girls day sistar
SISTAR currently rank as one of Korea’s top three girl groups, while Girl’s Day –despite not having reached SISTAR’s success just yet– have filled the empty spot that KARA used to occupy as K-pop’s most popular pretty princesses.

Both groups have now made summer-themed comebacks at the same time, so obviously it’s our job (meaning me and all of y’all) to turn the art of music into a cheap competition by pitting the two groups against each other.

First up, Girl’s Day!

Song: Darling

Producer: Duble Sidekick (recent other work: Girl’s Day’s “Something,” G.NA’s “Pretty Lingerie,” Hyosung’s “Good-night Kiss”)

The music: When I first heard “Darling,” I instantly thought of SECRET’s “Shy Boy” and Jewelry’s terrible “Shy Boy” wannabe, “Back It Up.” Although those two songs came out back in early 2011, we’ve seen a few artists try out jazz-inspired pop this year –like AOA, TVXQ, and IU– so it’s not a surprise to see Girl’s Day jump on the burgeoning trend, too. After all, they’ve been genre-hopping for the past year, having now completely lost the signature synth-pop sound they established with hits like “Twinkle Twinkle,” “Don’t Forget Me,” and “Expectation” (all of which crafted by DreamTea Entertainment’s in-house producer Nam Ki-sang).

The brassy bubblegum of “Darling” is pretty irresistible and it’s undoubtedly one of the better K-pop songs of the summer, but it’s disappointing to see that Girl’s Day no longer have their own sound. They really stood out from the crowd pre-“Expectation,” but now all their hits are interchangeable with other girl groups. Well, not “Female President” (which was surprisingly unique, looking back), but “Something” and now “Darling” could’ve easilybeen handed to others.

Still, it’s a small gripe that’s more reflective of Girl’s Day as a group rather than “Darling” as a song. And I have to hand it to Duble Sidekick for working Girl’s Day’s saucy new image into “Darling” by filling it with sexual euphemisms like “sting love into me like a bee” and “oh baby fresh like soda pop / ticke down my throat.”

Super sweet, but still a little saucy!

Concept: “Expectation” and “Something” –as FUCKING FLAWLESS as they are– looked like little girls trying to recreate “Abracadabra” and “Alone.” But by Girl’s Day mixing their old cute concept with their new status as scantily-clad K-pop pin-ups, they’ve finally found their niche in the sexy concept realm. They’ve done an even better job at the cute/sexy fusion than Rainbow did last year, and if they could just add a little comedy to their act like they used to do, then they’d have found the perfect image for themselves.

If Orange Caramel’s “Catallena” didn’t exist, then “Darling” would be the best girl group MV of the year. Mostly for shallow reasons because Girl’s Day is now the top female visual group next to Girls’ Generation, but that still counts as a valid reason.

Choreography: Adorable! Amazing! Fun! Flirty!

Overall: If Hyomin’s muzak masterpiece “Nice Body” is a 9/10 and AOA’s “Short Hair” is a 6/10 (god I got sick of that song quickly), then I guess “Darling” has to be about an 8/10. (This is my hyperbolic K-pop scoring; if I were being completely objective it’d probably be about a 7 or slightly lower).

Song: Touch My Body

Producer: Rado, Choi Kyu Sung (Rado produced Trouble Maker’s two singles and A Pink’s “My My” and “Hush”)

The Music: “Touch My Body” sounds a bit like HyunA’s “Bubble Pop!,” which sounds a lot like Britney’s “How I Roll.” It’s as if someone took “Bubble Pop” and reduced HyunA down to a guest rap (that would be Bora) then filled the rest with an actual singer (Hyoncè), and overloaded the production with saxophones and electro-pop and trap snares. That sounds utterly amazing on paper, but I’m still somewhat undecided on the final product. I haven’t had long enough with TMB to decide if I’m slightly underwhelmed or 1000% satisfied (the latter usually being the case with SISTAR).

The general reaction I’ve seen to TMB has been an overall meh, but I think we’re all holding SISTAR to impossible standards just because of who they are (something K-pop fans also do to Girls’ Generation). If any other talented 4-member girl group dropped TMB –like BESTie or SECRET– we’d all be slayed from the first play, and y’all know it.

Overall I think I love TMB, and I expect it to grow on the rest of the K-flop community with some time.

Concept: The “Touch My Body” MV looks like a white trash pop art comic book starring a drunk and horny SISTAR in disgusting floral diapers. I started off hating it, but now I’m kind of enamoured by the brazen tackiness of it all. The awkward booty choreography is even worse than the infamous ‘tail dance’ from “SO COOL,” but it’s so bad that it’s almost good once you get over the initial “THIS SHIT IS BENEATH SISTAR!” thing.

