Although members of Sistar have featured on many tracks outside of their group’s releases, Hyolyn is the first to go completely solo with her upcoming mini album. As befits a member of one of k-pop’s biggest groups, she’ll be releasing a trio of singles as part of her solo debut. First up is Love Like This, a light, lilting throwback to classic pop r&b.
Hyolyn’s vocals are arguably Sistar’s most iconic asset, so it’s a surprise that the song’s melody feels so flat. Instead of wowing us with a ballsy refrain, Love Like This succeeds on its crisp instrumental, which marries old school soul with a bright blend of keys and prominent snare. It’s an easygoing shuffle, but also drives the track forward with enough force to feel impactful. However, I’m not sure that it’s in Hyolyn’s best interest that the instrumental makes more of an impression than her performance. Though undeniably pleasant, the melody just doesn’t give her enough to do. Her tone stays relatively fixed throughout, neglecting the bends and brushes of falsetto that make her lines in Sistar’s songs come so alive.
With that said, Love Like This is the kind of track that’s nearly impossible to dislike. It doesn’t make waves, or even much of an impression, but its breezy commitment to playing it right down the middle is its own sort of comfort food. It would make a strong album track, but for the opening salvo of her solo campaign, I wish it was more memorable. Luckily, we have two more chances for something awesome over the next couple of weeks.