SUNMI - Siren
It's been nearly a full eight months since we last saw SUNMI when she dropped "Heroine" back in January earlier this year. All of the controversies surrounding that song aside, I personally really enjoyed "Heroine" and even though it wasn't as good as "Gashina" to me, I thought the artistic atmosphere was something that absolutely screamed SUNMI. "Siren" sounded pretty interesting from the teaser, and conceptually looked like something new and interesting.
Right off the bat, let me say that this is easily one of the most addictive tracks that I've heard all year. If this track isn't for you on your first listen, give it some time, because I have a real feeling that this is going to be something that people find themselves being drawn back to constantly, which is eerily on point for the concept of this comeback being a siren. If this is anything akin to what sailors heard that heralded them to their deaths, it's no wonder that they were lured in.
Additionally, let me state that the fact that this song plays on both types of sirens (alarms and the mythological creatures) is clever and done in a way that isn't blatantly over the top and in your face. It's just a quick sound bite in the song to signify shifts in a fun way and it works out beautifully.
If it wasn't already obvious at this point, I'm in love with this track. The combinations of synth pulses, nonstop upbeat drum patterns, irresistibly charming "lalala" hooks, and impeccably-delivered vocals are meld together into a fun track that's hard not to bob your head to and sing along with, even on your first listen. SUNMI's undeniable charisma is oozing everywhere in this track and while the song diverges from the more artistic side of her previous endeavors, it pulls into a territory that falls somewhere between comfortable for her while also being new and fresh.
My only real issue with this song is the bridge. The harsh shift just felt kind of unwarranted to me, and it broke up the flow in a way that didn't seem to add much to the song besides edge that I don't really think was necessary. It felt like an inclusion simply to cash in on the current trends, and not only am I personally sick of it already, I just don't think the cohesion between that piece and the rest of the song was there.
On the video side of things, there is no way to start this part of the review without mentioning how unbelievably gorgeous SUNMI looks in this video. Seriously, I've never seen anybody aging so damn gracefully and owning their maturity with this much confidence.
Remnants of "Gashina" litter this video with the dramatic shifts in facial expressions, but it never feels like she's pulling back to try and re-cash in on that song's success, rather just paying a little homage. The video is also marked with her classic and staple combination of seriousness and silliness, and while it should be tiresome at this point, I couldn't find myself doing anything but smiling and giggling throughout this music video.
Symbolically there does seem to be a lot to gleam from this one, yet again. It starts off with SUNMI admiring herself in a mirror before a loud siren goes off with a flash of red, and then the weirdness begins. We pan over to an incarnation of SUNMI pulling herself out of a tub of water, which can easily be seen as SUNMI pulling herself out from drowning under the controversies she suffered from her previous comeback, though the water could also represent a host of other issues that she feels have been pulling her down. Anyway, this incarnation then walks out to current SUNMI, who is shocked by her at first, running away from her and even making a face like she wants to throw up.
SUNMI then proceeds to run away from herself, which should hold and obvious meaning. She opens the door on two other copies of herself, which I think might correspond to Gashina and Heroine individually, and then she runs away yet again only to stumble upon a new iteration behind door number three. One which captivates her and teaches her to break out of the cage that she was symbolically and literally inside of during the video. The rose that we see her staring intriguingly at a rose budding inside of a cage is just a physical manifestation of herself. The most notable attribute about it, at least to me, is that it doesn't seem to be even attempting to grow past the boundaries set upon it. This is likely a metaphor for SUNMI feeling like she was boxed into a certain ideal, and how she felt like she had to be prim and perfect within that cage.
However, we see over the course of the video that SUNMI begins to accept all of these aspects of herself, and that the cage is only holding her back. At certain parts she is seen dancing outside of it, and it seems that she's broken free of whatever it was that was keeping her inside of it. And then by the end of the video, we see SUNMI flick the red lights on herself this time, only to have nothing happen. This seems to be a message that all of those incarnations were indeed just herself, and that she's learned to control them instead of just having them jump out on their own. She's comfortable with who she is and how she is, and it's a really great message overall.
"Siren" is absolutely another fantastic track from SUNMI. The magnetism of SUNMI's bold and spirited personality is on full display here and it's absolutely gorgeous. I'm going to have to recommend this one to everybody, just as I do all of SUNMI's solo tracks. I have no doubt that this song will chart well and be another success that cements her solo career even further.