“너만 와준다면 뭐든 할 수 있었어 워.”

“마스크” by Stellar | Stellar weren’t supposed to survive – not the departures of Jeonyul and Gayoung last year, or if you go further, not the shift in image from 2014’s “Marionette” that drew a ridiculous amount of flak. Stellar weren’t destined to be one of those groups on K-pop’s top two tiers; that’s just how it is. Yet I liked them. I quite liked them, particularly from that point when they shifted their image, away from the (ill-fitting) candy pop of their 2011 debut “Rocket Girl” and towards provocative choreography and edgy songs. That was them at their most sublime. “Mask”, in particular, had that wiggly, reverb-y bass that kept pushing the song forward, turning it into one of K-pop’s most underrated tracks, perhaps ever. (And, of course, there’s “Sting”, playful and coy and cunning – still one of our favorites.) The last two singles were misfires (the last one was shockingly cringe-y) and the line-up changes last year – one in, two out, one more in – were definitely rearranging deck chairs on a sinking ship. Yet I rooted for them, for some reason. I knew they will never be successful; that’s almost always down to luck, and with so many debuts to keep track of, chances just get slimmer. Stellar weren’t supposed to survive – and this Sunday, they ceased to exist – but they were my underdogs, and they were many others’ underdogs. If they weren’t to be successful, they were going to make us happy, never mind if they were hit and miss. [NB]

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