Despite 2020 being a rather underwhelming year for K-pop so far, it’s great to see that we are at least getting a pretty decent streak of summer singles. 2019 had one of the weakest K-pop summers in recent memory and in comparison, 2020 is shaping up to be much more enjoyable. We’ve slowly been seeing a rise in more upbeat fare and while there is still a fair amount of downbeat trap we need to wade through, the future is looking quite bright. Things looked even more promising when former Sister member Soyou announced a comeback with more upbeat fare and while ‘Gotta Go (가라고) doesn’t come close to the Sistar summer classics of the past, it’s still pretty solid.
Let’s just start off by saying that ‘Gotta Go doesn’t do anything new at all. Most of the instrumental is a mix of tropical house and modern latin flourishes and while this on paper does sound pretty terrible I actually think it works pretty well. Despite its more generic leanings, the production has a nice groove to it and Soyou’s vocals easily help add a great deal of character to what could have easily been a more faceless end product. For what my money’s worth, she was always been one of Koreas most charismatic vocalists and her great, personality rich vocals are on full display here. There are some musical flourishes as well that really hit some of my musicals soft spots. That tropical synth riff that dominates the tracks final few seconds is especially great. This coupled with the carnivalesque music video and you’ve got a great party starter. It actually reminds me heavily of this catchy as hell Bollywood song from 2006.
But while there is a certain groove that underlies most of ‘Gotta Go, the melody doesn’t quite manage to measure up. The chorus is nice and the “gotta gotta gotta go” post chorus refrain is catchy but comes dangerously close to being grating. I don’t know how long it will last but for now I don’t feel like it will lend itself to longevity . The chanted breakdown half way through the song is also another detour that I don’t know how to feel about. It’s an interesting aside and does help the song from feeling repetitive but it also feels a little odd. I believe it will blend in eventually over further listens but for now it does come across as abit cloying. But even with all these issues I do have a soft spot for these kinds of latin, carnival inspired dance tracks and for that reason I’m going to give ‘Gotta Go the benefit of the doubt.
Final Rating: 8 / 10