Yes, everyone, you read that right. The princess of K-POP, Miss Chungha is finally back with a new album: Bare&Rare! Thank you universe! After the release of her first studio album, Querencia, we have been waiting hungrily for more Chungha bops, and well…she absolutely delivered. We don’t even care that we waited for a while because it was so worth it. Bare&Rare is actually Bare&Rare, Pt. 1 so…we assume that a Part 2 will happen sometime later. We’re definitely looking forward to that, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves! Part 1 is here now, so let’s explore this after waiting so long!
Under The Sea: ‘Sparkling’ MV
Chungha took a summer comeback route that is a bit different, but we absolutely love it. ‘Sparkling’ offers a retro sound paired with a sparkly, underwater-themed music video. You just have to see it for yourselves, so check it out here if you haven’t seen it yet:
First of all…can we just say that Chungha is absolutely stunning? Like, she’s always stunning, but this music video just proves how much of a visual she truly is. Chungha’s makeup artist needs a raise because that eye makeup is perfect. We have to say that we adore the mermaid concept of this as well, it fits her so much! Move out of the way, Ariel, Chungha is the new princess of the seven seas. The color scheme of pastels, made the music video bright but also soft, which was very easy on the eyes. 10 out of 10, Chungha!
As for the track itself, ‘Sparkling’ is—as mentioned before—a retro, 80’s pop-inspired bop. Of course, Chungha sounds absolutely beautiful, her vocals did not disappoint. Those high notes were flawless and the self-harmonization was the perfect touch to that last chorus. The song is about meeting new love and all the new feelings that come with that. It can make you feel bubbly…or sparkly! This track screams beach trip or even an amusement park outing. Additionally, we will be trying out this choreo because it looks so much fun! Put this on your summer playlists, everyone.
Bare&Rare: The B-Sides
Now let’s see what little treasures Chungha has hidden in her trove…each one of them is vastly unique so we’ll have to observe carefully.
First is ‘XXXX,’ which comes before ‘Sparkling.’ We’d just like to say that going from ‘XXXX’ to ‘Sparkling’ is a trip, considering how vastly different they are sonically. ‘XXXX’ is a rather dark-sounding track, and feels almost like an introduction to a villainous or powerful character…but we love it. Seriously, there is something about this song that we just can’t get enough of. We’d also like to make a note that Chungha starts off this album by swearing, which is a bit of a surprise! And she raps too; this track has everything we could ever want. It seems to be a message about feeling herself, shining brightly, and asking haters to bring it on because she’s a fighter. Go off, queen!
As the third track on the album, ‘Louder’ continues the more bright atmosphere that ‘Sparkling’ provided. This song has a more playful feel, almost as though it might appeal to a child. Interestingly, the lyrics sound almost like Chungha is singing to children, with messages of hope and encouragement for the future. She even sings with a choir of kids at the end of the song, which is super cute. Was it intentional for the vibe of the song to match the lyrics, then? Hmmm… if so, that’s quite clever. Overall, we love the message that ‘Louder’ has to offer.
‘Crazy Like You (Feat. BIBI)’
The fourth track is the only one to have a featured artist, it’s BIBI (a pleasantly unexpected pair). Both ladies did superb if we do say so ourselves. By the way, Chungha swears again on this song, which is kind of nuts. This song is definitely a bit more on the mature side, but it’s proof that Chungha has range and is exploring the bounds of her artistry. The lyrics clearly signify that Chungha wants to be ‘Crazy Like You,’ but who is the “you?” Clearly, someone did something to her based on her first verse. Lastly, we wanted to mention her high note because that was legendary. What a slay 😎.
And now we make a trip back to the year 2010 with ‘California Dream.’ Please tell us you get it…this just sounds like bop from 2010/2011, right? We don’t know about you, but this reminded us of Katy Perry’s ‘Teenage Dream.’ The nostalgia is real with this one. This is a summer song, but in a different way than that of ‘Sparkling.’ This is meant for driving around Hollywood with your besties and hitting the beach later on in the evening. Yet, we also love the romance that Chungha mentions because a whirlwind Hollywood romance can be thrilling in the best ways. Overall, this song is perfect, and you can’t convince us otherwise. Now, someone please get Chungha to California!
‘Good Night My Princess’
Ah yes, we have reached the ballad of the album, ‘Good Night My Princess.’ Chungha penned this one about her childhood, and her mother, who raised the singer by herself in the United States. This song holds a lot of emotion, showcased by the lyrics and Chungha’s word choice. Did we cry? Maybe…maybe not. But we will admit this got us in our feels. Of course, her vocals were incredible in the last chorus with the adlibs, self-harmonization, and brief high notes. Permission to give Chungha a hug, please!
‘Love Me Out Loud’
‘Love Me Out Loud’ is actually a song for Chungha’s fans, Byulharangs! Specifically, it’s dedicated to all the fans that she wasn’t able to meet during the pandemic 😢. The song itself isn’t super high energy, but we could see this being a lively festival performance with everyone singing along. It’s a dance track…but a chill dance track. There also seems to be something nostalgic about ‘Love Me Out Loud’ in that it feels like it would have been released in the early 2010s. We really love how Chungha is exploring different eras of music with this album! Overall, we love this track for its dedication to Byulharangs, and we hope that she gets to see them soon!
To finish off the album, we have ‘Nuh-Uh,’ which deviates from the lighter, more pop sound into something unique. The song is a call-out to people who try to copy Chungha, and how she is “the real one” and “a masterpiece.” She’s absolutely right about that! There’s only one Chungha, and she’s a star. One lyric we noticed right off the bat was, “Making you stop, making you stare/‘Cause you know I’m rare” which seems to allude to the title of the album: Bare&Rare. Instrumentally, the flute is hard to miss, along with a deep bass line throughout the chorus. She also plays a bit with her vocals in ‘Nuh-Uh,’ which was fun to listen to. This serves as a warning to all copycats of Chungha’s…knock it off!
Onto Part 2
That concludes Part 1 of Bare&Rare! What a masterpiece of an album! If you hadn’t noticed, there seemed to be a consistent theme of “shining” throughout each song, along with motifs of ”light” and being bright. We wonder if this is intentional and if it will play a part in the next album. Did we give you something to think about? Did you see that too?
Okay, Byulharangs! Now you can tell us all your raving thoughts about Bare&Rare, like what your favorite tracks are and what b-sides you’d love to see Chungha perform! Give us all the deets! You can do so in the comments or on Twitter at @TheHoneyPop, Instagram, or Facebook! Now…we wait for Bare&Rare Pt. 2…
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