Song Review: Maka Maka – I Am

Maka Maka - I AmThough they won’t get nearly as much coverage today as NMIXX, girl group Maka Maka have also made a return with their new track I Am (아이엠). The two songs couldn’t be more different. While NMIXX’s Dice attempts to create new industry trends with its structural diversity, I Am leans comfortably in a more timeless direction. The group has veteran production team on their side, guaranteeing a sturdy melody and satisfying arrangement.

I Am isn’t much of a highlight on its own, nor is it trying to be. Instead, it’s a super-solid example of a sound and format we’re all comfortable with. The song is light, bright and hummable. It’s performed with enthusiasm and anchored by a chorus that hits the spot each time it comes around. That may sound like faint praise, but there’s a place for this kind of straightforward idol pop – especially when it has become an outlier within the industry’s trend-happy landscape.

I appreciate the fullness of I Am’s instrumental. The brass-heavy mix is ebullient and explosive, making even the second-verse breakdown feel integral to the rest of the song. The arrangement feels like it could be played by a live band and this sense of freedom and spontaneity greatly benefits the track. Maka Maka deliver a striking performance to match the energy, their vocals stacked and layered to create a robust sound. It reminds me of early Mamamoo, though I Am isn’t the kind of vocal showcase we used to hear from songs like You’re The Best or Yes I Am.

Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25

8 thoughts on “Song Review: Maka Maka – I Am

  1. I was much more happy this morning after listening to this song, if only by contrast to others. It’s not because it is the best song ever, but its simply uncomplicated fun pop. It a time when so many things are over-thought and over-produced, this gives us well done basic pink cotton candy fluff right when we need it.

    Rating is probably a bit high but whatev.

    I also enjoyed their song ‘Hey You” from last year.


    • I’m soooorta following them. I don’t know… I have a very limited brain space reserved for CRAXY and they’re testing it with so many music videos released in one month.


  2. Same energy as “Hey U” (previous release). Definitely faster than “Burning Power” (debut), but a bit screechy. Maybe they could’ve keep the vocal range from their debut for this one.

    Interesting that Chae Won didn’t get to participate this round (anxiety issues), but they managed to keep that gold fish alive since their debut in 2020; so there’s that.

    Nice to know there are still some groups out there making actual K-Pop.

    Liked by 2 people

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