If I have one complaint about Sunmi’s music, it’s that she doesn’t release enough of it. She delivered a grand total of two songs last year, despite previewing new material on her international tour. Hell, at this point BLACKPINK has released more music over the past few years, and that’s a very low bar to overcome. Because of this scarcity of material, even an OST song like Gotta Go (가라고) feels like manna from heaven. But, these long hiatuses also raise expectations too high.
Gotta Go reunites Sunmi with composer Frants, who recently co-wrote an incredible GFriend b-side. He worked with her on the stellar Siren and the ‘just okay’ Lalalay, and Gotta Go is kind of a mix between the two. It’s certainly not a highlight in her (small) discography, but Sunmi’s magnetism helps to lift the track.
The song opens with the kind of lumbering synth noise that characterizes too many “hard” boy group tracks. Thankfully, this quickly segues into a more rhythmic verse, which perches Sunmi’s vocals over a throbbing electro beat. The pre-chorus gives us the track’s sharpest melody, delivered with a hazy ease that spotlights Sunmi’s beguiling tone. From here, Gotta Go takes its biggest misstep. That clatter-trap instrumental returns, delivering the kind of beat-drop chorus that lacks originality and personality. It also breaks up the song’s momentum in a way that’s hard to recover. The second verse remains mired in this half-time, trap-infused murk, finally freeing itself in time for the next pre-chorus. This unpleasant arrangement is so par for the course in K-pop these days that it’s hard to really critique it with much passion. But with so few songs in her repertoire, I hate to see the worst of today’s trends mar an otherwise solid Sunmi track.
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