Song Review: STAYC – Teddy Bear

STAYC - Teddy BearSTAYC have quickly developed a robust fan base, but for me they’ve yet to eclipse the appeal of their debut track So Bad. Though they’ve worked with producers (and agency heads) Black Eyed Pilseung for every title track thus far, their discography has been surprisingly varied. The more subdued sound of last summer’s Beautiful Monster split opinion, and new single Teddy Bear is likely to do the same.

The group has made a sharp turn towards poppier fare, bringing to mind early Twice or even imperial phase Katy Perry. This can either be a ton of fun or a big misfire and your tolerance for childlike concepts will determine your reaction. I’m not big on infantilism when it comes to K-pop girl groups, but I don’t think that’s what’s happening here. Teddy Bear may be more cotton candy than full course meal, but it doesn’t go full ITZY’s Sneakers on us. There’s enough melodic meat to keep things interesting and the production has a refreshing sense of bigness that aims straight for the pop jugular.

We’re in a K-pop era where everyone’s trying to be cooler than cool, which makes Teddy Bear a bit daring in its own way. It’s silly and slight, which allows it to embrace a punchier energy than most current tracks. The beat-heavy instrumental is a ton of fun, especially when it veers into old-school hip-hop breakbeats for verse two. I don’t know that newer fans will warm to something so unabashedly cheerful, but as of today I think it’s one of my favorite STAYC titles.

Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 9

Grade: B


23 thoughts on “Song Review: STAYC – Teddy Bear

  1. Now t h i s is what I’m looking for! Pure energetic, creative fun.

    This song gives me that 2010’s bubblegum pop nostalgia (especially the chorus!) but it has a ton of interesting elements that make it stand out. And somehow it all fits together without feeling jarring.

    I adore the plucky guitar in the introduction and first verse and honestly wish it was present throughout more of the song. That old school hip-hop break is so fun (Bomfunk MCs, anyone?) and then they throw a little 2nd generation k-pop sass over top of it with that stylistic auto-tune before smoothly transitioning back to the prechorus – amazing. My only major dislike here is that low synth in the bridge, but maybe I’ll come around with more listens.

    I’ll be playing this on repeat for the next few days.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I liked it on the first listen, but I did not feel the excitement or surprise I usually feel while listening to a STAYC title.
    It’s a more straightforward track in that sense, and that’s not a bad thing! I agree that It will be pretty divisive mainly due to the “childish” nature of the song and concept. The part I liked the most is the 2010’s vibes that pop up so strongly during the chorus (I can totally imagine it being the centerpiece for a Katy Perry banger!)
    The verses are a bit lacking in comparison to other of their singles, though, and I think that affects some of the longevity and memorability of the song. The post-chorus breakdown was also a bit more awkward than it was in other of their singles (ASAP did this wonderfully).
    It is definitely not the best of their title tracks, maybe even the weakest, but it’s a solid, fun pop song. When Beautiful Monster came out I know many people were disappointed, but it was such a heartfelt song and a total grower. I just know I trust BEP and their odd-producing choices, they always have a reason for them. I have yet to find a BEP song that I truly dislike.


  3. So here’s the thing, says old woman yelling at clouds.

    There are several targets of teen pop music:
    1 Made by teens girls appealing primarily to young teen girls
    2 Made by teen girls, appealing to young teen girls, a few teen boys, and also older men (eg New Jeans)
    3 Made by teen girls, radio friendly or quirky enough, listened by all sorts

    This song is the first category. I am not going to knock it (much), as it is a good pop song and there is a market for it, but it skews so young to me, there is no appeal for me for this material.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I like it but…I don’t know how often I’ll return to it.

    It does seem like the kind of song to grow on me a lot though so we’ll see.


  5. I really enjoyed it, rating is just right I think. StayC have really solidified themselves as a good group for me following the So Bad into ASAP fiasco (sorry I still dislike this song).

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Agree with the review wholeheartedly. This is such a slice of upbeat, catchy K-pop that is almost impossible to dislike. Now that K-pop is mostly about being dark, witchy and weird this is now the true rebellious music – it’s actually OK to feel happy, there’s more than enough darkness already in the world as it is.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Tbh, I don’t wanna listen to this one. All because of its title. Teddy Bear sounds just so childish to the point when it makes me wanna puke. Nah, thank you, girls.


  8. This went on my playlist so fast!! Reminds me of “Starships” by Nicki Minaj, which I think is a truly excellent pop song. (Though I’m not sure how many people agree! 😄)

    SO into this. Stayc gets a lot of hate, and it seems pretty fickle. In the fourth gen, it seems like everyone is quick to glom onto the cool new thing while not only leaving behind but also actively disparaging the more senior acts. Why can’t we have both? I love Le Sserafim AND Stayc!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. My jaw dropped when I hit the chorus. Those synths sound like exactly the kind of thing that was on the radio when I was younger, and I totally dig it. I don’t know how much I’ll listen to it, but it’ll be super useful if I’m ever feeling nostalgic.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I like this a lot! Feels very punchy and bright and full of energy, which are all things I associate with STAYC.

    I love the guitar (thanks to my unabashed desire for more rock sounds of any kind in kpop!) and it was cool to hear Sieun rap as well as J. My only critique is I wish the chorus was slightly longer, it felt like it was a line too short and I would’ve liked to see the hooky melody of the chorus be explored a little more.

    So Bad and Run2u are still my favourite songs by them, but this is definitely up there. It made me smile the biggest smile the first time I heard it, and the power of a good pop song to make people happy can never be understated. STAYC girls, it’s going down indeed!

    Liked by 3 people

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