Last time I wrote about Jamie, she was still working under her Korean name Park Jimin. Now, she’s back with a complete reinvention. The English-language Pity Party is unlike anything she’s recorded before, though it has solid roots in the disco trends popularized by global artists like Dua Lipa.
Jamie feels uniquely perched to tackle an international market given her long-standing position on the global-minded variety series After School Club. Still, she found her claim to fame in a much more domestically-focused place: the first season of K-pop Star. Here, she was pitched as a big-voiced balladeer. She can certainly belt out those kind of tracks, but I love when a singer transfers that power to material that’s more brisk and groovy. Pity Party’s best moments embrace the fullness of Jamie’s voice.
Other than that, this track feels pretty standard in a post-Future Nostalgia world. This is no bad thing. I’m quite partial to this sound, and Pity Party gets it right. The beat chugs incessantly along, assisted by sweeps of disco strings and playful rhythm guitar. The chorus is catchy if repetitive, only marred by its familiarity. The verses could do with a more engaging melody, though Jamie brings extra power to verse two. The pre-chorus and bridge give her a chance to let loose, and these segments offer the most potent blend of her past and present styles. Apart from that connective tissue, this might as well be a new artist entirely. It will be interesting to see if Jamie sticks with this sound or pushes herself in even more daring directions.