A 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.