3YE have released a variety of different title tracks, and each has drawn upon edgier sounds than many girl groups tackle. I think the trio are at their best when given an insistent electro groove, such as last year’s Queen. New single Stalker replicates this charm in bits and pieces, and is at its strongest when it doesn’t take its (third) eye off the ball.
Stalker has a lot going on. I love some of its ideas, while others feel forced in an effort to please modern tastes – or at least K-pop’s idea of modern tastes. We open with a catchy, sing-song vocal riff, which had me worried. Hooks like this can easily wear thin, and I’m glad its use was kept to a minimum. Instead, the opening verse glides along thumping electro bass before moving into a bombastic pre-chorus that feels like a rallying cry. Everything is going swimmingly so far, but my experience with K-pop has me bracing for a noise EDM drop.
Thankfully, Stalker moves into a satisfying chorus. I love the melody here. It feels effortlessly cool. But, the song should have stopped morphing at this point. What follows is a noisy, trap-infused post-chorus that feels at odds with everything that came before. The production here is jarring, and comes across as ill-fitting when judged against the rest of the track. This mismatch continues into the second verse, which brings the energy down to disappointing levels. Stalker rebounds soon after, and the entire package is quite strong. But, it’s another case of a great song being thwarted by K-pop producers’ desire to include the same trendy flourishes in everything they create, regardless of whether the track calls for it or not.
I am always hella impressed with these little groups from little agencies that can consistently put out a good product without being a total copycat. There is still some delightful shagginess to this song, and something that is so very 3YE and I am happy they are part of the industry. That said, rating is about right. I bring my emotions to this knowing that this is 3YE and not this that or the other group that also sound very close to this sound.
I am buying the song anyway.
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Woah, I’m actually really impressed by this song – it’s so my style. I love the sound textures and don’t mind the trap infusion at all, especially during the post-chorus. There’s also some really nice panning synth plucks/arpeggiators and sound effects splashed throughout the entire track that are so satisfying to hear, although it’s probably not clear without headphones. The production quality seems pretty high too, it sounds well mixed but could be stronger. My only critique would be the second verse where the instrumental is quite flat and trap heavy. Regardless, I love almost everything about this track [specifically the instrumental], and the melody is nice too.
My Rating: 8.75 [Most likely going to peak at 9.25 with time]
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Honestly, I am impressed with how 3YE has kept going and going despite how small they really are. This song definitely isn’t perfect, but I just like listening to the song. It’s got enough elements done great that even the 2nd verse doesn’t sound too out of place even if it is just another K-Pop Trap 2nd Verse. The chorus melody is just really well done, and the post-chorus still matches the energy and doesn’t take me out of it.
This release actually has a remix attached to it. It’s a slower tempo version with a completely different vibe but honestly still pretty interesting. The post-chorus becomes much more harmonic without the processing that exists in the original and the second trap verse is much more smoother with softer production. They even recorded different vocals which is very cool. Part of me wants to see how this could’ve been had they partially took some of the elements from that remix into the original mix because it has parts that sound a bit better than the original.
It’s a good song, I like the verse electro bass a lot, still doesn’t do better than Queen for me.
BUT I had to listen to the first seconds in loop for a while in total crisis before I finally understood where I’ve heard this before. The beginning of Blue Hour by TXT. I’m just putting this out there, in case anyone else noticed, I’m actually surprised nobody mentionned it.
Is it another popular free sample that finds its way to many songs and I just never heard twice before?
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Oh wow! It IS the same, just pitched higher and sped up a bit. Now I won’t be able to unhear it 😉
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for some reason, the first few seconds did seem familiar to me too, but I associated those bumdums with something from blackpink (probably hylt, since that’s the only song with that sound in it, but it still wasn’t exactly a match, maybe someone else would know?) but holy crap I can’t help but associate blue hour with this song now
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