Boy today is packed with comebacks isn’t it? If memory serves me right, we’ve got a grand total of nearly five acts coming back today?! That’s probably the most I’ve ever seen! And for once, the soloists outnumber the groups. And while I have my own personal biases, I would be lying if I said the Hwasa’s Maria isn’t the most universally anticipated comeback of the day. But in typical 2020 fashion, massive hype doesn’t always correlate to equally great quality.
Saying that, there’s much to like about Maria. For one, Hwasa is a wonderfully charismatic performer. She alone can elevate almost any track and Maria is no exception. Like last years addictive Twit, above anything else Maria is a great showcase for Hwasa the performer. Her magnetic and instantly engaging personality is all over the track and that alone makes it worthy of mention. Her deep, almost sultry tone is very pleasing to the ear and that makes Maria‘s more vocal driven portions incredibly engaging. The verses, while supported by a trap backbone, are enjoyable. The reoccurring synth line is an enjoyable addition but is a little to buried in the mix for my liking. And most of the track feels unnecessarily trendy, it is definitely quite catchy.
But the thing is, this just isn’t my kind of song. I know Maria will win many admirers but it’s musical choices just aren’t for me. While Sunmi’s comeback was pretty much tailor made for me, Maria‘s downbeat trap laced arrangement is something that I’m pretty much allergic to. Given a slight instrumental and tonal makeover, I could easily see myself loving the track. The songs final minute for example omits its much of its trap influence for a wonder latin inspired dance break and grandiose bridge. Had more of the track been in the same vein, I probably would have personally found it much more enjoyable.
Final Rating: 7.5 / 10