Over the last 2 years, Chungha has gone from being a former member of I.O.I to one of Korea’s most prolific and loved solo artists. With this has come a shift in her music, which has gone from the generic tropical house of Why Don’t You Know, to the dynamic dance pop of Gotta Go and Snapping. It’s been a gratifying transformation, and has resulting in some killer music over the past few years. In a way, she’s like a more prolific version of Sunmi. Stay Tonight is her first major commercial release of 2020, and while it may only be a pre-release for her upcoming album, it packs a punch.
I’ve been seeing a lot of people not enjoy this song, and I’m honestly confused why. It’s pretty much the answer to what many people have been wanting from K-pop for the past few months in one modern pop package. I mentioned the importance of groove in my review of Solar’s Spit It Out, and with Stay Tonight, Chungha has combined 90’s house and electro-pop to createmor one of the years most instantly addicting and propulsive singles. It’s a near perfect fit for Chungha, and acts as the perfect template for her to showcase her skills as performer. It’s an incredibly charismatic vocal performance, only furthered by her hypnotic choreography. I love how the H&M ready beat is ever-present, which helps Stay Tonight maintain its sense of propulsion and drive without losing much momentum throughout the track. I love how the hook morphs into multiple different sections, whilst still feeling like a cohesive centrepiece. Theses constant tempo shifts, which may come of jarring in the hands of another performer of track, work to Tonight‘s advantage, presenting an atmospheric dance track that feels in constant motion.
Honestly, the only thing that’s really keeping me from giving this song a higher rating is my doubts over its longevity. While the ever-changing structure invites further listens, it almost feels too much to take in. I know thats a weird statement, especially from someone who adores over the top, bombastic pop, but there’s just something about Tonight that feels more instantaneous than something that will remain in my playlist for many months to come. This might just be another case of me overthinking, but I digress. If anything, Stay Tonight is a dynamic piece of modern pop music, and if this is any indication of the quality and genre of music on her upcoming album, then we’re In for a wild ride.
Final Rating: 8.75 / 10