mini-album review: STAYC “STEREOTYPE”

STAYC, girls, it’s going down, again!

6-member K-pop girl group STAYC, from High Up Entertainment, returns with their very first mini-album, ‘STEREOTYPE‘. The release comes after the release of their first 2021 release ‘STAYDOM’, which features the viral hit “ASAP”, propelling the girls to success. All eyes have now landed on STAYC for the next future releases, giving them the distinction of being one of the top fourth-generation groups to come from South Korea.

With this being their first mini-album, there is more to offer from STAYC following “ASAP”. This time, opting for a high school-like aesthetic that has Clueless vibes written all over it, STAYC returns with the title track “STEREOTYPE”. It’s time for this former high schooler to go back in time with STAYC’s third comeback and ask if this release is bound to break the stereotypes that STAYC must face with this concept and their status as rookies – will it succeed, or will it fail to be unique amongst its peers?


STAYC (스테이씨)
STEREOTYPE
Released: 2021/09/06

Navigation
STEREOTYPE
I’LL BE THERE
SLOW DOWN
COMPLEX


STAYC promoting STEREOTYPE

색안경 (STEREOTYPE)

STEREOTYPE
Romanization: Saegangyeong (STEREOTYPE)

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Don’t look with your tinted glasses on. I’m a different woman.

STEREOTYPE” might sound a little strange at first, as it’s not entirely hook-heavy as their previous efforts (nor does it have an infectiously enticing chorus as “ASAP”). However, that in itself proves the song’s lyrics – it’s a different song, but it still maintains STAYC’s bold, daringness to it, making it so unique in their catalog. From flutes and pretty synths to future bass and drums, “STEREOTYPE” doesn’t remain as one flavor. Sure, that chorus might not hit as hard, but it has a flow that could only very well be STAYC’s. It’s a wonderfully crafted pop song that gives every member a shine, and it is playfully unique while still paying homage to everything that is youthful in high school concepts. STAYC’s got something good here to tell you, so you better let them share it with you.


I’ll BE THERE

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Hello, hello, are you doing well?

I’ll BE THERE” takes the momentum from “STEREOTYPE”, slowing it down with a ballad, meant to showcase the vocal tone, color, and prowess for each STAYC member. There’s no doubt that these girls are talented, as each of their vocals are distinct and pretty to listen to. The overall BG melody is frantic as it goes along, but it maintains a melancholy feel that suits its lyrics about a lost love. Its lyrics aren’t overly thought-provoking, but it is suitable for the mini’s concept of high school and youth. It’s a bittersweet song to listen to that may seem skippable at the start, but it does grow on you over time; much like the song itself, you might find yourself there with STAYC.


SLOW DOWN

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I secretly don’t hesitate, either, but let’s not rush it.

SLOW DOWN” amps the mini’s flow, opting for a pop song that recalls the prior two months of summer. With its EDM sound, going for a bass-and-synth BG melody accompanied by guitar, “SLOW DOWN” feels familiar, but that doesn’t detract from how catchy and feel-good the track is. Its lyrics express the feelings of love, but it is that of a love that needs time to grow rather than at the moment. While it doesn’t grab the listener upon first listen, “SLOW DOWN” tends to grow on you over time – if that isn’t the metaphor for the songs lyrics, then consider me wrong. If there is one thing I’ve learned from multiple repeats of this and STAYC’s tracks, it’s that haste makes waste.


COMPLEX

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Sometimes I feel like I’m right next to you… Why can I still not forget you?

COMPLEX” ends the mini-album on a similar note to “I’ll BE THERE”, although it takes on a more R&B sound rather than ballad. This is a stand-out track, as it contains various elements that tie it all together so nicely: Sumin raps in its first segment (which was fierce), Sieun’s vocals suit this song so nicely, its chorus has quite the infectious hook, and its BG melody has a blend of subdued twinkly synth with a booming bass that occasionally brings in a melancholy acoustic guitar to give it its soothing edge. The lyrics go for the longing for a lost love route, but again, who hasn’t had the complex of a lost ‘love’ when they were young?


OVERVIEW

What we have here is another fine release from STAYC, and I’m glad to have discovered them upon debut. There really was no doubt that these girls were going to go far in their career, but it is amazing how far they’ve come in such a short time (and from a small company, at that). At this time, the girls have already earned 3 wins for “STEREOTYPE”, so it really is sky’s the limit for STAYC.

I do give this mini-album, ‘STEREOTYPE‘, a small recommend for its title track, but the additional three B-sides are worthy of a check. Out of the three, I find myself gravitating towards “SLOW DOWN” and “COMPLEX”, and I believe they might have the potential to grow into favorite tracks over time (at that point, I might consider doing a re-review… but we’ll see how that goes). Regardless, I think there is a song in here for everyone; if not, then you better get down with the STAYC girls because I think they’re hear to… STAY-c.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

MUST-LISTEN: 색안경 (STEREOTYPE)

For more STAYC reviews, visit the archive!

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