[Review] STAYC deliver ‘TEENFRESH’ as advertised on fun and celebratory “Bubble”

Despite some honestly odd social media concern about their trajectory, STAYC have continued to rise over the years. After stagnating a bit at merely successful (oh heavens!) with “Beautiful Monster“/We Need Love, they saw their sales take a jump and place on the charts return with “Teddy Bear“/Teddy Bear, and now they’re back with single “Bubble” off their TEENFRESH mini, which basically wears its intent on its sleeves.


While there’s always risk with utilizing trendy concepts and sounds — high teen in this case (yes I know they’ve always done it, but still) — it never matters much if the execution is on point, which “Bubble” excels at. Sure, it’s absolutely a song that you probably feel like you’ve heard before, as it features a bright soundscape built on a synthy foundation to create classic bubblegum K-pop. But in a sea of groups (boy and girl) trying for similar feels who all kinda mesh into one another, STAYC is buoyed by the fact that they can do more with their vocals, which notably sets them apart throughout the song. From living in a bit of a lower range and carrying some attitude in the verses, to peppy and cheerful reciting of refrains, to impressive vocal peaks, STAYC showcase it all in “Bubble”.

Speaking of those refrains, the chorus seem like it’ll be a bitch to sing live, but it provides that melodic peak that not many others bother with anymore. Eventually the chorus settles into a repetition of what amusingly can sound like “bubba bubba bubble“, which helps the song stick with you on repeat listens and features stabs of synths between them. My main quibble is that it feels like there’s too much room between hooks at the end of the chorus, which can feel a bit more draining than it needed to be. Regardless, it’s a carefree song that appropriately carries its momentum well throughout and feels like a party or celebration, not even letting the bridge stop it before it finishes strong in a final chorus. Hell, I even enjoyed the cheerleader-esque intro, even if it wasn’t “STAYC girls, it’s going down“.


While I haven’t been a huge fan of their last two singles, and I do actually prefer their more moody side, STAYC’s releases generally deliver in some form or another (b-sides are usually quality), regardless. That said, I’m glad this time around the single has left a positive impression for mini already, as it’s always nice to enjoy something that’s going to be promoted everywhere. Hopefully “Bubble” marks another step forward for STAYC in their slow climb up the girl group ranks.


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Thot Leader™