SISTAR -- INSANE LOVE
1. I Like That
3. Wanna Do It
4. Yeah Yeah
5. Say I Love You
6. Under the Blanket
7. I Like That (Inst.)
Over the past 6 years, SISTAR has established a reputation for solid, slick, accessible pop. Hyorin's voice alone has propelled her to diva status. Now, after a full year, SISTAR is back with 'Insane Love.' The music video for their title track "I Like That" reached 1 million views within 12 hours of its release and continues to increase. It's currently 5 million strong.
Horns are prominent on most of the tracks, which is a different sound for these girls. Usually with divergent sounds, producers try it on a single track and leave it at that. Here, horns suffuse the entire disc. Time will tell as to whether they keep the format. It's a nice change from synths.
"I Like That" kicks this disc off. Beat junkies don't have to wait long as the insistent horns and catchy hooks instantly get you dancing. This is actually one of the better songs they've done in a while. It's loud, repetitive, and insanely earwormy.
The funky disco on "String" is another atypical sound -- horn-heavy and stuffed to the gills with aural goodness. There's also some cute rapping by Bora. Even though it follows a powerful song like "I Like That," it's not a letdown in the least. It's got a strong groove that doesn't let up and contains echoes of early SISTAR favorites like "Push Push."
Written by Hyorin, I made a beeline for "Say I Love You." Surprisingly not a ballad (from my experience, most songs written by members are), this track actually gives Bora a larger part. Not only that, Dasom shares the rapping duties and does a capable job. Hyorin and Soyu lay some sweetness down and soften the whole thing. It's a soft, pretty song.
The rest of the EP has the pleasant, safe pop we're used to hearing -- and tightly-packed choruses and beautiful harmonies by Soyu and Dasom. Hyorin and Bora get all the attention, but the magic comes from all four of them. It has all the sweetness of a SISTAR disc, and there are some interesting stylistic choices, as well. While not all of the tracks are earworm material, at least you get an earful of pleasing pop.
I was hoping to, at last, have a SISTAR MV that I can watch on a commuter train without a fellow passenger looking over and mistaking it for porn. This video ain't it.
That being said, this is an enjoyable whirligig ride into what appears to be a gisaeng den that Dasom joins, but there's so much more to it. There's a bed of rose petals, a killer back tattoo, haircuts (dafuq?) and even fire-breathing. It's visually arresting, and not just because of the lovely ladies of SISTAR.
They do pull the annoying stunt of switching away from the dancing -- a lot. They're doing this way too much these days, and it does a disservice to the choreographers who set up their moves. Sometimes there are nuggets of genius in dance. Compare this to "Alone," for example.
Other than that, if you enjoy the song, check out this crazy MV!