Truth be told, there’s not a whole lot to review for Goddess Hara’s debut solo effort, “Choco Chip Cookies.”
It’s just fine and decent and that’s good enough.
The song is actually a very smart choice for the KARA stalwart. Never known for her strong vocal presence, “Choco Chip Cookies” errs on the light and airy side of things, which allows Hara’s vocals to sound somewhat strong by contrast. The mellow bass creates a warmth that is welcomed in a summer beat and the lazy pace gives the song plenty of room to breathe, a quality that is undervalued when it comes to “summer jams” — seriously, “summer” can be synonymous with “relaxation” and it’s nice to hear a song that seems to understand that.
Could literally anyone else in K-pop have made this tune? Most likely. The song honestly sounds like the makings of an IU tune for the less vocally talented. Still, “Choco Chip Cookies” doesn’t fall flat anywhere, Hara is able to deliver exactly what is required of her, and the results are surprisingly decent and enjoyable.
The video also doesn’t contain many surprises and it blessedly lives up to the teaser images that were released prior to the music video’s debut. There’s not much to love here except Hara herself, but “Choco Chip Cookies” is shot well, the lighting for the outdoor scenes nails that Instagram filtered look that one almost never actually finds in nature, and Hara’s wardrobe is pretty damn on point. The glitter-bedecked indoor set is a misstep as it clashes with the rest of the video in a way that isn’t visually interesting, but Hara delivers the rest of the video in spades.
As far as debuts go, Hara’s “Choco Chip Cookies” isn’t going to blow anyone away, but there’s an easy-going quality about the song and video that is undeniably charming. “Choco Chip Cookies” may have not set the bar very high to begin with, but Hara manages to surpass it and make it look simple in the process. In a month of ho-hum comebacks, that is surprisingly high praise.