written by: rickyom
Artist and Album: SISTAR – ‘Give It To Me’
Genre: Idol, Dance Pop
Release Date: June 11, 2013
Words can hardly begin to describe the amount of success that SISTAR was met with in 2012. Their hits “Alone” and “Loving U” practically skyrocketed them to instant popularity. And after another triumph with subgroup SISTAR19 earlier this year, expectations were high for their next group comeback. Whether K-Pop fans admit it or not, SISTAR is now a force to be reckoned with, and they prove so with their 2nd full length album ‘Give It To Me’.
As is with most SISTAR releases (or any K-Pop release for that matter), the album opens with an intro. It’s rather clunky and filled with vocals going over each other’s as they try to keep the time suitable for an introduction, and, more or less, fails to add anything to the album. But heavy piano accompaniment with a slight Euro-pop infusion is what is heard and understand about “Give It To Me” as it starts playing soon after. The downbeat kicks in and it’s a toned down piano and snapping under a breathy vocal verse. The piano picks up tempo for the second half as it leads into the chorus. The strings take over, and it’s this instrumental switch up that fits perfectly as the chorus’ vocals are much stronger as the song progresses. The rap verse takes away from the musicality that the whole song tries to represent, but on the whole “Give It To Me” is well polished, well composed and is easily one of the stronger singles released by a girl group this year.
“The Way You Make Me Melt” shows a side of SISTAR never really shown before, as it sits on a guitar assisted arrangement. Geeks lends their hand as a featuring for this and make up for all the lacking rap verses on the album. The breathy vocals throughout are overwhelming here, which can sound beautiful, but too much of it leaves the verses missing weight. Still, a nice try on something they haven’t touched upon, and as I listen to it makes me want coffee.
“Bad Boy” takes SISTAR back to their rookie year, with their debut style of electronic dance pop. The bridge is the highlight as it takes an r&b turn. “Summer Time” comes across as a fusion track of two of their past songs – “Loving U” and “Holiday” (not to mention it’s composed by the same producer). Verses here feel absent; the girls sing in such monotonous fashion, that you can almost here them stop and try to stay on beat, making those moments seem empty. Nevertheless, “Summer Time” is a song that I can imagine being in the American Top 40.
In “A Week”, the introduction is sung quickly while the tempo is slow. There’s no downbeat, so the r&b track practically stays the same except for the changes between verses and chorus and vice versa. It reminds me of their song “Lead Me”. The representative ballad “Crying” keeps the same feeling of the previous but strips down the instrumental and amplifies the importance on vocal performance. The rap doesn’t seem too out of place here. The song is more of a duet between the group’s leading vocalists Soyu and Hyorin, with a few lines sung here and there by Dasom to give the belting songstresses a break. It’s overall done beautifully and performed well; not too little, not too much. There’s no moment in the song that feels empty and the vocally powered song pretty much speaks for itself.
“Hey You”, a song that starts on a questionable foot, eventually opens up to something much more enjoyable. The members each have turns with confident spoken verses about a man. It’s a diss song more or less. And what really makes the song is its unique instrumental and how the members try to represent that in vocal form. It’s like an 80s and 90s dance song had a baby and “Hey You” was their illegitimate child. Bora‘s normally high toned voice suits the fun rap verse well. A song that surprised me, as I judged it by it’s first few seconds.
“If U Want” leaves us in the 90s but in the form of 90s r&b. Very Mariah Carey-esque yet still SISTAR-like. It’s short and to the point, coming across as more of an homage to the songbird’s height of her career than anything. “Up And Down” closes out the album. It’s the most pop-y song on the album, but changes to pop-rock once it hits the chorus. The rap segments are inserted between vocal runs, making them sound good and minimizing its dullness. The last rap verse is done well by itself, though. The delivery doesn’t quite suit the song’s style, but it’s meant to be a fun song. In that sense, it achieves its goal.
SISTAR has come a long way from their first album. Where that album was filled with autotuned tracks galore, this album’s effort is a lot stronger and more defining to them as a group. Their specialty is their dance songs, so their slower songs do lack quite a bit, which is interesting because they contain two of the strongest vocalists among girl groups these days. Their 2nd album has shown variety, either trying to keep the album from seeming boring or to show everyone that they can perform just about anything.
|Give It To Me||
|The Way You Make Me Melt||
0 – could do without
0.5 – mediocre/filler
0.75 – pretty good/grew on me
1 – liked immediately
|If U Want||
|Up and Down||
Points to stars conversion: [(7.5/10) x 5] + 0.25*
*there is a 0.25 bonus for every album. The logic is that, if every song were “pretty good”, it’s a 4-star album.