Over time, the K-Pop Review community has grown from a few individuals into a full subset of the internet. Now, TheBiasList, Kbopped, 10/10 – Music, Hallyureviews, Jei’s Kulture Notes, Deforested Music, A Floating Realm in the Corner, 8.5 Music, and Kpopreviewed are working together, to create a series, where we review some of our favorite collections of songs from the huge K-Pop catalog, with each of us choosing a song each to fit the theme. August’s theme is ‘Summer’, so here we all are with our favorite K-Pop summer songs to bring some refreshing sounds to your speakers.
Be sure to check out everyone’s blogs in the links below!
August 10: 10/10 – Music
August 11: A Floating Realm in the Corner
August 12: Kbopped
August 13: Jei’s Kulture Notes
August 14: Hallyureviews
August 15: 8.5 Music
August 16: Kpopreviewed
August 17: Deforested Music
August 18: The Bias List
As someone who’s only been in the Kpop blog landscape for around a year and half now, it’s been an honour to be part of one of the largest collaborations in k-blogging history (or at least I think so). And with a feature description as intimidating as choosing K-pop’s all time best summer song, The pressure is definitely there for me to deliver. Especially after two great reviews of two fantastic tracks by 108ent and Bluerasberrysyrup. As such, it wasn’t easy picking a track. I’m someone who finds it very hard to get a top 1, always going through 3 or 4 different tracks that depending on my mood or time of the year could easily find themselves at the top of said list. Such was also the case here. I switched between tracks like Wanna One’s Energetic, BTS’ Boy With Luv and ONF’s Complete. But in the end, all it took was one play of Snuper’s The Star of Stars for it to beat out all the competition and reaffirm itself as my favourite K-pop summer song of all time.
Now what makes the Star of Stars so special? Well to understand that we must first go back to early 2016. This is when the pretty much unknown Snuper released a track that would go on to kickstart one of K-pop’s most legendary singles runs:
Platonic Love –> You =. Heaven –> It’s Raining –> Back:Hug –> The Star of Stars.
For those who have never heard of Snuper or any of their tracks, this string of back to back singles might not really mean much (though I beg you to listen to each and every single one If you haven’t). But for those of us who know, it’s truly extraordinary that a group with such little recognition, budget or fandom could string together such a pitch perfect run. And The Star of Stars took everything great about its predecessors and wrapped it up into a taut 3 minutes and 20 seconds of pop magic.
I’ve said this before in my reviews that the one thing I long for the most in a song is its ability to make me feel something. A great song should make me feel some kind of emotion. Good songs remain memorable thanks to a catchy melody or strong production. But legendary songs, like The Star of Stars wash over you like a wave. From its opening moments to its rousing finale, the track doesn’t take a single misstep, pulsing forward on a bed of tropical squiggles a constant sense of movement and lift. It’s like you’re taking off, a fitting analogy considering the engine like sample used to power the tracks gorgeous ascending pre-chorus. It’s not the most instantly gripping of introductions but Star knows how to build interest, teasing its key elements without spoiling the tracks killer moments.
We then transition into the first verse which feels so damn FRESH. Tropical house in 2017 was all the rave and quickly became oversaturated and given a different set of producers, Stars verses could have easily come off as throwaway or basic. But this is Sweetune we’re talking about here and they imbue every single moment of Stars with an undeniable sense of relaxed urgency. I know that is quite contradictory but it’s the best way I can describe the brilliance of Star. The instrumental pulses with an sense of drive but the performance remains light and breezy, perfectly complementing the season.
But nothing compares to Stars chorus, which ranks amongst the greatest K-pop if not pop choruses these ears have ever had the luxury of experiencing. The track retreats to it core, undulating rhythm here but gains further momentum through a fantastic, ascending melodic line that just opens up the track like a refreshing bottle of coke (not sponsored btw). And just when you thought it couldn’t get better, The Star of Stars hits you with its killer post-chorus. A moment so perfectly calibrated and catchy that it steals the show every time it rolls around, expertly conveying the sense of lift that I mentioned previously. The melody and performance carry such a great deal of emotion that it makes you feel nostalgic for moments that never even happened, launching you into an idyllic space that you just lose yourself in. Even if its just for 3 minutes. In the end, The Star of Stars is just sunshine in a bottle, and when you’re looking for a brilliant summer track, I don’t think you could want anything more than that.
That concludes my review for Snuper’s magnificent The Star of Stars. and the third overall review for the K-pop Songs of the Summer collaboration! Tomorrow, Jess from Jei’s Kulture Notes will be writing about one of my favourite girl group summer bops of the past few years. It’s a track from one of my favourite groups and I bet you’ll be grooving to the beat from its opening few moments alone.
Final Rating: 10/ 10