SISTAR made their comeback on August 9th, with the release of their first full length album, So Cool, and the MV of its title track. Hyorin, Bora, Soyu, and Dasom are undoubtedly talented and look great in their comeback, but does So Cool as an album measure up?
So Cool features 12 tracks, 5 new songs and 7 previously released songs: 1. Let’s Get The Party Started (Intro), 2. So Cool, 3. Girls Do It, 4. Follow Me, 5. New World, 6. 약한 남자 싫 s어 (I Don’t Want A Weak Man), 7. 니까짓게 (How Dare You), 8. Over, 9. Oh Baby, 10. 가식걸 (Shady Girl), 11. Push Push, and 12. Ma boy (Special version). While I can’t fault them for having more re-released songs on the album than new songs because it’s a common thing in Kpop, I can say that I am disappointed that the new songs are weak with none even close in quality to their previous releases.
“Let’s Get The Party Started” is standard intro fare with an introduction by the Brave Brothers. “So Cool” is an electro-pop dance number with a strong synth beat, but the lyrics and vocals are disappointing from such a vocally talented group. I’m not saying that I want to see Hyorin belting it out on every song, but this song is forgettable. “Girls Do it” has a strong funky electronic beat and features Bora’s rapping with the rest of the members coming in for the chorus. “Follow Me” changes it up a bit with a slightly syncopated beat, auto-tuned verses and a stronger, better sounding chorus. It’s more pop and less electronica with “New World” which also features probably the best vocals of all the new songs. It’s a throw up between “Follow Me” and “New World” as my favorite of their new releases not that I totally liked the songs, but they were better than the others. The problem with the new songs on SISTAR’s album is one that I have been noticing more and more recently in Kpop- the songs all kind of sound the same and start getting lost into each other after listening to them over and over again. There’s also something about Bora’s rapping on the new songs that I’m not feeling and some of the English lyrics would’ve been best left unsaid. None of the new songs measure up in quality to their past songs amongst which my faves are “How Dare You,” “Oh Baby,” “Push Push,” and “Ma Boy.”
The MV for “So Cool” features SISTAR in full girl power mode showing that the best way to get back at a tool of a boyfriend is to look fabulous and not give a damn about him. Check it out.
The girls look awesome, in my opinion the best yet for a comeback, and not because Soyu lost weight for it. Their styling in the MV is great and brings out each of the girls’ charm. Now what I didn’t like about the MV, other than the mediocre song, is the recycling of Teen Top‘s backdrop (their main dancing backdrop totally looks like one used by someone else- I think it was Teen Top), the disjointed storyline, and the choreography. SISTAR needs to be careful that their dancing isn’t just all hip thrusting and rolling and bending over- its starting to seem really one-note. I do think that the girls’ energy in the MV helped to make it better, I loved the scenes at the end of them doing hurdles in their dresses and sneakers, and of course a cameo by the ahjusshis of DJ DOC is always a plus.
I like SISTAR and appreciate that they’re aggressive and sexy in concept. I hope they don’t have to go the route of SECRET and do a 180° change in concept from sexy to cute to get the recognition they deserve. They will, however, need to put out better quality songs than this new crop to continue to climb up the Kpop ranks. No disrespect to the Brave Brothers who have produced some great songs, but Starship Entertainment might want to look into some different songwriters for SISTAR, diversity is always a good thing.