Sunmi shines when given the chance on “Gashina”, but Teddy too often takes the reins

Now that Wonder Girls are officially disbanded, many have been curious what each member will release as a soloist. Sunmi hasn’t necessarily been a stranger to solo work, but it’s already been three years since her highly successful mini album, ‘Full Moon‘. When it was announced that she would be working with YG Entertainment’s super-producer Teddy for comeback single “Gashina“, my interest was definitely piqued. Teddy doesn’t often collaborate outside of YG Entertainment, but Sunmi’s own style has always recalled artists from that agency.

Both 24 Hours and Full Moon were notable for their seductive, sexually-driven sound and performance style. “Gashina” moves in an artsier direction, but is still in keeping with Sunmi’s persona. Honestly, it’s a song that’s more fascinating than purely enjoyable on a gut level. The first verse, supported by a bubbling synth and filtered background vocals, kicks things off on a strong note. Sunmi’s vocals command attention with their presence and continual build. But like so many songs, “Gashina” is undercut by a beat drop where a chorus should be.

In this way, “Gashina” actually feels a lot like ex-YG artist Minzy’s debut single from back in April. There are definitely more interesting things going on here from a production standpoint, but they’re tempered by the frustration that “Gashina” could have been anchored by a much stronger centerpiece. The chorus needs to absolutely explode. Instead, the sound thins to a single, repeated instrumental riff that feels overly familiar to the point of tedium. When Sunmi’s allowed to take hold of the track, she’s mesmerizing. Why not utilize that undeniable charisma all the way through?

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