Review

Song Review: Hyolyn x Dasom – Summer Or Summer

Hyolyn x Dasom - Summer Or SummerA full summertime Sistar reunion is on my shortlist of “things I’d most like to see in K-pop.” So when it was announced that members Hyolyn and Dasom would pair for a summer track (produced by Duble Sidekick!), I tried to keep my expectations in check. We certainly couldn’t expect something as fantastic as Loving U or Shake It, right? I mean, I’d be over the moon with another See Sea. Just give me that summer Sistar goodness!

In the choice between Summer Or Summer (둘 중에 골라), I’d opt for… a different summer entirely. That’s the dreaded “expectations game” in play, and precisely why I try to keep my excitement in check. A bossa nova-influenced trap pop track didn’t even cross my mind, but here we are.

Summer Or Summer benefits from the girls’ familiar voices, which charm even when the song struggles to gain a foothold. Its chorus echoes classics of the past, bounding with added energy as bright synths overtake the muted arrangement of the verses. But, the melody here feels blunted. Duble Sidekick are masters of upbeat summer hooks, so I’m disappointed to hear a so-so refrain that comes across as undercooked and forgettable. Summer Or Summer casts a beguiling vibe, yet lacks the punch to sell its intentions. Just when you think it’s getting going, the uneven production pulls back and we’re chilling again. That’s not to say the track has to be some upbeat banger. I just wish it would commit one way or another.

 Hooks 7
 Production 7
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 7.5

9 thoughts on “Song Review: Hyolyn x Dasom – Summer Or Summer

  1. Hmm. It’s fun in some ways, but I do wish the post-chorus was not in half-time. The post-chorus also kind of works but is also just slightly awkward enough lyrically that it just feels wrong.

    I like the verses, though the production leans heavy on the bossa nova which doesn’t quite fit with the chorus honestly. The chorus is just too high energy for everything else honestly. Also I feel like the summer/higher rhyme has been used already and still it just doesn’t work haha.

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  2. Wow this song is a hot mess! Not in a terrible way, but it’s got trap, Bossa Nova(ish), horns, strumming guitar, thumping bass, etc. It’s both chill and not chill. Kpop used to be a genre that could distill disparate sounds into an exciting whole, but this seems weaker from trying to combine them all.

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  3. Well I’ll take this summer all for MYSELF then! Was it the highest heights of a ‘loving u’? No but their charm is still intact, it sounds like a good time and they clearly are enjoying themselves a lot so it works for me on many levels. Also, this might be the best showcasing of Dasom’s vocal chops I’ve ever experienced and the song felt like a true duet as well. Good job girls!!

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  4. You have got to get over your weird hesitation to trap like it’s a fun summer song (easily one of the best of the year) and I think it did the job. Echoing the classic Sistar sound with a new chill vibe.

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    • It’s not the trap that bothers me. It’s the mish-mash of genres and tempos that don’t make a cohesive whole.

      My opinion, of course. Doesn’t mean it’s the correct one.

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  5. If the song kept to the GIrl from Ipanema acoustic guitar with bossa nova trap, it may have been okay, actually. The ladies’ vocal performance is also pretty good too.

    But then the instrumental just adds and adds more on top and it all just doesn’t go together. The weird mix of instrumental comes off as weird instead of inspired. The instrumental gives a preview of going off the rails around 0:30-0:45, which is a good time section to study to prepare for =the chorus=. 1:01 hits us with doubling up on the cray cray. And then for the outro, doubling up and Double Time! I am surprised it didn’t get a lower production score.

    My kids play around with the synths at the front of the music store during their music lessons. This is the kind of thing they would come out with. What setting on the synth do you want to use? Yes.

    “Mom, come here this one #234 is really cool sounding!” “Yes, kid, I can hear it all from here just fine.” Dan the store manager has the patience of an angel because he gets to hear it all day.

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