but boy were those melodies memorable! In contrast, Hmph’s refrain lacks a little bite. It’s repetitive and catchy, but isn’t quite melodic.

Even so, Hmph’s great energy helps to compensate. Its electropop groove never dips or strays, and the girls’ vocals are largely arranged as part of the production. When they devolve into a series of blips and bloops, it’s in keeping with the general vibe the instrumental has set up. And although the performance embraces aegyo a bit too much for my taste, I can’t fault the track for sticking to its guns. In the end, Hmph is designed with a very specific aim. And though it may not be for everyone at all times, it’s generally successful in delivering its concentrated sugar rush.

 Hooks 7
 Production 9
 Longevity 7
 Bias 8
 RATING 7.75


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13 thoughts on “Song Review: WJSN Chocome – Hmph!

  1. I do love this style and I really appreciate the direction they’re going, but something about the melody doesn’t work for me. I can’t quite figure out why I don’t like it?

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  2. It’s actually a pretty decent track, reminding me of orange caramel’s shanghai romance and my copycat. But you’re right, the melody kind of feels lacking a lot. The mentioned tracks had the same approach as this one, but at least they have a decent melody to keep you focused. This… may work well over time, I think.

    I may remember this track because of those aegyo voiced parts, which I’m not really fond of. But oh well, at least the instrumental’s a blast in the past!

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  3. If I closed my eyes while listening and you told me this was Orange Caramel brought back to life with a special bonus track, I would believe you. Which is to say YESSSS AWESOME! Its like the extra special remix mashup of Lipstick and Copycat, with a hefty dose in the bass and beat of Lipps Inc “Funky Town”.

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  4. Did not expect this from WJSN but boy am I pleasantly surprised. This is just adjacent to cutesy and veering into the world of weird and god damn do I love it. I adore songs that do not take themselves too seriously. Love the commitment on the part of the girls-makes it much more convincing and enjoyable. Aegyo, in my opinion, works when it’s done jokingly and with the full intention of being over the top for the sake of it. The girl with the light brown hair killed it.
    This is honestly just a shot of serotonin straight to my veins. The verses don’t hit as hard but goddamn that chorus and the dance are going to be stuck in my head for the next week. Logically it should be annoying and it kind of is but that’s the point and I can’t stop listening to it. And that BRASS, goddamn. Where the verses lack interest(in my opinion) the instrumental carries the song.
    The second half of 2020 is the gift that keeps on giving and I’m exciting to see how the rest of this month plays out.
    Solid 8.5 for me

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  5. Wow, I’m in love with this song. Orange Caramel and Crayon Pop have been inactive for years and I’m glad there is a sub unit attempting to fill the void. I agree that the chorus isn’t as melodic compared to some of Orange Caramel’s best hits, but I don’t mind catchphrase choruses if you know, they’re actually catchy, and this chorus will definitely be stuck in my head all day. This is a solid 8/10 for me.

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  6. another strong song buttressed by a better video and performance.
    Honestly this is a dream unit because Soobin and Dayoung have my favorite vocal colors in the group (perfectly whiny and shrill, in all the right ways – see the bridge of Butterfly) – so the fact this doesn’t lean into strong melodic writing on the chorus is a bummer. It would of been to make better use do their higher registers and develop the vocal part on the second half of the chorus. I also think this style of aegyo seems to come very natural for them and it doesn’t come across forced.

    also kind of a lol that WJSN debuted with units that never had their own songs and now we have this new unit! I guess with all the member shuffling this makes the most sense.

    I’m into it and it also has me revisiting Orange Caramel, T-ara and Crayon Pop in ways I hadn’t previously…so that’s good!

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  7. I like the concept of the “quirky girls unit” and wish more groups would do this lol. And it’s nice for the girls who often don’t get the spotlight in a big group like WJSN to get some shine. That being said…. the song isn’t sticking with me. It feels like a poor man’s Orange Caramel. It’s not bad, but if I have a choice between listening to this and Orange Caramel… the choice seems obvious?

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  8. YES! They went quirky all the way and I absolutely love it. The song is catchy and cute, the MV is awesome, it’s everything that I hoped for.

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