STAYC’s meteoric rise in popularity has quickly given Black Eyed Pilseung’s High Up Entertainment the clout needed to become a major player in the industry. Unfortunately (for me), this notoriety spawned from songs like ASAP and Stereotype rather than the group’s debut track So Bad. For those of us who adored So Bad’s unique energy and synth-kissed production, STAYC’s follow-up material felt almost like a broken promise.
New single RUN2U manages to blend the old with the new. It’s far more indebted to a retro synth sound than either ASAP or Stereotype, yet also draws from their sing-song catchiness. The result won’t be for everyone, but RUN2U has enough winning moments to work. In fact, until we hit the first chorus the song feels unstoppable. The style and delivery is heavily indebted to Sunmi’s work – almost to the point of cosplay. But if you’re going to pull from anyone’s career, Sunmi is an incredible choice.
RUN2U’s chorus is a little patchier, as the song opts for a simple, repeated hook rather than develop the sound present in the verses. On first listen, I wasn’t thrilled with this decision. However, I expect these earworm hooks will stand the test of time — similar to ASAP. I love the bounding electro beat and spiraling synth that underline the chorus. The production gives the track satisfying drive. This continues into verse two, which offers a rap break without upending the song’s momentum. RUN2U speeds toward a fun dance break before finishing with one last shot of chirpy melody. It’s not reinventing the wheel, but this is easily my favorite STAYC single since their 2020 debut.