Song Review: PSY – That That (ft. Suga)

PSY - That That (ft. Suga)PSY’s ninth album has been teased for so long it began to feel more like an urban legend than an actual release. He’s one of the pillars of K-pop – even more so now that his successful P Nation has signed many of the industry’s buzziest acts. But those who know PSY only for the viral nature of Gangnam Style are missing an important layer of his artistry. Yes, he can throw down a fun, silly dance track. But, his music can also be personal, affecting and quite transcendent.

Because of this, I was a little disappointed to see he’d be returning with another Gangnam Style-esque single after so many years. That That’s teasers didn’t impress, and their BTS connection felt like an unneeded gimmick. It’s a wasted opportunity for PSY’s global impression to rely so heavily on meme-worthy dance moves. But, That That quickly won me over. A song this stupidly fun is almost critic-proof.

Produced by (and featuring) BTS’s Suga, That That feels like it could have spawned from any point in PSY’s career. It has the relentless energy of Right Here, the bounding percussion of New Face and – of course – the dance frenzy of Gangnam Style. It’s supremely catchy in a slightly obnoxious way and I should despise it. But, it’s so eager to please that I can’t possibly do anything but love it. And, Suga’s guest rap verse is pretty fantastic, especially over that dynamic percussion.

That That’s production is at its best when it leans into its Zumba beat and celebratory stabs of brass. It’s refreshing to hear a K-pop track with such a high tempo. This is the sort of song that pulls you along for the ride. It’s almost impossible to sit still when this groove is blasting. It’s so coercive you won’t even bat an eye at the flimsy nature of the hook. That’s always been one of PSY’s superpowers. His confidence is infectious. He commands even the silliest of material and performs it with conviction. He’s in fine form here, and it’s great to have him back.

Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 9

12 thoughts on “Song Review: PSY – That That (ft. Suga)

  1. This song is not so much a song as a corporate pitch deck. It is crafted to be at the same time a short form ad, meme-ready, tik tok, cheerleading squad hype section, cheeky movie ad lib, and last and the least an actual song. I envision the Minions or Ice Age critters doing the hitchhiker dance already. It probably is already licensed to someone like Samsung for the latest phone, given its pedigree of both Psy and Suga.

    Is it also a good song? Plausibly, yes. It does sound better than the teasers. That’s all I got.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. This is like rain in the desert for me. Suga’s stoic face and tough verse is the perfect contrast to PSY’s endless mugging. Best BTS related record since Supertuna.


    • The Celeb video is a distorted pastel fever dream, and at the end my husband announced “That is my future…my future wife.” He, along with the rest of Korea, has fallen under Suzy’s siren spell. I’m okay with that because he has to listen to me talk about Kai’s (aka in this words “Hawaiian Elvis”) um, finer qualities all the time.


      • Also, to clarify, Kai got the tag “Hawaiian Elvis” because he was wearing a Hawaiian shirt and his black hair swept off his face in the video clip he saw. Not my husband’s best work. But calling Joohoney “discount Joker” in the Shoot Out video was a stroke of genius.


  3. As inclined as I am to agree with the review, I cannot this time. The song is too repetitive and surface-level for me to really enjoy. That is strange coming from me, because I generally don’t care if something is gimmicky and marketable as long as it is catchy (Butter, Permission to Dance, heck, Gangnam Style was the song that got me into k-pop).

    Suga is a much-needed addition here to spice up the song even slightly – I like his part.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. honestly, when I first watched the mv with the english subtitles, I thought the song was horrendous. but I decided to try listening to the audio on its own after reading your review and had a much better experience. I felt that the mv (and the english lyrics maybe) distracted me a lot from the song and only brought my focus back during all the “that that I like that” parts. It still feels repetitive at points, however, now I notice that he doesn’t let it drag on for too long, throwing something new in right at the moment I start to get tired of it.
    for some reason, I don’t find the energetic enough until the ending portion where there is the chanting of “do what you wanna…”. maybe I got brainwashed by all the screaming and yelling from other songs that this feels tame in comparison 😂


  5. One thing i like about PSY is that he doesn’t take himself too seriously. His hit song went viral because of its meme-y and funny execution, and he never strays from that. PSY knows that most people see him as this idol who puts out weird but catchy songs, and he embraced it. The choreos are silly, his vocals have a jokester vibe to it; yet they don’t feel like the same song repeated. At least, this one doesn’t (Daddy and Gentleman did sound similar to Gangnam Style).

    I also like how Suga adopted the same light-hearted tone for his rap, in contrast to the darker style in his solos. His rap verse had this sort of lazy and languid feel, but in a good way.


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