Review: Memory by Mamamoo

Memory by MamamooWell, this is difficult. I will still try my best to review Mamamoo’s latest mini-album with the relative objectivity I afford all the other albums, despite the fact that I am clearly a fan, but how do you review an album that’s clearly fan service? Of the four new songs on the record – the other four have been released in previous months, one from as far back as April, for the LG G5 launch – two are clear throwbacks to the “Mr. Ambiguous” days, “Decalcomanie” effortlessly merging that with the vocal power the girls have since been acknowledged for. The other two put members on the spotlight: “Moderato” is essentially a Wheein solo (be still, my Wheein-biased heart) and “I Won’t Let You Go” is a Moonbyul vehicle (although of a more straightforward vein than the surprise singing solo on the lead single). Memory is, yes, a fan service record, an acknowledgment of the group’s zoom to the top tier with the release of Melting in February, and all the variety show appearances and American tours they’ve gone on since. (Perhaps a transition to a less beagle-y concept for their next release?) Is it disappointing? I wouldn’t say so, but I will have to admit a part of me wanted more. Maybe it’s the full album, maybe it’s me being a fan. However, as a reminder of what got the girls where they are today, this works. Don’t expect to convert someone with this record, though. [NB]4/5

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