If STELLAR got a budget increase and did a summer single, it’d probably be this, and there’s something interesting about a superstar group like SISTAR lowering the bar down to “Marionette” levels when they don’t actually have to. I mean, the lyrics to TMB literally refer to SISTAR’s pussies as big wet moist red swimming pools, so it would’ve been a cop-out if they didn’t trash it up for the music video. From a nugu group this would be desperate media play with a good hook, but from SISTAR it becomes edgy and a little unexpected.

Choreography: Like a really bad gross version of all the dance routines from Beyonce’s last two albums. It’s a mess, but it’s memorable.

Overall: I started out hating TMB and then fell in love with it through this review. “Darling” is so obviously faultless, but TMB’s flaws stick with you in a way that Girl’s Day’s glossy perfection doesn’t. SISTAR actually took a risk by STELLARizing themselves (or should I say ‘FIESTARizing’), while Girl’s Day are playing it too safe in their bid to reach the top. For those reasons, I think both comebacks are ultimately on par with each other for different reasons, so I’ll also give SISTAR an 8/10.


Let me know which one you liked the most in the comments below.

  • Steve

    I don’t know what’s going on SISTAR’s video.
    All it reminds me of is Britney’s Work Bitch swimming pool.
    And the dance routine is a mix between Beyonce and G.R.L.

    That being said. I still love it and the girls look like such babes.
    <3<3 Hyorin

  • KingBeaArthur

    Well shit. I agree with both points!

    For Girl’s Day the obvious SECRET-ness of “Darling” is so in your face but Duble once again added just enough to the pot that any comparisons fall by the wayside. I see it more as an homage to Shy Boy vs. flat out theft. Plus: SOJIN!!!! I mean, come on!

    I was slayed by TMB on the first viewing/listen, then I was turned off by parts of the concept and choreography the more I watched the mv (while I continued to love the song). But now I’m fully back on board! I love that they necessarily didn’t have to “STELLARize” ^^ themselves but that they’re at a level now that they could get away with it better than most would or could.

    My biggest gripe w/ SISTAR overall is I wish they would get new choreographers b/c whoever they have currently aren’t utilizing their talents to the fullest. I’ve thought that for several eras, not just for TMB.

  • Suzy Sooyoung

    Darling is the kind of song that fucking gets me from first listen and I don’t feel sick of it quite yet. It’s just a really good concept for them after the last couple of singles being so sexual.
    As for TMB, yeah I agree I didn’t feel like it was something iconic at first but I now I grew to love it.

  • ZeeHang

    Omg yes! I’m a Star1 but I really agree with everything you say about TMB ;)

    • tablet

      But LOEN is one of the more creative companies though…Plus they have a lot of money. I want them to help out SiSTAR. I would think LOEN would do the opposite of making them generic.

  • Nicole Naeun

    So it’s a tie? But then you say GsD is actually 7 or lower? Guuurrrlll~~~
    I fucking love Darling, it’s so adorable and I think everyone agrees that after these years of searching and waiting, we finally found Shy Boy 2.0. Everything about Darling is amazing and on point, and I just can’t get enough of this song.

    As for TMB, I’m still not feeling. I’m a big fan of SISTAR (have always loved all their songs from the coolest to the trashiest), but this song ain’t just it. I love the trashy concept for TMB, but comparing to Loving U and So Cool as their past summer singles, TMB lacks of summer catchiness while those two still I can’t get enough. Not only TMB lacks of that trashy engrish lines that you just love to shout, SISTAR also lost their repetitive-hook charms that usually always get you (hell, GITM is basically that one line repeated for 1000x but everyone seems to be loving it).

    Overall, GsD definitely wins the competition song-wise, concept-wise. Well done, Sojin and her troops!

    Oh, I love Nice Body, but guurl, you’re exaggerating that 9/10. 8 is at its best (and I’m being generous).

    • I really didn’t like TMB at first but then it grew on me so much. It’s so energetic and the English translated lyrics are even more shocking than FIESTAR. It’s Bubble Pop 2.0 for 2014 generation.

      Nice Body is so amazing I still play it daily. The muzak elevator music style mixed with hip-hop is the best and the lyrics are so funny.

  • png

    Hilariously, all the brazen concept groups end with -AR. STELLAR/FIESTAR/SISTAR
    “But I Love You” is my favorite SISTAR song from the album so I hope it gets sung during the comeback perfs this week.

