Review

Song Review: STAYC – ASAP

StayC - ASAPSTAYC were my favorite girl group debut of 2020, and that’s off the strength of a single song. So Bad – as many Black Eyed Pilseung tracks tend to be – was a total grower, and effortlessly wove retro synth trends into a quintessential K-pop sound. STAYC’s diverse set of vocal tones also helped their music stand out. Alas, new single ASAP feels like a small step backward, embracing a more generic style when the girls could have built upon So Bad with something fresh and daring.

I fully anticipate this song to grow on me, but it’s starting several paces behind its predecessor. As expected, ASAP is another Black Eyed Pilseung production, which guarantees a certain level of polish. But, I don’t think it draws upon STAYC’s strengths. Like too many tracks in this wheelhouse, ASAP succumbs to a clipped vocal delivery that favors short exclamations over melodic turns. This approach is catchy, but a little goes a long way. When both the verse and chorus follow this style, I can’t help but long for an oasis of melody to create a sense of dynamic structure and growth. This briefly arrives during the song’s bridge, but I would have rather heard ASAP graft its catchy chorus onto stronger verses.

On the plus side, tracks like this tend to be total earworms. Even after a few listens, the hook is rattling around in my head. I’m not sure I want it there, but ASAP has definitely made its mark. Verse two also leverages a few satisfying synth textures, recapturing some of that So Bad magic. The potential is still there, but I think STAYC are capable of more than this.

 Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7
 RATING 7.75

21 thoughts on “Song Review: STAYC – ASAP

  1. I really want this to be better. It is OKish, but there is not enough fun in it.

    The song is vastly improved by clicking 1.25x speed on youtube. THIS this is the speed it needs to be. I had it on 1.25 for a few listens, and had a visceral reaction when I clicked it back to 1.00x speed. The transition felt like a fun ride in a convertible top down on the highway suddenly slowed down because some mysterious congestion up ahead and then you just sit there slowly moving and baking in the hot sun inhaling the fumes of the old pickup truck in front of you.

    The drop desperately needs to be more of a moment. As is, the drop is a big anticlimax..

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Now I am scared, normally, when several comebacks are stuffed into a day. It goes more like this: Highest Rated, Second highest Rated, Lowest Rated.
    Don’t tell me BAE173’s I Loved You is going for the 7’s!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a major step backwards for me, as So Bad also grew on me a lot as time passed. There is just something missing which is a shame since the song has potential. Eh.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I feel like I’m alone in this…but I actually like this more than So Bad, which I was never really able to get into. But I totally get why people are a little disappointed because it’s definitely toned down and generic compared to their debut. I think the overall aesthetic and vibe of the song and concept just appeal to me more, and they’re great performers, which definitely helps!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. STAYC – STAYDOM:

    01. ASAP – *
    02. So What – Very nice. Has a hint of Latin flavor, but it’s pure pop.
    03. Love Fool – Really digging this track. Has a pleasant smoothness.
    04. So Bad (TAK Remix) – Love TAK. Interesting take on the original. Doesn’t make it better or worse.

    * I know this is an “un-review”, but I have so much invested in this group that I’m giving them a weeklong steep before I grade their titular track. FIGHT ME!

    Staydom Ref: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtok1YRWNpA

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well, I didn’t need a week for the song to settle for me. The hook is embedded. I’ll be going from room to room and is on repeat in my head; that’s a good thing, right?

      On first listen, the song opens with energetic synth stabs (also used for the chorus) that instantly seemed familiar to me. Took a couple of listens, but I remembered where I heard something similar. TAK released a mashup called “K-Pop Culture (Mashup)” back in 2013*, the synth stabs in “ASAP” remind me of that TAK release. Interestingly, track 4 on the same mini-album as “ASAP” has a TAK remix of “So Bad”; coincidence?

      Being that I already have a faux familiarity with the song and the hooks are in past the barbs, I should like the entire song, but those verses… They just aren’t doing it for me. They need more punch. Overall, it’s a decent song that I will add to my playlists (among others from this release), but it isn’t as quintessential as their debut track.

      * He released an updated version in 2015 titled “K-Pop Culture 2015 (Live Mashup)”. Both are must listens if you are familiar with all of the music that was around during those years (2013/2015).

      Ref #1 (TAK-2013): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pftsmKHvlvY

      Ref #2 (TAK-2015): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVPAKdSqNpY

      Like

  6. Yeah, I don’t dislike this song, but it’s really nothing compared to So Bad. I think it would have been difficult to follow up such a stellar debut anyway, but I wish they’d done something in the same vein. I realize now I was wishing for a So Bad part 2. Oh well, maybe next time.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I really like their vocal tones. That’s it – I don’t really know how to feel about this song. It misses momentum and is not nearly as good as their debut.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. On first listen, I didn’t quite like it. The girls are talented and the group has great vocals and tones but their debut was much stronger. After a few days however, the song has grown on me and I like parts of it. Maybe it’ll grow on me more but its a shame that its taking time. I really really wanted to like this comeback and think they can deliver so much more.

    Like

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