[Review] MAMAMOO get serious on “Starry Night”, and manage to make it work

MAMAMOO are back with “Starry Night“, which I was a bit skeptical of because the songs leading up to it in “Paint Me” and “Star Wind Flower Sun” bored me to tears, and it seemed like they were trying to be serious and meaningful to the detriment of their music. Thankfully, while that atmosphere definitely carried over with “Starry Night”, they proved they could use that mood to create a quality listen as well.

“Starry Night” takes a while to get going and I initially feared that it would be a rather generic offering. In certain respects it still is, and I don’t think anybody would argue that they’re exactly exploring new territory here. However, the group’s execution and the amount of appealing elements within the song won me over.

The song effectively sets up this lush, dreamy, spacious atmosphere for the vocals of the members to breathe in, and it’s wonderful, especially since there’s a definite pace to everything that keeps things moving forward instead of stagnating. While instrumental drop choruses can definitely be a disappointment after all the build, after multiple listens I found the combo of the upbeat bass and guitar riff utterly addictive. Then later on “Starry Night”, when MAMAMOO’s vocals interact with the chorus, it’s just a perfect payoff that’s worth waiting for. Another quirk that I enjoyed was the fake chorus drop in the verse that playfully stunts expectations a bit before truly dropping it on the listener a short while later.

As usual, there wasn’t much to complain about vocally. I’m not one that particularly cares about technical vocal performance (if at all), but it’s always a bonus that MAMAMOO can carry a spacious song like this and make it seem effortless. The echoing effects used throughout the song are effective as well, at least in that they add to the atmosphere the instrumental has setup. Also, while their rap sections can feel forced in other songs, like they were inserted just to give Moonbyul something to do, “Starry Night” utilized her well and it felt solidly organic.

I’ll always prefer the playful side to MAMAMOO’s efforts, and I wouldn’t say this is among their best, but they show on “Starry Night” that they can still score a win with their more darker and serious side as well. It’s an evolution of sorts for the group, which should please those who wanted them to get adventurous, and that continued growth should be something to look forward to.

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