In a barren July, it seems that a glorified Pepsi ad will have to suffice when it comes to big-name K-pop comebacks. This Pepsi x Starship collaboration project has been going on for years now, resulting in eight singles. Most of these have been collaborations between two or more artists, but Summer Taste ups the ante, pairing performers from three idol groups with K-pop legend Rain. There’s a ton of talent involved, here. I wish that talent had been put to more interesting use than simply selling soft drinks.
As a commercial, Summer Taste isn’t half bad. At least it’s upbeat and energic! Any song that kicks off with the opening of a Pepsi can can’t be taken too seriously, but the track’s brisk pace and chant-along hooks don’t beg for credibility. Built upon a high-octane EDM backbone, Summer Taste careens from one segment to another. None of the hooks land particularly well, yet the song moves so fast you’ll hardly notice. It’s like K-pop sleight of hand.
The performers do their best infusing every bit of Summer Taste with personality, and moments of freewheeling fun poke through occasionally. But, the song’s strongest punches land when everyone gathers together to deliver a schlocky catchphrase or two. This may feel like damning with faint praise, and that’s kind of inevitable with a song like this. Still, if you turn off your brain and surrender to the chugging dance beat, it’s hard not to get swept up in Summer Taste’s sound and fury. You might even find yourself unironically chanting “wassup, wassup wassup wassup!”
…I guess it depends on just how much Pepsi you’ve consumed.