Review

The Most Epic Days in K-Pop: June 22, 2015 (AOA, Sistar, Teen Top)

As the K-pop market has become more flooded with acts, it’s not unusual to see days with multiple comebacks. Usually, these are a grab bag of varying quality, but every once in awhile you’ll get a day that unveils multiple classics at once.

This feature is dedicated to those epic days – days in which two or more singles earned a 9+ rating. They’re rare, but they’re worth celebrating! And, we’re starting with a big one.


June 22, 2015


AOA – Heart Attack

Prior to this release, AOA were coming off an intensely successful year that saw them making comebacks every few months. By June of 2015, it had been a long time since 2014’s Like A Cat, but Heart Attack (심쿵해) immediately recaptured their momentum – and then some.

Produced by Brave Brothers, Heart Attack gifts AOA with their biggest boost of energy yet. It’s the kind of relentless dance track we rarely hear these days, constantly spurring momentum as it moves through its candy-coated hooks. By this time, AOA had mastered the Brave Sound template, their vocals twisting around his cyclical song construction like one single entity. And, they managed to create what sounds like a cheerleader anthem without ever resorting to the hyper-caffeinated cheerleader chants that pepper so many of this generation’s girl group tracks.

Heart Attack may come across as neon, musical glitter, but it boasts a certain refinement that’s made possible by tight, cohesive songwriting. There’s a welcome briskness to the track, and its charismatic chorus has stood the test of time.

 Hooks 9
 Production 10
 Longevity 10
 Bias 9
 RATING 9.5


Sistar – Shake It

The summer of 2015 would go on to become one of K-pop’s best, and it unofficially kicked off with this song. Longtime summer queens Sistar went all-in on the concept for Shake It, which plays like every synth-heavy party track you’ve ever wanted to hear.

Opening with a catchy, ridiculous chant and bright stabs of brassy synth, Shake It lets you know you’re in for a good time right away. It never takes itself too seriously, and that’s important. Instead, we get to hear the crystallization of the Sistar Summer Sound, highlighted by one of the most distinct vocal lines in all of K-pop girl groupdom.

The song itself essentially boils down to three separate refrains, repeated ad nauseum. But, each is so potent and enjoyable that the repetition becomes an asset. Intersperse that with a fun, frothy rap break and you’ve got a seasonal classic, performed with verve and joy.

 Hooks 10
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 10
 RATING 9.5


Teen Top – ah ah

Producers Black Eyed Pilseung may be most notable for their work with female artists like Twice, Chungha and Apink, but in the summer of 2015 they produced half of Teen Top’s sixth mini album, Natural Born. Their work here is excellent, in case you had any doubt.

If Sistar’s Shake It was pure summer bombast, ah ah (아침부터 아침까지) took a hazier approach. It’s the song you’d play on the way home from the beach, highlighted by wispy, filtered synths and a laid-back melody. But while the vocals may be somewhat restrained, the production never opts for murky downtempo asides. The percussion maintains an upbeat kick, even as the electronic elements point towards more atmospheric tones. This contrast pays off big-time, giving the track a unique perspective of its own.

And guess what, boy groups? You can have killer rap verses without lurching the entire track into half-time nonsense. The rap here is more charismatic and memorable than almost anything we’ve heard in 2020 — playful and fun and eminently quotable.

 Hooks 9
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 9

12 thoughts on “The Most Epic Days in K-Pop: June 22, 2015 (AOA, Sistar, Teen Top)

  1. What an interesting feature.
    I have 5 more days that immediately come to my mind.
    My favourite song out of these 3 was heart shaker but I was obsessed with the shake it choreo…lmao I was doing that every moment I was alone

    Like

  2. Thanks for the TEEN TOP shout-out – their discography is very under-appreciated, particularly by modern K-pop fans. And ‘Heart Attack’ and ‘Shake It’ are undeniable classics.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. All three of these were such summer-defining songs for me, ugh. What a day.

    I’m also partial to April 25th 2016 when we got Cheer Up, Pretty U and Destiny all at once. Each one has grown on me so much since then and I consider them classics now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is definitely the first day I thought of. It felt like the clash of the rookie titans.

      August 3rd 2015 was also freaking ridiculous because Reboot and Married To The Music were released. Those feel too incredible to be allowed to happen at the same time??

      Like

  4. Yeah this period was one of the best summers in terms of KPOP releases. Low key disappointed you didn’t include Girl’s Day’s Ring My Bell though. I had it on repeat pretty much since that day til today! Definitely my top Girl’s Day song, albeit one that polarized fans and casual listeners alike – arguably “contributed” to their fizzling career that time.

    Like

  5. As a Day 1 elvis I have to say that….I HATED Heart Attack – all I heard was the noisiness and couldn’t stand it, (it was the equivalent of TXT’s Puma to me) especially when the mini album was STACKED but with time I will say I’ve softened on it and I can appreciate its energy even if it still isn’t a favorite.

    Like

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