[Digital Single] SISTAR – One More Day

One More Day is the fourth digital single released by SISTAR. It is a special collaboration with famous disco producer, Giorgio Moroder.

onemoreday
Released: November 22, 2016
1. One More Day
2. One More Day (TAK Remix)
3. One More Day (Instrumental)
4. One More Day (TAK Remix) (Instrumental)

I really love a lot of the music that Giorgio Moroder made for Donna Summer, so I had high expectations for this song when it was first teased. Fortunately, the song is stellar and it is easily one of SISTAR’s strongest offerings. One More Day has a pulsating beat that runs throughout the song and while it starts off in a slower way, once the chorus comes, things start to pick up. The song is a bit repetitive, but there is something just so compelling about the melody and it is still able to worm its way through to my mind. I especially love how the “One More Day” hook plays out. The TAK Remix of the song is an interesting update and makes things a bit more contemporary as it brings a stronger EDM influence. I do like it, but I do wish the music after the chorus hit a little bit harder.

Overall: This is a strong digital release by the group and one of their best songs. It is a nice blend of old and new and despite the fact the song is more dramatic and slower in its delivery, everything is still fresh. Hyolyn especially shines throughout this song.

A+

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[Mini-Album] SISTAR – Insane Love

Insane Love is the fourth mini-album released by SISTAR. I Like That was used as the promo song.

ilikethat
Released: June 21, 2016
1. I Like That
2. String (끈)
3. Say Yes (해볼래)
4. Yeah Yeah
5. Say I Love You
6. My Sad Lullaby (이불 덮고 들어)
7. I Like That (Instrumental)

I Like That changes up the summer formula by bringing something a bit darker. It reminds me more of Give It To Me than it does of Touch My Body and I love it. It’s still fast-paced and extremely catchy. The song just has so many intense and calm moments that it really feels like a rollercoaster. Hyorin does sound a hoarse here, but she still kills it. I just wish Bora’s rap was a bit longer because it is a nice break from the intensity of things. This is one of their best songs. String is a disco-pop tune and I love that the girls are trying something a bit different. I don’t think the hooks are as memorable as the last song as the chorus is a bit empty sounding and focuses on repetition, but the music is awesome. The second half of the song has a nice bassline come popping in which gives the song that extra push. It’s a fun tune! Say Yes is a laid back pop tune and it sounds a bit more outdated, like something from 2010. It’s a sweet tune though and the girls all sound nice. I just wish the melody was a bit stronger as it reminds me of “If U Want”, which is a favourite of mine. Unfortunately, the music sort of overpowers the melody and it comes off a bit weak in its delivery. Yeah Yeah is a funky uptempo pop tune. It is definitely the “summer” song of the mini because it has those explosive brass instruments that remind me of their other summer tunes. Unfortunately, the melody just isn’t as strong. It just doesn’t fit the energy of the music. There are some catchy parts like the hook in the second half of the chorus and the nice build-up to the chorus, but the chorus is a bit of a letdown. Say I Love You is a midtempo pop/R&B tune with some neo-soul elements. I like the music and the girls totally know how to work their vocals to match the song. I don’t like the rapping here though because it comes off a bit dead and lackluster. Luckily, the vocal parts are better. The melody isn’t the strongest, but it is relaxing and works nicely with the music. My Sad Lullaby is another R&B tune, but this time with a stronger soul influence. I love the intensity of the song and it works nicely with the powerful beat. Hyorin especially sounds great and her powerful vocals work perfectly here. I do wish the melody was stronger though as it doesn’t have any strong hooks. I was expecting a bit more for the chorus.

Overall: This mini starts off strong, but I feel like the melodies start to falter by the third song. The music in a lot of the songs is quite strong, but the melodies are just empty or flat. I know the group has the capabilities of bringing some amazing B-sides (String was decent), so I was a bit disappointed there was nothing like If U Want or But I Love U.

