[Digital Single] Hyolyn – I Find Love 2

“I Find Love 2” is the second digital single released by Hyolyn.


Released: January 19, 2012
1. I Choose to Love (널 사랑하겠어)

This is actually a cover of a Zoo song and was later included in SISTAR’s first mini-album, Alone. When I initially reviewed I Choose to Love five years ago, I felt it was quite boring. It has definitely grown on me a bit and I love its relaxing R&B sound that is driven by a beautiful piano line. The melody is a tad repetitive and I don’t think that quite works that well in this kind of ballad. I also wish Hyolyn went for a softer delivery because sometimes her voice doesn’t quite match the mood on the song. Not bad though.

Overall: This is a decent ballad. Nothing particularly bad, but it does get a bit too repetitive for my tastes. The music is quite beautiful though.


[Digital Single] SISTAR – Lonely

Lonely is the fifth digital single released by SISTAR. It was also their last release before their disbandment.


Released: May 31, 2017
1. Lonely
2. For You

As the group’s disbandment single, Lonely is the perfect way to go out. It doesn’t have the infectious brightness of their summery promo songs, nor the slick sexiness of their more mature tunes, but it does a great job of blending things together. It goes for the acoustic sound, but makes sure things are still upbeat, albeit a little more melancholic. The chorus is catchy and Hyorin’s voice absolutely dominates this song wonderfully. All the girls sound great though.

For You is a nice follow-up to the promo track as it is a pretty gentle R&B ballad. The group does well with their R&B songs, so this one really plays on their strengths. My only gripe is that the song doesn’t quite hit the spot in the chorus. There are some nice parts, but the melody doesn’t flow as well as I really want it to. The music is great though and I think Bora’s rap was actually my favourite part of the song.

Overall: This was a solid single to leave on. Both songs are good, although Lonely clearly soars above For You. I do wish For You just played a little more with the melody to really hit the sweet spot and deliver a gorgeous ballad, but it does have some really charming points to it. Lonely is a stellar tune and certainly one of the group’s strongest best songs.


[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.

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.


[Mini-Album] SISTAR – Insane Love

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

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.


[Mini-Album] SISTAR – SHAKE IT

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

Released: June 22, 2015
2. Don’t Be Such a Baby (애처럼 굴지마)
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.


[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.

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.


[Mini-Album] SISTAR – TOUCH & MOVE

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

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.