“I Miss You,” MAMAMOO’s recently released free single, may not get points for originality or ambition, but it does offer further proof that the group can rock the shit out a fairly standard R&B track.
For better and worse, “I Miss You” sounds like a non-lead single for a MAMAMOO album. On the bright side, while the song may not be as much of a faux-throwback as the group’s earlier songs like “AHH OOP!” and “Mr. Ambiguous,” the slow piano-driven beat of “I Miss You” and MAMAMOO’s beautifully expressive vocal work wouldn’t have been out of place in an R&B album from the late-90s or the early-00s. The interplay between Solar, Wheein, and Hwasa works wonders, and the three are able to navigate the song’s peaks and valleys with considerable aplomb. It’s not surprising that a group who seemingly thrives on putting modern K-pop spins on a retro-soul sound could make “I Miss You” sound great.
However, as good as MAMAMOO is at hitting notes and emoting well, “I Miss You” is not without a few flaws. Moonbyul’s rap sounds a bit tacked on and doesn’t have nearly the emotional resonance that MAMAMOO’s other vocalists are able to achieve on the track. Musically, the track’s relative straightforward production doesn’t leave much of an impression and requires MAMAMOO to really carry the whole thing on their shoulders. On its own, the combination of piano, studio-produced clapping, and bass is the kind of sound that one could find buried on any K-pop album. Additionally, the song lacks a catchy hook or memorable composition piece that would help separate it from R&B filler territory (arguably, this is a problem that the genre as a whole suffers from a lot of the times).
In all, while it does not break down musical barriers or surprise in any way, “I Miss You” does a fairly excellent job of allowing MAMAMOO’s considerable vocal talents to shine. It may not be a song for the ages (although it is definitely having a moment), but “I Miss You” definitely works as a quality tease for MAMAMOO’s upcoming full-length album that I’m already willing to call the album of the month/year/century/this dimensional timeline.