gugudan SEMINA - Jealous
gugudan SEMINA is the second subunit to come out from the nine-member girl group gugudan. This unit consists of Sejeong, Mina, and Nayoung, the three members that drew in a lot of popularity from the reality show Produce 101. gugudan's first subunit, OGUOGU, was actually a blast last year, so to have a new subunit debuting at about the same time this year was really exciting to hear. While I do wish that the unit included a different member for the lineup, I understand exactly why these three were chosen, and I respect it.
"Jealous" is like a sassier, more summer-ized cousin to MAMAMOO's "Mr. Ambiguous." The progression of the trumpet is even incredibly similar, though I'm not trying to suggest plagiarism. Similarly to how I found OGUOGU's song to be a great change of pace from gugudan's concepts and styles, this subunit excels in bringing something fresh and new to the table without treading on what could have been the full group's newfound identity. We finally got a lengthy showing of the vocal capabilities of both Nayoung and Sejeong, both of which have been either downplayed or limited in gugudan's current list of tracks. ("The Boots" was a better display, but still not even close to what we got here.)
In terms of negatives, Mina's raps were a little awkward in terms of pacing. I felt they broke up the flow a little too harshly, though that's honestly just a staple of raps in K-pop so it's not the biggest deal breaker. I did feel like the verses were a little lacking in terms of memorable parts, but the chorus seems to be enough to make up for what's missing. Other than that, I really didn't take issue with much else. The bridge had a solid escalating progression, the instrumentals were funky and fun, the vocals were powerful and compelling, and overall it's just a great song to fit in with summer. Is it my favorite song of the summer? Not by any means. But it is something I can see myself coming back to and/or getting stuck in my head randomly.
Alright I'm just going to get this out of the way really quick - holy crap Sejeong looks insane here. Whoever the stylist is, give them at least five raises. Mina and Nayoung look great, too, but Sejeong just steals the show for me. This video, like all summer videos should be, is packed with vibrant colors and images of all the typical things you'd expect like pools, incredibly healthy vegetation, etc. There's some parts of this video that throw in some oddities that make the vibe feel a bit more quirky, but more than anything this video does seem to be about your standard fare summer fun.
The dance seemed a little stiff in my opinion, but perhaps it was just the locales because it did seem like they were cramped in the parts I'm referring to. The outfit choices were hit and miss for me. Some of them were amazing like Sejeong in that red jacket or Mina in the pink top and glitter beret, but others were just average outfits that felt kind of forgettable. Hopefully the live stages get a little more creative and fun with the outfits, because I'd love to see more variety than what we got in the music video. Apart from that, I guess there may have been some I.O.I references packed in here, though I don't feel comfortable enough to state that factually. Them playing tennis being a callback to "Very Very Very" is a bit of a stretch, but who knows.
Overall the video doesn't do too much for me apart from the silly moments that are packed throughout. It's a pretty overused theme of letting go of stress and just having a good time, but as I've said in the past, that's something that people don't actually do enough so I'm all for it.
gugudan SEMINA brings out a new, different vibe than what we've gotten in the past from the main group or the other subunit. The song is a great fit for the summer, keeping up with the happy and upbeat nature of the season. The song really does remind me of the older stuff from MAMAMOO, so if you're a fan of their older works with the more orchestral feel, I'd recommend giving this one a listen.