B

[Mini-Album] SISTAR – SHAKE IT

SHAKE IT is the third mini-album released by SISTAR. The title track was used as the promotional song.

shakeit
Released: June 22, 2015
1. SHAKE IT
2. Don’t Be Such a Baby (애처럼 굴지마)
3. GOOD TIME
4. Bad Guy (나쁜놈)
5. GO UP

SHAKE IT continues the summer vibe that the girls had been releasing since 2012 and it’s another bright pop tune like Touch my body. The song focuses a lot on the horns and an explosive beat. The melody works really well with the instrumental. The verses are weave around with the background vocals, while the build up to the chorus features a fun “nanana” hook. The chorus is the highlight with its low start that breaks into the higher and brighter second half. It also plays well with the girls vocal textures. It’s just an overall solid summer tune. Don’t Be Such a Baby slows things down with a sensual midtempo R&B tune. I love the beat and it keeps the song floating a long. The girls sound nice, but their vocals just sit on top of the melody and I would have liked it if the song was lower and the girls were really bringing a chestier sound. The song is catchy, but I don’t think the melody is as memorable as I would hope. It’s that kind of laid back coffee shop kind of sound (and features a nice rap from Giriboy). GOOD TIME is an interest twist and has a really odd beat to it. It has a fun summer vibe to it that works well with the rest of the mini, but I don’t think the overall delivery is as pristine as I would want it. The hooks are a bit annoying and the production just sounds really rough. The vocals don’t blend very well with the overpowering beat and come off a bit screechy. It’s a bit weak. Bad Guy is the only ballad on the mini and comes with a feature from rapper Mad Clown. It has a light R&B feel to it that gives it a bit of energy, but it’s the powerful chorus that really makes the song a highlight. Hyorin really owns the melody here and it’s quite gorgeous. She really brings the right emotion into the song and it’s only elevated by that pause right before the drop into the chorus. I think this should have been a solo Hyorin song with Mad Clown though. Go Up is a pop song with a slight rock feel to it. It’s really generic in its delivery. It’s not as messy as GOOD TIME, but it certainly feels like the type of song that just gets lost in a discography. I do like the riffs and vocal arrangement in the verses, but the chorus is just entirely average in its execution. Not a song I would revisit.

Overall: This mini-album is a bit of a step down from their last mini (not the remix one). There were some great songs, particularly the title track and the ballad, but the rest were either messy or forgettable. These are the kinds of songs that would be heard on their first few releases, not in their fifth year.

B

[Mini-Album] SISTAR – Sweet and Sour

Sweet and Sour is the second special album released by SISTAR. It included two new songs and four remixes. I Swear was used as the promotional single.

sweetandsour
Released: August 26, 2014
1. I Swear
2. Hold On Tight
3. Loving U (House Rulez Remix)
4. Touch My Body (Glen Check Remix)
5. Give It to Me (Reno Remix)
6. Gone Not Around Any Longer (Smells Remix) (있다 없으니까)

The mini opens with I Swear, which continues the summer sound that SISTAR was well known for. Instead of following the brighter sound of Touch My Body, I Swear takes us back to the Loving U feel and its more nostalgic end of summer sound. It features a nice underlay of synths and fast-paced beat, but the highlight of the music is definitely that touch of brass in the chorus. It really helps propel the more sung out chorus. It’s a catchy tune in general and is definitely something that easily gets stuck in your head with its sweet lyrics. Sometimes gets a bit lost in between the group’s summer tunes, but it’s a good followup to Touch My Body. Hold On Tight continues the summer feel, but this time with something a bit more midtempo. It definitely has that nostalgic end of the summer kind of sound and this works well with the R&B elements. The music has some fun qualities with its more bouncy sound and mix of the heavy beat and brass. Unfortunately, I do find the song to be a bit forgettable in the long run. A decent B-side, but nothing that really shines. Touch My Body (Glen Check Remix) is a cool remix and really hearkens back to the 90’s house sound. I quite like it, but this is the type of song that works well in the club. It is a bit of a drag to get through cause there is really no vocal part except for the title being repeated.  Unfortunately, I’m not a fan of the Loving U (House Rulez Remix). It has a cool beat, but the song is just really forgettable and I don’t think the melody works well with the music. It’s a weird mash. Give It To Me (Reno Remix) is a bit better because we actually get some of the vocal parts in here. Unfortunately, I’m not a big fan of these kinds of remixes. It’s a bit empty for me. Gone Not Around Any Longer (Smells Remix) is a cool change from the original. Probably the strongest of the remixes with its change to something more bare.

Overall: I love the promotional song and it is one of my favourite SISTAR songs. However, the rest of the mini is just forgettable. Unlike their last special album, the remixes were just boring this time around and did nothing to enhance the originals or bring something new.

