[Review] Taeyeon’s “Weekend” is SME’s “Say So” without the enduring hook

Despite being best known for her ballads, some of Taeyeon’s most enduring work has spawned from daring musical turns. Songs like “Something New” and “I Got Love” harnessed rhythmic energy that helped them standout. New single “Weekend” brings Taeyeon to the disco, blending dance pop elements with laidback city pop inspirations. The result is appealing, but dull.

“Weekend” is disco with all the fun sucked out of it. Disco-lite, If you will. It’s airy and frothy to the point of evaporating right in your hand. The song is clearly SM Entertainment’s answer to Doja Cat’s immensely popular 2020 hit “Say So, but “Weekend” never finds a hook as gripping. Instead, its chorus glides over the beat like a long exhale, matching the breezy energy. I’d rather have heard some contrast. The song is lush and focused, but threatens to fade into the background.

On the plus side, “Weekend” allows Taeyeon the chance to stretch herself as a performer. Her second verse rap is fun and bouncy, and the pre-chorus build benefits from her confident vocal. The track is relentlessly pleasant, worming its way into memory without lifting a finger. But, “Weekend” is the latest in this sub-genre of K-pop to play things too safe. Think about the greatest disco classics of all time — or even some of this year’s best disco pastiches — they build a sense of drama, whether that be via dynamic melody, larger-than-life vocals or a slamming instrumental. Songs like “Weekend” seem content to play in the kiddie pool, borrowing some of disco’s musical tropes without fully diving in.

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