With over 2,600 songs on my iPhone’s “K-Pop Singles” playlist, I thought it would be fun to add a bit of unpredictability to my song review posts. So as a result, we have the “Random Shuffle Review” feature.
The rules are simple. I fire up my playlist, press “shuffle,” and whatever song plays first gets the full Bias List treatment!
Year Released: 2013
This random shuffle review comes at a perfect time, because two weeks ago I had the opportunity to see Sunmi perform live as part of her Warning tour in Vancouver. In preparation, I’d been listening to a lot of her older material — 24 Hours (24시간이 모자라) in particular. Of course, I was already very familiar with the song. It was one of 2013’s biggest hits, after all, and launched a solo career that has since blossomed into something quite astonishing. Her pre-2017 material has a slightly different vibe than the 80’s-charged anthems we’re getting now, but it’s driven by the same unflagging charisma.
Written and produced by agency-head Park Jinyoung, 24 Hours rides on an insistent electro thump. The production mirrors the urgency in Sunmi’s breathy performance, crafting a tense arrangement that feels as if it’s constantly trying to catch up with itself. This energy briefly takes a 180 turn as the track morphs into symphonic tango for its impressive middle eight. To this day, I’m amazed that this transition doesn’t feel as jarring as it sounds on paper. The melody line that ties everything together is simple but effective, and repetitive without feeling cloying. That’s a tough line to skirt, but 24 Hours’ taut structure ensures that the track never simply coasts on the magnetism of its performer. Few solo debuts have been quite as captivating.