SONG REVIEW: GOT the beat – Stamp On It

When SM Entertainment unveiled their female super group back in early 2022, many including myself believed them to be the female equivalent to the wonderfully successful SuperM. Both in sound and ambition. With the likes of Taeyeon, Wendy, Seulgi, BoA, Karina, Winter and Hyoyeon, the stage almost seemed set for a real display of throw down the gauntlet ambition in the vein of juggernaut efforts like Jopping, 100 and One (Monster & Infinity). Instead, Step Back arrived as a fine, if rather muddled debut single, one that carried a trademark SM entertainment sound but failed to really capture the real personality of its performers. And while slightly more potent in some regards, Stamp On It unfortunately suffers from much the same as its predecessor.

Framed around an oddly chosen sample that feels more akin to a baby cooh-ing than suitable musical backbone Stamp On It waffles around its janky, percussive production with a performance and song structure that does little to inspire. It’s a little all over the place, a characteristic that could work given a more engaging melody but one that basically falls apart when working with songwriting that feels as though it’s just one throwaway line after another. This lack of cohesion ultimately causes Stamp on It to feel like a chore to get through. Something which many SM tracks of the past have teetered towards but ultimately sidestepped thanks to the strength of a usually iconic centrepiece and expected charismatic performances. The latter of which thankfully is still present within this track and is enough to counter many of its shortcomings. If anything, the girls give an expectedly fine performance, rattling off high notes with ease and imbuing even the silliest of lines with a sense of undeniable panache.

But ultimately, I think the primary fault with Stamp on it is one that’s been a consistent issue recently with most SM releases. And that’s with the overall familiarity and sameness of it. Sure the trademark You Young Jin layering and sound is always a treat but this new, muffled, “experimental” sound that they’ve been peddling with almost all their groups is starting to become a little stale. This song honestly could have been an NCT or aespa song and fit right in with their discographies. A few years ago each SM group had their own, instantly recognisable sound and recently, It all feels like a kind of mush.Stamp on it feels like the outcome of a template rather than its own distinguishable track, lacking any individual flair or hook that could really set it apart. A real shame given the sheer star power both upfront and behind the scenes.

Verses: 6

Chorus: 7

Production: 7

Performance: 7

Final Rating: 6.75 / 10

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