Mamamoo have been on pretty much everyone’s radar for the last two years. They’ve been busy releasing banger after banger; from the singles ‘Egotisic’ and ‘gogobebe’ to the most recent release ‘Dingga’. Bravely, the latter single was released shortly before, and separately from the Travel mini-album.
Travel kicks off with the groovy yet slower-paced song of the same name. The acoustic guitars are subtly present in the chorus, but complement the more artificial beat well. As they sing “we’re gonna travel far away”, I only wish I could join in. The slow bridge really emphasises that this is not the pumping energy single that we anticipate; if you’re looking for a comparison, it would definitely be Carly Rae Jepsen.
The tempo picks up with the lead single, ‘AYA’ which features an arabic-inspired flute introduction, which returns for the choruses. It’s a catchy, up-beat track with a lot of potential. The music video appears to go for an ‘exotic’ or ‘jungle’ theme with plenty of leopard print pieces of clothing present. Take a look below:
‘Chuck’ appears to be a mix between ‘AYA’ and ‘Travel’; it’s got a fun synth rhythm, but the minor key makes it sound somewhat somber and sad, despite the fun trap beat embedded within it. In some respects, it would make for an interesting choice of Halloween music! Arguably, this conflict in tone and speed makes it a conflicting tune, and probably not one that I’d play on repeat.
‘Diamond’ sounds like a tranquil track, although the pitch change for D-I-A-M-O-N-D is somewhat irksome and goes against the broader relaxed sound. The simplistic drum beat backs the group’s vocals well and really hits the nail on the head. It is a strong indication that Mamamoo are trying to display their slower side and push a more relaxed image; somewhat contradicting the newly released ‘Dingga’.
The last track is the soothing piano ballad ‘Good Night’; arguably the best track, with the harmonies working well against the soft, comfortably empty instrumental. It’s stripped back, and stripped back well. There’s moments where the members sing acapella, and it’s an absolute delight. There’s very few groups that could pull this off in the same way. However, with the group approaching their seventh year together, is it a sign of things to come?
Overall, Travel sounds like the group are in need of a breather and delivers well within this context. If you’re looking for somewhere to start with Mamamoo, this might not be the best choice, but for fans in need of new music, it’s okay. Surely, there must be better things on the horizon.