[Review] Chungha elevates the straightforward “Snapping”

Chungha has enjoyed sustained success since her post-IOI solo debut in 2017. With each and every single, I’m surprised by just how long her music stays on the charts. But, there’s definitely been a hole in the K-pop market for a female soloist — an heir to BoA’s throne, if you will. With the early 2000’s-esque “Snapping“, Chungha veers closer to BoA territory than ever before. The results are pretty solid.

“Snapping” is as straightforward a K-pop release as you’re likely to find this year. While it isn’t stuck in another era, it never kowtows to current trends either. The slick r&b/pop beat feels relatively generic, but sparks enough groove to keep heads nodding. I like the playful synth work that opens the track and carries through much of its verses and chorus. It adds a sense of frenzy to an otherwise laidback instrumental. Better yet is the 90’s hip-hop synth that supports the post-chorus hook. Moments like this draw from a pop era I’m very familiar with, and imbue “Snapping” with instant nostalgia.

I’ve had issues in the past with how Chungha’s vocals have been arranged — pitched at a level that seems to strain her voice. “Snapping” does a better job utilizing her talents. Chungha dominates both the song and video with undeniable presence, and elevates what is otherwise a rather forgettable track. The main issue with “Snapping”, then, is its bland melody. I’m thankful that the song isn’t yet another beat-drop-chorus dance track, but the hooks we do get are too subdued to land a punch. She’s had stronger choruses before (“Roller Coaster“, “Love U“), and it’s a shame that the appealing vibe of “Snapping” couldn’t have been paired with a similarly knockout hook.

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