[Review] Moonbyul finds her soloist identity and provides a standout with “TOUCHIN&MOVIN”

In my belated review of her pre-release track “Think About” (it’s still subtly catchy), I noted that MAMAMOO member Moonbyul had long musically seemed like a jack of all trades but master of none. While that release moved her in the right direction, she still didn’t have that standout track to cement herself as a pop soloist of note. That changes with “TOUCHIN&MOVIN“, a bit of a salve for a lot of my recent complaints about the trends in K-pop.


An easy way to get me to perk up to your sound is to return with a funky dance-pop track whose chorus actually builds on what the verses setup, even if it takes a bit to get going. It’s a track with a consistent groove to it that makes it difficult to not want to dance along, and while it has a timeless sound that’s been done before, the timing of it within K-pop makes it feel fresher than it should. The scribbles and brass injections help keep the energy flowing in the right direction, and thankfully the chorus hits the celebratory mood it deserves with “touchin’ and movin’” refrain at the centerpiece of a fleshed-out effort.

“TOUCHIN&MOVIN” ran some risk of being too repetitive if it ran through the same formula to close the show, and quite honestly that’s what I expected. But instead Moonbyul thankfully exits from a dance break with a key change in the closing that elevates it to the level it deserves. Speaking of that, it was also surprising how well Moonbyul’s vocals work with this track, contrasting favorably with the higher pitches in K-pop, this was a surprisingly mature-sounding performance.

Meanwhile, the music video doesn’t overcomplicate things and just plays into the party atmosphere that the track sets, allowing Moonbyul to dance and charm the camera, imbuing the effort with a bit more charisma and confidence.


To my point about her scattershot output prior to this album, Moonbyul has said herself that she has spent a lot of time searching for her soloist identity, but she now believes she’s found it after letting herself free of the expectations that come along with being a part of MAMAMOO. And given the new light “TOUCHIN&MOVIN” (and “Think About”, to a lesser extent) have put her in, if it’s anything like what’s she’s produced so far on Starlit Of Muse, I’ll definitely be looking forward to what more she has to offer.


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