  • Fiestar one more ^^

  • James Smith III

    Love Girls Day cute/sexiness. And I still don’t know about Sistar’s song TMB would prob slay me if BOB GIRLS or Exid came back with this song but idk I love when Sistar do songs like GITM

  • culchan

    The big question is still this: what was Minah holding in the teaser image for “Darling”? If, as it appears, she’s holding 2 vibrators, combined with Fiestar’s “One More”, will summer 2014 be remembered as the Summer of K-Pop DP?

  • KrisJenner

    I vote Red Light.

  • Arsinoë

    “I think we’re all holding SISTAR to impossible standards just because of who they are (something K-pop fans also do to Girls’ Generation)”


  • Jafet

    I really like both songs but i just cant bring myself to listen to them. And i agree completely with what you said about Girl’s Day losing their signature sound. I tweeted some time after Darling came out that if they released a song with their pre-Expectation sound and mix it with a sexy concept it could be amazing.

  • Laurence Nope

    It’s like 2011 again with new versions of Shy Boy and Bubble Pop. So who will step up with the year’s Sixth Sense? Which of course will have to earn that title not by sounding similar but by being uniquely amazing and groundbreaking. Maybe Kara will surprise us with a radical transformation (who am I kidding DSP is gonna play it ultra-safe).

    • qibey

      I thought Red LIght came close to Sixth Sense.

  • oneclearnight

    I was so bored by Touch My Body on first listen, then I stuck it on repeat for awhile and now I love it?? It’s so catchy, the sax is crazy, and I love how blatantly sexual the lyrics are. I need more Soyu though, you’d think that with Some being the biggest hit of the year so far Starship would give her some more lines, but nope. I got bored of GITM so fast, but there’s smth about TMB, it’s a total earworm.

    Still, nothing will beat Loving U for me. The ultimate summer jam (aside from Hot Summer ofc).

    I agree that everyone is always disappointed by w/e SNSD or Sistar put out at first, then a few months later everyone is like THIS IS A JAM. It’s ridiculous.

    I love Darling even more (any group could have done it, but I’m still glad that GD did it), I think GD really have perfected the fusion of sexy/qt. The mv is so bright + flirty and SOJIN IS A GODDESS. Like Luna is slaying this f(x) comeback, Sojin is slaying Darling. I love her so much.

    • png

      Compared to their other songs, I think Hyorin actually got less lines but everyone else’s amounts stayed around the same.
      Hyorin – 1/2 1st Verse + 1/2 of choruses + Bridge
      Soyu – 1/2 1st Verse + 1/2 of choruses + Bridge
      Bora – Rap
      Dasom – 2nd Verse (Unless Hyorin sings the other half) + Bridge
      I just hope Soyu continues to rule the charts with her collabs. It’s been pretty good for her so far.

  • Db

    I really like their booty shorts!!!

    FIESTAR’s One More is a 10 out of 10.

  • CY

    Darling <3

  • UncleFan

    I like Darling better, but they’re both good songs.

  • TBH I’m just waiting for BESTie to slay me.

  • leesigh3

    I’m with you on all of this except that I already know that I love TMB.

    I had to turn off the TMB MV the first time they did that butt shake thing but now I kind of like it. Especially when Hyorin does it since she looks coordinated.

  • qibey

    For just the song, I prefer “Darling”; however, something about Sistar’s whole package has got me hooked. I think you hit it on the head with the white trash tackinesss … and that is working for me. Sistar are the hot girls at summer BBQ. Looking sexy and sassy while drinking a beer, dancing, and playing flip cup.

  • HyorinDeepiPari

    I don’t really get how people have put Loving U on this amazing pedestal. In my opinion, Darling is way better than Loving U. But I’m loving Touch My Body more than both Loving U and Darling. The peculiar dance moves immediately spoke out to me. I agree with you about Darling being flawless but I’m loving all of Touch My Body’s flaws. Plus Sistar have always had at least one peculiar dance move in all their songs.

  • i prefer darling of course! ever since boring “give it to me” sistar has lost me a bit, givin me joy only through hyorin’s wonderful solo album.

    both singles are kinda bittersweet though, because of the current girl’s day’s status as the greatest imitators of k-pop, and sistar actually stepping back to their trashy sexy pop days after the more sophisticated butt thrusting of alone.

    but like u i loved both songs and am sure they’ll be fine on my treadmill/work out playlists.

  • Sarah Vv

    but “something” was suppose to be for Hyolyn’s single but lol,she rejected.

  • Sarah Vv

    but something was for Hyolyn’s single album but lol, she rejected it & got hand over to Girl’s Day .. If Hyolyn hadn’t rejected , i don’t think Girl’s Day would be as popular as before ..