C-

[Mini-Album] SISTAR – TOUCH & MOVE

TOUCH & MOVE is the second mini-album released by SISTAR. Touch my body was used as the promotional song.

touch&move
Released: July 21, 2014
1. WOW
2. Touch my body [MV]
3. Naughty Hands (나쁜손)
4. But I Love U
5. OK GO!
6. Sunshine

The mini opens with an intro, WOW. It’s a nice midtempo, summery R&B tune. I think it would’ve been great if it was transformed into a full song. It does a good job transitioning right into the upbeat summer song, Touch my body. It takes aspects from their last summer tune, Loving U, but brings us something a little less nostalgic and more lighthearted. The music is nice and relies heavily on the cool saxophone to bring a bit of edge to the music. What is stellar is the great melody. The chorus is the highlight with its catchy hooks, but the verses are even memorable. It’s a sparkling summer tune and fits the season perfectly. Makes you want to hang at the pool. Maybe we didn’t get the nice R&B tune with the intro, but luckily Naughty Hands got us covered (hahaha). It’s a relaxing R&B tune. I don’t think the music doesn’t particularly stand out, but there is some nice bass to it. The melody is quite good though and the chorus is catchy. The rap by Verbal Jint is also a really nice touch and fits with the song perfectly. Great. But I Love U starts off with a gorgeous piano refrain before getting some power with the percussion and synths. The song is really dependent on the heavy percussion, but it is really nice to hear this change as many songs tend to keep it in the background. The melody doesn’t falter either. The chorus is sad, but still quite catchy. I especially love the hook where the title is sung. This is definitely one of SISTAR’s strongest album tracks. OK GO! opens with some annoying adlibbing before hitting us with a heavy beat. I like the song brings us something a bit more dance-focused, but I’m not totally buying this song. I think the beat is a bit generic and the melody isn’t quite as catchy. It seems to be just a bunch of weak hooks strung together into a chorus, but it leaves very little impact. Probably the weakest on the mini. I thought Sunshine was going to be another ballad, but it has a nice upbeat pop sound. I really matches the title with its soaring chorus. The best part is the music, which has a great bass line as well some cool synths and strong percussion. The melody is refreshing and seems much more streamlined and thought-out compared to the last song. I do find the transition for the final chorus a bit jarring though.

Overall: This was a great mini-album and really captures the sound of summer. Most of the songs were quite strong and three are among SISTAR’s strongest. I do like that OK GO! brings a bit of variety, but I feel like the execution could have been much better. It’s not bad, but could be improved on. Everything else was great though.

A

[Album] SISTAR – Give It to Me

Give It to Me is the second album released by recently disbanded girl group, SISTAR. The title track was used as the promotional song.

giveittome
Released: June 11, 2013
1. Miss Sistar
2. Give It to Me [MV]
3. The Way You Make Me Melt (넌 너무 야해)
4. Bad Boy (바빠)
5. Summer Time
6. A Week (일주일)
7. Crying
8. Hey, You
9. If U Want
10. Up And Down (핑글, 핑글)
11. Give It to Me (Inst.)

