Review

Song Review: Teen Top – Run Away

There aren’t many pre-2012 boy groups left standing in K-pop, and even fewer that are still actively releasing music. With that in mind, you’ve got to give it up for Teen Top. Their output has never been the most popular or chart-conquering, but they keep chugging along with consistency. Run Away is taken from their ninth (!) mini album, and maintains the group’s stature in the K-pop industry – even if it’s a little too trendy for its own good.

While others have moved on, songs like Run Away still feel mired in K-pop’s waning obsession with tropical sounds. This is disappointing, especially since Teen Top are in a position to try new things. Their fan base has been solidified, and a group of their age is unlikely to compete directly with the industry’s many rookie groups. With this in mind, simply regurgitating overused sounds seems like a reductive approach. So, Run Away is unoriginal. But, is it any good?

Within the vast tropical pop realm, I’d put this track squarely in the middle of the pack. A decent chorus would have elevated its standing, but Teen Top are intent on simply repeating the titular lyrics with a few added “oh ohs” thrown in for good measure. In contrast, Run Away‘s dramatic pre-chorus pulses with unexplored potential. The members’ voices are layered in a 2018 SHINee-style arrangement, suggesting majestic sounds to come. Instead, the track collapses into a laid-back, mostly-instrumental hook that does little to inspire. Run Away then segues into a post-chorus trap-rap breakdown (because, of course it does…), stalling any momentum built up to that point. The guys are skilled enough to bring this to modest life, but I much prefer their more melodically ambitious title tracks.

 Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 7
 Bias 7
 RATING 7.25

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6 thoughts on “Song Review: Teen Top – Run Away

  1. Glad I’m not the only one that thought of SHINee’s recent album with that gorgeous pre-chorus. Teen Top definitely has the chops to deliver vocals like that on the regular, they just need their songwriters not to let them down!

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    • I feel like their more recent work has been very hit-or-miss because they’re often switching composers. I will always be a Teen Top + Brave Brothers supporter, but the rest of this mini album is actually quite strong.

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  2. As one of the very few Teen Top stans that were brought in by “Love Is”, this song makes me want to shed a little tear in disappointment. I guess it was too much to hope for them to retain their old sound in this modern kpop landscape.

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  3. I actually think the more obvious choice for the title track would be What Do You Think. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it’s a dance floor filler and I love the vocal sample.

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  4. Pingback: Buried Treasure: Teen Top – Swag | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

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