Has it really been over a year since we've seen Sistar last? It's been a long time since we've even seen solo and sub group activity. So it's good to see the girls all back and together again. But was it worth the wait? And have they lost ground to the Girl's Days and AOA's of the world? Let's take a look here.
Touch and Move is a strong mini-album and Sistar delivers with every song, though "Touch My Body" is a touch disappointing as a choice for the promoted single. Listening to the album, there are stronger songs that could and should be promoted, namely, "But I Love U." There's just so much more musically going on with this song, there's a killer tempo that builds with far more emotion and balance between the members.
"Naughty Hands" is fun, and Verbal Jint's rap fits perfectly with the song instead of being awkwardly inserted, but "Sunshine" shouldn't be overlooked as a summer song that feels old school in its cheeriness. Even that would have been a better single. "OK GO!" is mostly a mess, but could serve well on a party or jogging mix. It's energetic, and when it does finally get past those rap breaks (sorry, Bora), the song really moves. It'd be hard for anyone hearing that song not to dance and is the perfect song to shake away a lousy Friday.
"Wow," which was never intended to be anything more than an intro for the album, far surpasses its intended role and leaves you wanting more, which is exactly what its role is, but still. Hyorin is amazing here, as always, making "Wow" the perfect song to kick off the mini-album, smooth and hip and sexy. I just wish there was a full version since the song just stops. It's almost a crime that it's not a full song.
Now back to "Touch My Body," which is just frustratingly simple. There are some moments that lift the song, like Bora's rap (you're welcome, Bora), but the repeated "Touch my body" feels less like a strong chorus and more like background noise. It's strange that so many songs this summer rely on simplistic, repetitive melodies, much like Hyomin's "Nice Body." We might be seeing a trend here. And I'm not sure how I feel about that.
The Music Video
Though it doesn't make much sense (surely, something is lost in translation), having the concept at least somewhat related to the teaser would have been interesting, with at least some narrative progression and a possible critique on societal norms.
The video isn't helped with its fast cuts that don't let you soak in the images or take in the choreography. When the song slows at the three minute mark, it's a relief to see the girls on that swing-set over water, with the plastic seagulls and moonlight providing an actual image that will actually stay with you. It's sad to say this, but Sistar is too talented, too gorgeous, and this mini-album is just too impressive for this music video to be this unremarkable.
The choreography is solid, though the butt shake is awkward and not at all sexy. The dance version of the video may be more enjoyable than the actual music video, and hopefully the live performances will be as impressive (knowing Sistar, they will be). I think that their energy and excitement will make up for any of the strange moves.
It's hard to give Sistar's comeback a grade that is truly fair. On the one hand, Touch and Move is a very impressive mini-album. On the other, the music video for "Touch My Body" is completely forgettable. Sistar needed a strong comeback to show their dominance in the Kpop world. And I'm not sure the single and concept does that. There are groups that are hungry and building their fanbase, Girl's Day, AOA, even Bestie, and groups like Sistar and Girl's Generation need to watch out. It's not enough to ride name recognition and charisma. They need to make quality albums like Touch and Move, but their agencies also need to put in more effort on their promotional singles and concepts if they want to stay on top. Because of the bland video and questionable single, I have to give Sistar's comeback a:
Timothy Moore writes from Chicago. He blogs at Read My Blog Please, and edits at Ghost Ocean Magazine. His biases are T-ara, Block B, Nine Muses, Brown Eyed Girls, and Girl's Day.