They say the best revenge is success, and Sunmi's sexy debut single "24 Hours" (written and produced by J.Y. Park himself) is certainly succeeding, still holding strong near the top of the charts. "24 Hours" hits on many of the points that made Park Ji Yoon's 2000 classic "Coming of Age Ceremony" such a big deal. We've got the breathy vocals singing just-shy-of-scandalous lyrics over a sparse instrumental, an insanely catchy hook, and modern-dance-inspired choreography that somehow works within the context of a pop song. She's also got a signature short hairdo, an instantly recognizable costume, and you combine all that with a video that illustrates a distorted perception of reality. Come to think of it, that same formula could be partly applied to SISTAR's 2012 runaway hit "Alone" and Girl's Day's 2013 breakthrough with "Expectation", so it's no surprise that it's still a formula for success with "24 Hours".
The formula was also a great success for another girl-group-member-gone-solo, when Brown Eyed Girls' Ga In released "Irreversible" in 2010. Sunmi borrows heavily from Ga In's barefoot tango concept (even down to the long-sleeved leotard costume), and the cover of Sunmi's single appears to be a direct reference to Ga In's 'Talk About S' album cover. While some have criticized Sunmi's obvious influences (and the criticism is understandable since neither she nor her company have publicly owned up to them yet), but the references are so obvious that they read more like an homage than a rip-off.
Music-wise, "24 Hours" jacks the syncopated, driving beat from another one of JYP's great 2011 dark-dance-pop single, miss A's "Goodbye Baby". Like "Goodbye Baby", "24 Hours" gets off to a strong start with a short instrumental before launching straight into the chorus, and starts each line of the verses with rapid-fire lyrical delivery, followed by a more melodic prechorus and a mild call/response bit in the refrain. In place of the rock edge on "Goodbye Baby", "24 Hours" is much more electronic, and the obvious difference in lyrical content further separates the two songs.
Is "24 Hours" a rehash of a handful of older concepts? Absolutely- but that doesn't mean the song isn't great. If the formula isn't broke, why fix it, right?