Generally speaking, the solo work of T-ara members has reinforced the notion that they work best as a group with Shinsadong Tiger helming the production. As no matter how much I love them*, there’s only been Jiyeon‘s “Never Ever“ and “Marionette“ that have been solid enough songs, with certainly nothing coming close to their T-ara hits.
*Though it is at least a useful example of how my personal bias doesn’t make shitty music any better to me.
That said, Hyomin always appeared due to put out something that was at least enjoyable if she continued to release music, and she seems to have found a sound that works for her on “U Um U Um“.
The instrumental is grounded in tropical influences, which makes it suited better for summer, but despite the trendy nature it actually manages to be noteworthy for being surprisingly stripped down. That results in “U Um U Um” having a relaxed and casual atmosphere to it, but has enough foot-tapping dance quality to not get overly bogged down by pacing. The melody of the chorus isn’t in-your-face either, but it’s catchy enough to draw attention and keep things moving.
Of course, “U Um U Um” doesn’t actually stray too far from that, which makes it undoubtedly simplistic. There are hints of a Hyolyn type of vibe in there, which I think could work for Hyomin, but it unfortunately never dares to push things quite like Hyolyn has. That said, the pleasant execution of the concept made sure “U Um U Um” was a solid albeit safe song. That definitely leaves Hyomin in better place to move forward from than before, and hopefully she cuts loose a bit on the next one.