Miss Sistar is a funky intro and features Duble Sidekick and Jooheon. I love the disco sound of this song and it is really a great start to the album. It is upbeat and makes you want to dance. Give It to Me follows along the same vein of Alone, in that it has a darker and sexier feel to it. With that said, I think it is much more upbeat. The beat is much faster and there is a stronger array of synths that flash by. At first, I wasn’t feeling this song, but it has grown on me considerably. I love the strings and they really work well with the yearning in the chorus. My favourite part is when Bora comes in with the rap and the song hits the gentle middle 8, which blasts into the last chorus. It’s powerful. The Way You Make Me Melt really changes things a lot. I’m not totally sure about this transition since we are given a midtempo acoustic pop tune. I do like the rap by Geeks and it really works well with the relaxing vibe of the song. I do feel like the vocals are a little odd though as they have some weird distortion to them that sort of takes away from the more natural feeling of the song. The melody is also nice, but a bit dull at times. Bad Boy is a fun pop tune with some nice dance qualities to it. I like how it has this soaring quality to it, but I just cannot get behind how repetitive it sounds. The repeated title is actually a bit more annoying. I also wish the chorus had a bit more energy to it because I feel like the melody has potential to be a bit more like their summer songs than this more generic pop sound. I feel like Summer Time sort of continues the sound of the last song, but with a stronger EDM sound. I do not like the autotune in the vocals, which I feel doesn’t entirely work with this song. The melody isn’t that bad and has some nice hooks and I like how it builds up with energy in the prechorus. However, I wish there was a stronger chorus as it is a bit of a let down when it actually comes. Also, it sounds a bit outdated and seems more like something in 2010 than 2013. Probably the strongest album track up to this point, A Week is a midtempo pop/R&B tune. I like the beat and the song is really catchy. I just wish the girl’s vocals weren’t distorted. I don’t know what’s wrong with this album, but the song would sound a lot better if the girls didn’t have weird layers on their vocals. I actually really enjoy the rap by Bora here though and it fits into the song more comfortably. A solid pop tune. Crying is the first ballad on the album and it brings us a slow R&B song. I love the heavy beat as well as the gorgeous touch of piano in the background. I like how the song sounds really relaxing in the verses but brings up the energy in the chorus. The belting is quite nice to hear and the girls sound good. One of the stronger songs on the album. Hey You starts off as a pretty sweet sounding song. I love the energy and the cool 80’s vibe of the beat. The music sounds really awesome and works really well with the rap-singing style of the verses. However, the chorus goes into total pop zone and I don’t quite like its “cuter” style. I feel like the chorus could have come off much stronger. Oh I really enjoy If U Want and I think it is the strongest album track. It is a bit more generic in its sound with its midtempo pop/R&B vibes, but the execution is just so much better than some of the other songs. The best part is definitely the chorus with its 90’s styled chorus. Something that fits perfectly to my tastes. I love the relaxed nature of the song and there is just something super charming about the overall delivery. I actually would have preferred it to have ended the album instead of Up And Down. This one has a stronger 80’s vibe to it as well, but with a beach flavour added to it. I do like the use of the background vocals during the verses and there are some cool parts to the song. The first part of the chorus is quite catchy, but I feel like the melody sort of dies off when it hits the second half of it. I feel like the energy needs to keep going up, but it kills the momentum a bit. It’s a decent tune, but a bit of a letdown.

Overall: I feel like this album just sticks in the average zone. There are some really nice highlights such as the title track and If U Want, but everything else just felt like it could’ve been more. One major problem I had with the album was the odd layering and distortion done to the voices. I feel like a lot of the sounds used in the album were a bit outdated and seemed more from 2009 or 2010 than 2013. It was a OK album, but a bit disappointing considering their first album was quite strong.

B

[Single] SISTAR19 – Gone Not Around Any Longer

Gone Not Around Any Longer is the first single by SISTAR’s subunit, SISTAR19. The title track was used as the promotional song.

gonenotaroundanylonger
Released: January 31, 2013
1. SISTAR19
2. Gone Not Around Any Longer (있다 없으니까) [MV]
3. A Girl in Love (나도 여자인데)
4. MA BOY [MV]
5. Gone Not Around Any Longer (Inst.)

The single opens with the intro, SISTAR19. It’s really just a some guitar and some adlibs by Hyorin. I don’t think it’s that interesting, but it does flow right into the title track. Gone Not Around Any Longer is quite calming and sounds sadder than the usual material by SISTAR. The dark R&B sound really works well with Hyorin’s voice and I love the mix of piano and saxophone refrain. Bora’s rap is also decent, but it goes by really quickly and doesn’t really leave much impact. I don’t think it’s my favourite title track from SISTAR, but it’s a good listen and provides a bit of variety. A Girl in Love is much more lighthearted and a cute pop tune. At first, I thought the song was really generic and dull, but there are some fun parts to the song. I really enjoy the R&B-lite sound it has and it works really well with the girls. Also, we get to hear a bit more of Bora singing and she actually sounds decent here, although everything is dominated by Hyorin. I do think the song’s verses are a tad long so it does make the song feel a bit long, but a good tune overall. MA BOY was released as a digital single earlier and keeps the light-hearted sound. I still love this song and it is one of my favourite SISTAR-related songs. It’s so catchy and doesn’t feel overtly flashy. Its simplicity is what really helps it standout.

Overall: SISTAR19’s first single was a really strong release. All three songs on here were had R&B elements, but they each brought a different flavour to it. I really enjoyed the variety and it also helped to showcase the talent of Hyorin (Bora had some fun parts). It is unfortunate that this has been the last release from the subunit.

A+