Though retro trends still have a vise-grip hold on K-pop, the industry has started embracing punky, guitar-led sounds as well. This is in line with global trends, and may just be “the next big thing.” Whether Mamamoo’s Moonbyul is a soothsayer or not, her newest solo single C.I.T.T (Cheese in the Trap) rides the wave of this burgeoning trend.
Moonbyul’s solo work has been all over the place. Though she originally gained prominence as Mamamoo’s rapper, she’s long since left that limitation behind. From new jack swing to deep house, her music has an unpredictable charm. C.I.T.T’s pop-rock makeover is her most well-fitting genre shift yet, even if the song itself is pretty generic. On the plus side, its boisterous energy captures Moonbyul’s fun personality, allowing her to let loose. She’s at her best when the chorus kicks in and the vocal processing calms down.
I don’t think the verses work quite as well. “Skrrt, skrrts” are never needed, and hearing them after so long brings back bad memories. These segments pass by at a clip, but feel inconsequential. However, I love how the rhythm briefly fractures before we jump into the chorus. It’s a cool transition and brings a jolt of spontaneity. The hook itself is solid if predictable. It gets the job done and nothing more, yet has a nostalgic quality that keeps the song engaging. If anything, C.I.T.T feels like a first step toward stronger material in the future. It’s not going to shake the world, but it’s good, clean K-pop fun.