[Review] Play – Chungha ft. Changmo

Over the last few months, Chungha has been leaving breadcrumbs for her upcoming solo comeback which yet to be announced. The first breadcrumb was the release of the pre-release single, Stay Tonight (a track that I want to revisit when I revise my ratings for some songs in a new segment). The second breadcrumb is Play, which was released today and features Changmo. Since Stay Tonight, Chungha has also collaborated with the popular rapper pH-1 on the track My Friend, which I have yet to review. But we are here for thoughts on Play, so let’s get to that first.

By the time I had finished listening to Play for the first time, I knew that this was going to the be the 2020 Summer song to beat. The energy and atmosphere she creates for herself in this song is so epic and grand, it really helps to overlook the song’s flaw, the Latin pop genre. While that has been a typical sound throughout the Summer seasons over the last few years and Play itself incorporates with brass elements and synths that we have heard many many times before, Chungha manages to somehow reform it to make it come off refreshing and exciting in Play. That is already a strong cause for an applause. I really like her vocals in this song. The instrumental could have easily overwhelmed and masked all of Chungha’s vocals. But Chungha’s vocals soar high enough to be in the forefront of the song. And that is saying a lot, considering how blastful and bombast this instrumental got, especially as we approached the end. Also featuring on this song is Changmo, who’s rap sequence added a cool dynamic to the song. It somehow balances out the upbeat energy of the chorus and gives us some relief after the first chorus. Same thing can be said about the bridge, which slows the song down (but allows for the return in the final chorus to be super impactful). The melodies and hooks were catchy and may become super addictive if I give the song any more listens (which will happen!). Overall, I am in awe and loving Play.

Once again, the music video takes on that closeup and choreography approach, which I have (many times) stated was a bore. But the music video for Play is captivating enough to override that statement. There were some epic moments, aside from her beautiful visuals (which alone were enough to steal my attention away from the formula), that really wowed me. Chungha becoming a bullfighter with the red sports car was definitely one of those. Actually, any moment in that particular setting was amazing. I also really liked the birdcage choreography scenes, as that set looked really cool.

It is unknown whether Chungha would be promoting this time around. It soon became apparent that Stay Tonight would be extremely difficult to perform on stage due to various formations formed. But I don’t see any of that in this choreography, which may present hope that we will be seeing a stage performance of Play soon. I really like how the atmosphere from the song came through in the performance and how charismatic Chungha looked throughout the performance. I also liked the energy that came from the chorus routine alone, as that looked cool.

Song – 10/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9.5/10

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