Song Review: Hwasa (Mamamoo) – I’m A 빛

Hwasa - I'm A BMamamoo’s success has provided an equally successful launching pad for its members’ solo careers, with Hwasa being the biggest beneficiary. In addition to her solo music, she’s a regular on MBC’s long-running series I Live Alone, as well as one of the buzziest idols in the industry. She brings a sense of nonchalant confidence to everything she does, and that energy is hard to resist.

For me, her music has yet to live up to 2019’s wonderful Twit (which garnered a much-too-low Bias List rating upon release). Last year’s Maria proved to be a bigger grower than I’d expected, but too often Hwasa’s style feels overly subdued – her performance broiling under the beat rather than taking charge and laying it all on the line. I’m A 빛 mines similar territory, but the track is sleeker and more focused than expected. The title uses clever word play, with “빛” translating to “light” in English, yet pronounced the way English speakers would say “bitch.” This duality is fun, though I wish the music itself offered the same contrast.

Instead, I’m A 빛 drives forward on an insistent dance beat. It has the propulsive appeal of synthwave without being particularly synthy. The melody follows suit, with a deliberate structure that jettisons any extraneous bits. This is where the song’s sleekness comes into play. The transitions between segments feel quite smooth, especially as I’m A 빛 coasts into its chorus. No single moment steals the spotlight, and this is both a strength and a drawback. The song is very enjoyable, but doesn’t leave much of an aftertaste. And at just under three minutes, isn’t given time to build toward a memorable climax. Still, I’m A 빛 sees Hwasa harnessing her inimitable charisma once more. She can make pretty much anything compelling.

 Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8

9 thoughts on “Song Review: Hwasa (Mamamoo) – I’m A 빛

  1. While Twit is still probably my favorite solo title track to come from Mamamoo, I continue to be impressed with how distinct each member’s sound and image is not only from one another but from their group output as well. As if that wasn’t enough, every single one has been successful… I don’t think I’ve seen this happen in K-Pop before (or even girl groups as a whole). Hwasa’s tracks all tend to be slow burn growers for me, and this has a similar feel. Maybe it’s just me coupled with Hwasa’s performance style, but even though each of her title tracks are pretty different sonically, her delivery is so cohesive that it strings them together in a way that gives each a similar vibe (for lack of a better word). I’m going to be keeping my fingers crossed for another solo comeback from Solar as well. Enough has been said about all the members vocal abilities, but it’s surprisingly unconventional for a group whose main vocalist also happens to be the visual to be the only member without an EP.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I totally agree that they and RBW have done a great job distinguishing all four of them as soloists, and I am 100% onboard the Solar EP train – “Spit It Out” was one of my favorite solo releases of last year. I’m hoping the slowdown in releases this year was related to the extended contract negotiations, and that we’ll be getting more from Solar and Moonbyl now that that’s resolved. At this point, I’m more interested in their solo work, but that seems to be about where they are too, so that works out.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Man, I missed some great posts while away! Xeno and everyone’s discussion in Weki Meki’s review, Johnny’s post, and much much more. Good to be back though, things were busy.

    Not sure if it part of the main official audio, but I love the Zither breakdown around 2:38, probably improves the song score by 10 for me.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Great song. I really appreciate the understated production here. It compliments Hwasa’s cool and confident image. Not all k-pop has to be bombastic to be fantastic. My favorite part though was the gayageum solo!! K-pop needs more instrumental solos.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The traditional instrumental solo is the best part! I wish they put some of that in the main instrumental.

      The rest of the song for me, on a scale of 1 to 10 is an “its alright!”. It bops along, does what it wants to do, and ends before it gets into any trouble.


  4. I think it’s fun and slinky. I think its small scope is flattering to the material.
    I like the wordplay. I think it’s going to be a major grower.
    I recently thought about the first time I saw Hwa Sa (i believe it was the Mamamoo “Hip” video, I’m a latecomer) and remember being near shocked, captivated by her energy.

    I like that this develops her cooler-hued colors. I think Hwa Sa is so incomparably cool haha.
    Good, not the most memorable song (besides the song’s title explanation), but quite good!
    I’m glad most, maybe all, the lines are sung instead of the sassy talk thing that dominated Maria.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I always love the comments here in this blog but gotta say… the dude writing thos reviews always sound like the most bored writer I’ve ever read. Not sure if it’s bland or fr real man… are you sure you into kpop or are you doing this cuz you feel obligated to?


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