In 2002 PSY released the classic Champion, a major Korean hit that made him a household name across the nation. A decade later in 2012, he released the internationally beloved Gangnam Style, the song the arguably gave K-pop the initial international boost the industry needed for it to become the behemoth it is today. A decade on from that, he promised fans that his 2022 comeback wouldn’t only make waves around the world, but rather cement itself as a universal hit. Lead single That That may not be the kind of world changing track that lives up to such a proclamation but boy is it a fun time.
Produced by and featuring BTS’ Suga, a surefire way to craft a chart dominating track, That That is an absolute blast of a song from start to finish, harnessing the freewheeling bounce of some of PSY’s most iconic work to craft a track that knows not to take itself seriously. It doesn’t have the kind of instantly iconic riffs or hooks that songs like Gangnam Style and Gentlemen had but the looping sample that lines much of the tracks instrumental backbone is satisfying in its own way. It’s got a snarky playfulness to its design, something that’s been severely lacking in many recent k-pop songs. I don’t usually pay attention to a tracks lyrics but boy are the ones here such a blast to nod along to. It’s one absurd hook after another and honestly, I’m here for it. It brings me back to a time where songs were released to emulate a fun time, not backed by layers and layers of unnecessary thematic or conceptual lore. Yoongi’s (Suga) verse is also a highlight, playing off the instrumental riff in an incredibly charming fashion. I love how his delivery works in tandem with the shifting instrumental, proving that you don’t need to slow a track down to a crawl to have a great rap break.
That That also has a strong, if repetitive hook. It’s clearly designed to be catchy and while its incredibly simplistic, it achieves its goal. Few artists can pull off centrepieces like this but PSY absolutely commands the stage here. He imbues the track with so much personality and charisma that you can’t help but smile. But there are some moments where That That does falter. The “can you feel it” pre-chorus is probably the only time where the track slows down and while it’s brief, it does derail some of the momentum the track had been building to this point. I think a tighter arrangement could have made moments such as that feel more natural and less jarring. It’s a little too sparse for my tastes. But by the time everything comes together for the tracks extended, chanted finale, it’s hard to resist. Is That That a world changing masterpiece? Absolutely not. But boy does it achieve exactly what it set out to do and more. A very pleasant surprise for sure.
Final Rating: 8.5 / 10