Mamamoo are on a high right now with the amount of success they have achieved since their debut over the last couple of years. Coming in as one of the stronger vocal based groups of the new generation that have made themselves standout with vocal focused, R&B and big band influenced pop. Their new song Decalcomanie strives to be memorable with a more forward blend of their past efforts.
Warning: After this video includes images of assault. Solar (and Hwasa) are depicted as being forced into a kiss with Solar’s character being seen actively struggling against the male lead. I will also be discussing them later in the review so be mindful.
Decalconamie is an interesting song choice, sadly I don’t find it to be a good one. I will start by saying that I have always preferred their more pop songs (Um Oh Ah Yeh), than their vintage throwbacks (Piano Man), and Dec kind of tries to bring them both together. Does not achieve said goal, but the thought counts I guess. The biggest issue this track runs into is lack of cohesion. The verses read one way, and then the chorus reads another.
Decalconamie sounds very much like two different Ailee songs. Don’t Touch Me on the verses, and I can’t pinpoint the second one. I have never been kind to Ailee musically, and nothing changes for Mamamoo. The best part of the song is the chorus which misses the opportunity to allow a vocal group to actually harmonize together. That being said, the beat on the chorus kind of drives the song in a nice direction, with a very anthemic vibe. It is meant to be this big song, almost a declaration. Had the group decided to harmonize instead of switching parts on the chorus it probably would have been complete. Still that is my only complaint about that.
The entire song just feels confused. It wants to be this sass filled loved song, and in some ways it does that, but the shining moments of the song comes at the chorus which doesn’t mesh well with the rest of the track.
The video is just as confused as the song. There are several things to get into, but lets hit the big one.
Stop. Romanticizing. Harassment. And. Assault.
Solar and Hwasa’s encounters with the guy were very…BAD. VERY BAD. Solar was the most jarring due to how long and drawn out and visceral it was. She may have shown interest in the guy, but as soon as she started fighting his grasp that was a NO. Hwasa is even worse because she had shown no prior interest at all. It is very disconcerting that they thought this was okay, that this is romantic. It is not.
*Puts on SJW hat*
This that shit that is not okay, especially in media. It reinforces a lot of narratives and ideas. That they want it with a little prodding. That they may have expressed interest which negates them struggling. This is what those scenes are saying. It’s not at all a good message to be sending out.
Other than that, the video just seemed confused as to what it wanted to be. A lot of the imagery was just thrown in there for whatever reason. The whole confrontation scenes included imagery that was supposed to be sexual, but were thrown in the middle of what were simple kisses (and assault). Moonbyul and Wheein were just loitering and it looked incredibly awkward with this whole cat and mouse scenario. And when will these agencies hire more than one model for a group. It’s a group of four, you can hire more “love interest”.
Decalcomanie is a minefield of mess. The highest point is the chorus, which is missing just the unified sound of the group to achieve a sort of epic feel. The lowest is the video, which makes it apparent that a lot of these directors think sexual assault okay. Decalcomanie is memorable but not in the way that this group would hope.