Guess who’s back? YooA! Well, this is actually her debut as a soloist, rather than as a comeback with OH MY GIRL. An interesting venture, YooA possesses a distinct vocal out of her OMG members, and when I came across the opening trailer for the release, excitement was the word that best described how I felt prior to its arrival. YooA also happens to be my OMG bias, so this was a treat.
In this release, YooA goes on a journey, hence the name ‘Bon Voyage’. With its name, we can only hope that we’re taken on a great journey through all the songs on this mini-album, but this poses a few questions: can YooA succeed as a soloist, and will this mini-album and its title track be a journey worth traveling? Let’s dive into it, below!
Romanized: Supui Ai (Bon voyage)
Translation: Bon voyage
Kicking off the mini is the title track “Supui Ai (Bon voyage)“, and with its ethereal and magical tone, it feels like we have been transported to a world of beautiful nature. Beginning with a soothing synth beat joined by tribal vocalizations, the song’s melody is much like that of a journey through a forest, with ebb and flow. When the track is quiet, it gives YooA a chance to deliver her uniquely husky voice in a higher pitch, and when the song develops, we are thrown right into a serene unison of vocalizing. It is a pretty, almost Disney-like song that takes after its name – it is certainly a great journey into soloist territory for YooA and for all its listeners. ⬛
Romanized: Nareul Chajaseo (Far)
Translation: In Search of Me (Far)
‘Get in the car!’ Right off the bat, we’re already taking off with “Nareul Chajaseo (Far)“, with its twinkly tropical house-like vibe. A song that represents the search for the self, ‘Far’ is probably my favorite song on the album, touching on elements of sound that feel like you are indeed going faraway, in search of you. It feels beautiful, breezy, and hopeful, and its booming chorus that tackles distorted synths and vocals makes the song feel of its time. The song’s pop sound compliments YooA’s voice, and it just makes you want to run in the wind. Carry me down in the deep and take me far, YooA. ⬛
The beats don’t end here! “Diver” has more of the dance-pop sound that K-pop is familiar with, but it definitely feels fresh, and it is a nice welcome addition to this mini-album filled with ‘hopeful’ tracks. “Diver” goes a little left-field, opting for a disco-funk vibe, allowing YooA to really utilize her distinct vocals to blend so nicely with the song. It’s a suitable track. My only qualm is that it tends to get repetitive over time, despite its great quick-rush against a funky guitar was a nice touch. It’s still quite the diver of a song, and it is worth a dive into. ⬛
Romanized: Jagagmong (Abracadabra)
Translation: Lucid Dream (Abracadabra)
A song that annoys my partner to the fullest, “Jagagmong (Abracadabra)” is another one of my favorites on the album. Perhaps its the catchy near-vogue-like beat of its chorus, or perhaps its the husky delivery of YooA’s vocals throughout the song, or perhaps its the weird but incredibly enjoyable merging of different sounds throughout. This song is a beautiful and almost serene-like song before it hits its vogue chorus before we find ourselves entranced by YooA rapping. It all just flows so nicely together, and I find myself humming, singing, and dancing to this every day upon first listen… I must be lost in this song’s spell, for sure. ⬛
Ending off the album is the only ballad on the mini, “End Of Story“, which is appropriately titled for its position on the album. Perhaps what is so nice about this song is that it gives off a very Red-Velvet-7-Days-7-Nights vibe. I don’t find myself completely drawn to this song, however, as it does come right off a bunch of stellar dance tracks, but it still delivers on all fronts, especially vocally. YooA sounds stunning in the song, and the vocalizations in the overall melody make this an experience. It is a very nice end to the story that is this mini-album, though I likely won’t be listening to the end very much. ⬛
An incredibly stellar debut from OH MY GIRL’s main dancer, ‘Bon Voyage’ was everything I hoped for upon knowing this was coming! YooA really proved to me why she’s my bias in OH MY GIRL, and frankly, I couldn’t be more impressed by this release. Vocally-wise, she delivered, and each track was great, it was just so hard to choose the rankings and my favorites. YooA took us on a fantastic journey, and I am likely to dig into my empty wallet so I can purchase this mini-album physically. A fantastic effort. A great journey. Well done.
MUST-LISTEN: 날 찾아서 (Far), 자각몽 (Abracadabra)