Review: Sting by Stellar

Sting by StellarIf you’ve been closely following K-pop in the past couple of years, you’d know Stellar’s, uh, boundary-pushing reputation. “Marionette” was controversial because of its very suggestive music video, and their subsequent singles have seen a variation on the theme, if not a bit of a push and pull, culminating in the self-aware middle finger that is “Vibrato”. That song, by the way, is quite good: a proper build-up, to that killer bridge, leading to a very satisfying climax. (Please do not align those descriptions with what happens in the music video.) That song ends Stellar’s new mini-album; it begins with an interesting turn into something more subdued. I’d compare the first two songs to f(x)’s work on 4 Walls: there’s a flirtation with deep house, without going all out, which is as well because nobody wants to sound like a rip-off – and they haven’t quite earned the right to do so. I mean, they’re new-ish and all. And to most they’re still that girl group that plays up the sexy factor hard (although not as hard as Bambino). But if you only know them for suggestive-bordering-on-explicit choreography, Sting succeeds, for the most part, in proving they can also do good pop songs. [NB]4/5

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