When considering the fastest rising girl groups in the industry, STAYC are right at the top of the list. The one two punch of ASAP and Stereotype firmly lodged the girls into the public eye, giving the girls an instantly recognisable, catchy pop sound courtesy of producer Black Eyed Pilseung. And while I did enjoy their 2021 output, their excellent, synth driven debut, So Bad remained the peak of their singles run.
New single RUN2U feels like an amalgamation of all the groups singles so far, melding the propulsive synth heavy drive of their debut with the quirkier, more whimsical nature of its followups. And while it may not be a combination that always works, it results in a track who’s strengths far outweigh its weaknesses. The entire first is absolute perfection, pulsing forward on an instantly gripping descending synth loop and dynamic electro crunch. The girls give a suitably cool performance, working in perfect tandem with the instrumental and giving the entire segment the necessary bite it needs. On first listen, this entire segment had me floored.
But then we hit chorus, which strips much of the sleek, pulsing production of the verses away to introduce a flimsier, more lightweight synth loop more in line with their recent efforts. This is an initially jarring transition and one that really threw me off on first listen. But the girls more than make up for it, supplying a more powerful vocal to counteract the loss of momentum felt. It’s an interesting combination and while it has improved with further listens, still remains the tracks weakest moment. But that isn’t enough to throw off a track that’s got a super solid base, one it reinforces during the great second verse and exciting climax. It isn’t their strongest and most assured single but it is easily my favourite since So Bad.
Final Rating: 8.75 / 10