Interestingly, a major similarity of the post I.O.I and Wanna One activities are that both the 1st place winners of their respective seasons of Produce 101 have yet to embark on a solo career. Also, both Kang Daniel and Jeon Somi have experienced management changes since leaving their respective groups. We all know of Kang Daniel’s lawsuit with his former company, while Jeon Somi switched labels between JYP Entertainment and The Black Label (citing ‘different directions when it came to music’). However that all changes today, with Jeon Somi making her solo debut with Birthday.
Debuting under The Black Label (a subsidy under YG Entertainment), you can expect the song to go down a certain direction (mainly due to the YG part of that track). And well, as we expected, the song had some hip-hop influence, particularly around the chorus’ drop. While it does mismatch with the rest of the song, which came out to be more of a pop genre track, I think it was very dynamic and different. But it seems like a cliche thing to do, given other KPOP tracks from the larger company, and I am not sure if the song reflects upon Somi’s true identity. But that is a topic of discussion for another day. The pop genre verses reminded me of a Taylor Swift style track. And I find a lot of songs by Swift nowadays to have some attitude, which I think Jeon Somi channels exceptionally well through the post-chorus (‘You’re Not Invited‘) sequence. It is definitely a catchy track and it successfully reels me in, so I guess a few more repeats of the song is going to follow this review.
So when you think of a Birthday, you think of balloons, cake, presents and some fun times. Well, the music video for Birthday definitely delivers all of those components. A very large cake, might I add to that mix. So, I think the video ties in nicely with the song’s lyrics. The extravagantness of the music video is quite likeable, especially with the bold colours and very fitting sets for the video. The video does let Somi stand out and shows her in a very confident and powerful limelight, which is the only aim for her and her solo debut.
Like the strong drop of the track, the performance gives her a powerful dance move to compliment that. I also like the attitude she manages to channel through the post-chorus hook. As for the rest of the choreography, we have to wait and see when a live performance comes out.
Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 8.5/10
Overall Rating – 8.7/10