In her brand new title track ‘LUNATIC’, there is a moment where Moon Byul sings:
With a confusing MBTI
It changed from E to I
Why am I acting like this?
That’s because I like you?
Blackout when I stand in front of you
The feel-good spirit in these lyrics captures the essence of one of the most fun tracks Moon Byul has put out since 2018’s ‘Selfish (feat. Seulgi of Red Velvet)’, as well as that of 6equence, her first solo EP since 2020’s Dark Side of the Moon and 門oon : Repackage. The latter records were an introspective and, at times, heart-wrenching exploration of fame, identity, and what it means to be an artist — for good or for ill.
6equence is a very different album that its precedecessors: there’s less rapping on this album, which is perhaps a little surprise given Moon Byul’s reputation as one of the best female rappers in the K-Pop industry. Instead, Moon Byul’s vocal abilities are front and centre throughout the album’s twenty-two minute mix of retro pop and R&B-pop ballads.
‘G999 (feat. Mirani)’ and ‘LUNATIC’ fall into the retro pop category. Whilst ‘LUNATIC’ is a catchy disco pop title track that will probably go round and round many a head for the next few months, ‘G999’ is a complete nineties throwback treat, with Moon Byul and Mirani’s vocals complimenting each other well on one of the most feel good love songs put out recently. It’s been a hot minute since someone has gone full nineties pop like this, and the result is joy and fun so full-on you almost believe you can feel it in the air as it plays.
‘For Me’ is arguably one of the loveliest songs in Moon Byul’s discography, with the slow and light R&B guitar and drum instrumental giving her vocals space to shimmer and flow. The album also kicks off with a beautiful R&B instrumental, ‘Intro : SNYOPSIS’, and as a strong opener it’s great to see other tracks return to this sound. Another highlight is ‘Shutdown (feat. Seori)’, possibly one of the sultriest female duets ever to come out of K-Pop, with lyrics that leave you in no doubt what Moon Byul and Seori are referring to:
Row a boat
Inside you, I’m an experienced boatman (Boatman)
If the rogue wave gets a bit stronger
It’s going to get rough (To get)
Passing through the mountains and crossing the bridge
I’ll build the same house in the painting
I’ll draw you like Dali Van Picasso
A silhouette of a masterpiece
Our painting is ripening red
For listeners expecting more of what they heard in Dark Side of the Moon and 門oon : Repackage, they may be surprised at the lighter R&B-pop direction Moon Byul has gone down in her newest album. Yet one of her strengths has always been to do the unexpected, and to do it well: 6equence is no exception. Given that we don’t get to enjoy her vocal abilities as much on MAMAMOO tracks, it’s a treat to hear her utilise this side of her skillset so beautifully, especially on the slower songs. Mirani and Seori are also perfect duet picks for the record, given how well both their vocals weave and meld alongside Moon Byul’s, as opposed to drowning her out.
Moon Byul seems to revel in offering listeners something different with every new project: which is both a testament to her versatility and her determination to not be constrained artistically. It is anyone’s guess as to which side of herself she’ll decide to show us next; what can we be sure of is that we’ll almost certainly find it as captivating as what she has shown us before.