Song Review: Sunmi – Gotta Go

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.

 Hooks 8
 Production 7
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 7.75

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6 thoughts on “Song Review: Sunmi – Gotta Go

  1. It just doesn’t sound like the quality we expect from Sunmi, either for the music or the video. This feels like a generic song that gets shopped around, and finally lands somewhere. Sunmi should really have first pick, but I guess that didn’t happen here.

    I didn’t care much for the Noir song, but the video was simple and effective commentary on social media.


    • This was just an OST track for a drama so I honestly wasn’t even expecting it to be as good as it is. Feels like a humble offering to tide the Sunmi cravings over until she comes back with some real material (hopefully soon).


      • Ah, OK.
        And since it is set in and around a bar environment, the usual softer ballad fare would just not work. Also interesting that this OST got a separate video too – usually it is only clips from the show, or a fan-made video.

        The show synopsis for those like me who don’t pay attention to these things:
        “XX” is a joint production between MBC and Playlist and tells the story of Yoon Nana (EXID’s Hani), the head bartender of XX who comes into conflict with the bar’s privileged new owner Lee Rumi (Hwang Seung Eon), who was once Yoon Nana’s best friend.”
        Seems timely.


  2. God, I love her. I’ll take anything I can get from her. Fortunately, for me anyways, while this song does trip over trap, Sumni pulls it off and lands on her feet.


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