Mamamoo’s Vocal Analysis: Solar

Vocal Range

E3 – G#6 (3 Octaves and 2 notes)

Supported Range

A3 – C#5

Voice Type

Soprano

Strengths/Achievements

  • Able to support down to A3
  • Resonance is very consistent up to C#5
  • Often sings with a lifted soft palate
  • Ear for harmony and pitch
  • Able to transition into falsetto without problems

Points for Improvement

  • Mix is fairly unrelaxed, causing her to push from C5 up
  • Belts with a chesty mix
  • Notes above C#5 are achieved with a high larynx
  • Runs often lack pitch separation and accuracy
  • Notes below A3 become unsupported, often with a low larynx
  • Sings with an overly airy falsetto
  • Belts above D5/Eb5 sound fairly yelled due to pushing and air pressure

Registers

  • Lower register: Able to support down to A3. Below that, notes become airy and muffled with a low larynx.
  • Mixed register: Sings with a unrelaxed, chesty mix. Despite this, very consistent up to C#5 with a pushed resonance. Notes above this are strained with a high larynx and a large amount of pushing.
  • Upper register: An overly airy falsetto that is rarely explored.

Agility

Solar is a person who often likes to add runs in her performances, however she lacks both pitch accuracy and the ability to separate the notes causing her to sound like she is sliding through notes with no actual control of where she will go, such as the runs in “The Way To Sampo“, and the run up to F5 in “Save Me From Myself“. The main issue with her runs is that the musical idea often feels lost in the overall delivery of her runs and it almost feels like the notes are sung at random, without a clean direction.

Overall analysis

The main vocalist of the rookie group Mamamoo, Solar has already been compared to the likes of Ailee, Hyorin, and Taeyeon. Often praised for being a highly skilled vocal group, with the exception of their rapper Moonbyul, Mamamoo is potentially one of the most well balanced female groups in the K-pop industry right now. Not only do all the members show a higher skill level than most other idols, the average skill level for each vocalist is very close together as well, allowing for a better overall vocal balance as a vocal unit.

Despite being used frequently, Solar’s lower register loses support below A3 such as in the G#3s in “The Way To Sampo“, her G3s in Mr. Ambiguous, her F#3s in “Delilah” and “Passion Flower“, the F3’s in “Love Is You” and “Wait A Minute“, and her E3 in “Save Me From Myself“, where her tone tends to either become airier or just muffled due to her lowering her larynx, which creates an artificial approach to more challenging low notes. She has shown that she is able to support A3 and above such as the A3s in her performances on King Of Masked Singer, “I Will Give You All My Love“, and the Bb3s in “Already One Year” and her cover of “You Know I’m No Good” by Amy Winehouse, where her voice is more in its natural tone and color without pushing her larynx down. Projection and chest resonance still are areas where she could improve, in her lower range.

Her most used register and most developed by far, Solar’s mix is very consistent up to C#5. Her mix is mostly pretty chest-dominant and with a very strong, loud and powerful sound with openness in the upper fourth octave, producing consistent resonance such as the Bb4’s in “Already One Year” and “Flying Into The Night Sky“, and the B4’s in “I Will Give You All My Love“. Despite this, her mix is overly chesty, very pushed, and her resonance in the fifth octave is never relaxed, such as the C5s in “My Everything” and “Wait A Minute“, and C#5 in “My Everything“, “Passion Flower“, “Mr. Ambiguous” and “No No No”. Above this, her larynx raises and the air pressure from the pushing causes her to sound extremely squeezed and forced, such as in her D5’s in “Wash Away” and “Sting“, her C#5 – Eb5 slide in “Passion Flower“, her Eb5’s in “Delilah” and in “My Everything“, the D5 – F5 slide in “Flying Into The Night Sky“, the F5 in “Wait A Minute“, the sustained E5 – F#5s in “The Way To Sampo” and the F#5’s in “Backwoods” and “Wait A Minute“.

Her upper register is an overly airy falsetto that is only relaxed until about Eb5. Most of the time she is able to transition with relative ease into her falsetto register, which shows more tone and clarity than her lower range and isn’t too raspy, as heard in “I Will Always Love You“, “Wait A Minute” and “Flying Into The Night Sky“. Nonetheless she’s never shown the ability to use a well connected and resonant head voice. Above Eb5 notes become shrill and tight, showing a lack of development and control in the upper extremes of this register. Her highest note is G#6.

The strength and weakness of the vocal unit formed by the three vocalists in Mamamoo is how close together in skill they are. Every single member of Mamamoo shares very similar supported ranges, very similar vocal issues and very similar skills. All of the members use pushed resonance, too much air pressure, chest-dominant mixed voices. All of them lower their larynxes below A3/G#3 and generally are unable to use connected head voices. Whoever taught the members, taught them well enough to have them match one another vocally but also created issues that are hard to reverse. For future improvements, every member should be able to balance their mixed voices better with more head voice and learn to control the amount of air necessary to truly create a balanced tone with more relaxed resonance. As a vocal unit, they’ve shown great vocal skill as rookies and for their young age, as long as their issues are addressed early on, they should be able to improve well over the years.

Musicianship

As seen in Mamamoo’s Immortal Song 2 performances, Solar has a good ear for pitch and harmony. Often, Solar’s main purpose in each performance is the role of the “power house” and usually Solar is the one handles the climax of each performance as well as sings the top harmony, both of which tie the performance together.

Label (Type of Vocalist)

MB Vocalists: Mid-Range Belters

Vocal Range Video(s)

Video by: Hawaiipups and kpopvocalists

Best Vocal Performance(s)

Analyzed by Haruko & Ahmin

152 thoughts on “Mamamoo’s Vocal Analysis: Solar

  1. Hello! Thank you for the analysis on the three Mamamoo vocalists. By reading all the comments, I’ve noticed that there hasn’t been much improvement (if any) on the girls’ technique since their debut. I wonder if that is a concern or if that’s fine, maybe in comparison to how kpop vocalists usually develop their technique over time? I’m sorry if this is too broad of a question but thank you if you have the time to answer ^^

    Like

    1. Oh actually! First hello lol no that’s a common thing, most singers everywhere stay more or less stagnant throughout their whole careers, regardless of nationality.

      Like

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