TST (formerly Top Secret) are one of a handful of boy groups who’ve enlisted production team Sweetune to craft their discography. But compared to the top shelf material recorded by Snuper and Golden Child, I feel like TST continue to get saddled with the bargain basement dregs. New single Love Story follows this trend. Sweetune ensure a certain level of quality, but the song feels more like a strong b-side than a title track.
Love Story is on the fizzier side of the producers’ work, drenched in layers of bright synths so feather-light that they threaten to drift away entirely. I had similar criticism for Golden Child’s It’s U back in January, but that track has gone on to become one of my favorite releases of the year. I’d be surprised if Story does the same. It lacks an energetic pulse, preferring to shuffle along as a pleasant mid-tempo confection rather than kick into gear and take things up a notch.
As always, Sweetune salvage any shortcomings with their gift for melody. Love Story is POP through and though, and its sing-song chorus quickly becomes infectious. There’s some brilliant synth work buried within this segment, retaining those trademark 80’s influences that never get old. TST seem to lack the tonal variety to make this material really soar, with a vocal performance that feels just as bubblegum as its instrumental. This, coupled with the song’s throwaway nature, makes it a treat for Sweetune addicts but limits its appeal when it comes to a more mainstream audience.