For all its merits, mainstream K-pop is too often dependent on the newest and shiniest idol acts. Its current incarnation may have developed in the 90s, but there just aren’t enough of those original superstars left who can compete with today’s trends. Luckily, dance floor diva Uhm Jung Hwa made a very welcome, long-awaited return late last year, crafting music that modernized her unique style for today’s marketplace. New single “Ending Credit” arrives almost a year later and builds on her already impressive legacy.
This time around, Jung Hwa has enlisted trendsetters Primary and Suran to produce the track, and the result feels like an encapsulation of her entire career. “Ending Credit” is not nearly as catchy as either “Dreamer“ or “Watch Me Move“, but I don’t think it was designed to be. From the opening, hypnotic synth beat to the airy chorus, the track maintains a certain level of aloofness, offering glimpses of Jung Hwa’s more iconic moments without ever going over the top.
This makes for an enjoyable piece of restrained electro-pop, though not quite as gripping as her 2016 work. Thankfully, the song is paired with one of the year’s most compelling music videos that stands as yet another testament to Jung Hwa’s immense star power. That sense of charisma is laced through every note of “Ending Credit”. There is not another singer in Korea that sounds quite like she does. The melody here might not be particularly galvanizing, but Jung Hwa transforms even the smallest variation into something quite evocative. And when she finally lets loose during the euphoric bridge, it’s all the more striking thanks to its brevity.