Song Review: STAYC – Poppy

STAYC - PoppyAfter quickly securing a place at the top of the K-pop girl group pack, STAYC are following in the footsteps of their seniors by embarking on a Japanese career. J-pop output from K-pop acts has been decidedly mixed over the past few years, far from the consistent discographies crafted by artists like SNSD, After School, SHINee and TVXQ. But, STAYC have played things safe by sticking with their original composers Black Eyed Pilseung for Poppy.

Despite this familiar collaboration, Poppy borrows from J-pop tropes. Its quirky chorus isn’t miles away from the work of Yasutaka Nakata, though it’s painted with a much more mainstream brush that’s in keeping with K-pop’s international aspirations. Fans who were disappointed with the slower tempo of this summer’s Beautiful Monster (myself included) will appreciate Poppy’s chirpy electronic beat. It’s nice to hear Black Eyed Pilseung up their energy again, and their musical hallmarks are all over the song’s percolating verses.

From here, Poppy bursts into a repetitive chorus that’s sure to divide opinion. I’m on the edge, teetering closer to appreciation than annoyance. The hook has potential to grate and may do so over the next few weeks, but for now I find it to be dumb fun. It’s well-produced and just strange enough to capture attention. A strong power note during Poppy’s climax adds depth to this simple refrain and the driving energy of the track helps smooth over its sense of novelty. I’m still (impatiently) waiting for another So Bad, but this works well as a Japanese debut.

Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25

Grade: B


26 thoughts on “Song Review: STAYC – Poppy

  1. oh this is the only song i didnt listen to right away today, im gonna give it a go soon

    anyway, the abuse omega x endured under their company is absolutely fucking insane. from verbal and physical abuse, abandoning them in a foreign country, forcing them to perform while being infected with COVID, sexual assault, and now making them pay huge sums of money???????

    this company and the people running it are absolutely evil and should burn to the ground, how dare you exploit this group’s second chance to make it big in the kpop industry to abuse them and ruin their futures

    Liked by 2 people

  2. By the books girl group song, albeit pitched up a note or three more chirpy for the JPop market.

    Also, it is yet another song that benefits from a faster pace – it is about perfect at 1.05x speed though 1.1x is even more fun crazy. Try it! Click the gear settings icon – playback speed – custom speed.


  3. I listened to the preview of the track a day ago of the first part of the chorus (I thought something was missing) but I was satisfied by the second chorus and the verses. I was afraid because most J-releases from k-pop groups tend to be underwhelming.
    But Stayc proved that to me that they have a flawless discography even with a J-release.


  4. Like Nick, I’m also still waiting on another So Bad which imo was a masterpiece. Mind you I liked Beautiful Monster, but it didn’t have the same edm energy of So Bad. Ever since seeing them at kcon I’m still waiting. Poppy is a fine song but the chorus is indeed very grating. Looks like the wait continues


  5. What is this? I genuinely hate the chorus. I’m feel more disappointed because the start of the song was fine until the chorus. I was waiting for something satisfying like their title tracks usually are but this one’s a no go from me.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Some parts of it reminded me of Likey (pre-chorus and bridge), which makes sense since Rado mainly worked on both. The music and MV have that cutesy but quirky feel that’s proper for the Japanese market, although at the same time it sounds like a generic K-Pop B-side endeavor, structure and arrangement-wise. I like it, it’s nice, but it might leave it cold in a week or two.


  7. I didn’t listen to it long enough to realize it’s in Japanese. Should have known by the title, but wasn’t paying attention. Not my cup-of-tea.


  8. Its catchy and makes my head go bopping. Chorus can use a little work, bu it’s fine. I can see why people compare it to Likey

    7.75 for me (7, 8, 8, 8)


  9. I’m a simple man. I see Sumin and I go all googly-eyed. Huh? The song? Oh.. ..yeah.. ..umm.. (looks back at Sumin) ..IT’S A 10!

    Fine..’s solid 8; but I reserve the right to fall over myself just the same.

    P.S. Hi, Sumin! (giggle)


  10. Its a great earworm. If you hate the first part of the chorus (personally love it) Yoon and Sieun come in with that melodic second part which really hooks it in. Love the y2k video as well. It reminds me of Twice but in the best way.


  11. Kind of obsessed with this, I think STAYC have the charm to push the chorus repetition into something a lot more interesting than it should be. Yoon sounds fantastic as always and I have a theory on them becoming the 4th gen Gfriend (without the premature disbandment hopefully) with the way their discography is shaping up.

    Glass Bead/So Bad- excellent debuts, out of the gate with a clear identity
    Me Gustas Tu/Asap- goes viral, fairly universally liked cute bop
    Rough/Stereotype- an introduction of a sense of melancholy, goes viral Again
    Navillera/Run2u- arguably some of their best songs, certified iconic and goes viral AGAIN
    Fingertip/Beautiful Monster- polarising! a slight departure from their established sounds, either love it or hate it.

    So Bad is better than Glass Bead and Fingertip is better than Beautiful Monster but I’m very interested in their trajectory and to see if my theory keeps developing.

    Liked by 1 person

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