MAMAMOO fans were sent reeling earlier this year when it was announced that one of their members, Wheein, would be leaving their agency RBW to pursue her solo career elsewhere, meaning that she would only continue on with the group until December 2023. When MAMAMOO say farewell to us in two years’ time, they will have been together for nine years, and such staying power in the K-Pop landscape is no joke: how does one even begin to go through such a rich and deep discography?
The four-piece group take a shot at recapping their many past hits via their first greatest hits compilation album I SAY MAMAMOO : THE BEST, where they offer up a few new tracks and a selection of their most beloved hits, all remixed to sound fresh and new.
Out of the 23 tracks on the album, there are two brand new ones called ‘하늘 땅 바다만큼 mumumumuch’ and ‘Happier than Ever’. As the title track, ‘하늘 땅 바다만큼 mumumumuch’ is an upbeat dance track in the vein of previous hits such as ‘Dingga’, ‘Wanna be Myself’ and ‘Self Camera’. If the group’s previous title track ‘Where Are We’ is a passionate and sad self-reflective ballad, ‘하늘 땅 바다만큼 mumumumuch’ is the flip side of the coin, the group’s carefree way of sharing joy and love between the members and their fans.
The group’s vocals are always well showcased throughout their discography, and both ‘하늘 땅 바다만큼 mumumumuch’ and ‘Happier than Ever’ are no exception. The latter is a more laid back song, though one that also expresses a farewell to a loved one:
‘How can we forget all these things?
Two letters saying good-bye like this
Whenever we hear this song, maybe
I think at that time, I’m sure at that time…’
With two years left before MAMAMOO take their final bow, the lyrics hit hard for anyone that has seen the group’s star rise over the years. Perhaps in some ways, it is as though the group is easing listeners into the eventual, final goodbye; as though acknowledging the farewell earlier will make its inevitable arrival less painful.
New songs aside, the old hits included in this compilation are by no means gratuitously added. Every song has been re-recorded or remixed or both, and hearing iconic tracks such as ‘Piano Man’, ‘Words Don’t Come Easy’ and ‘Mr. Ambiguous’ redone with the group’s even more developed vocal and rap skills are a total treat for any fan. It’s a reminder of how far the group has come since these songs were released, some of them over five to seven years ago.
Remixes such as ‘gogobebe (Rock ver.)’, ‘Starry Night (Orchestral ver.)’ and ‘Yes I Am (Funk boost ver.)’ provide more than welcome second dimensions to the already well-loved tracks. It would be no surprise if some of these versions end up surpassing the originals in popularity; MAMAMOO and their production team have done a great job in ensuring these remixes sound truly different, and it’s fun noticing where tweaks and changes have been made in comparison to the original.
I SAY MAMAMOO : THE BEST is a great compilation for new and casual listeners looking to indulge in the best of the girl group’s discography, but this greatest hits album is ultimately an out and out love letter to their long time MooMoo (the name of the group’s fans) by offering them updated and well-considered reworkings of their iconic songs. Thus, the 23 track album is so enjoyable that it flashes by in an instant — let’s hope that the last two years we have left with the group don’t pass by quite so fast.
I SAY MAMAMOO : THE BEST is out now. MAMAMOO are on Instagram, Twitter and all major music platforms. All translated lyrics are from Lyricskpop.net
This article has been reposted from Medium with the author’s permission.