SISTAR19 are back with a new single called “Gone Not Around Any Longer,” which you may also refer to as, “Alone Part IV.”
Once again, producer Brave Brothers takes the amazing “Alone” template and runs with it. He’s already had success recycling the smash hit with TEEN TOP’s “To You,” and Dazzling Red’s “This Person,” –both great songs in their own right– so I’m not pressed about hearing it for a fourth time when the results are always so consistently good. I’m just thankful that Brave is now the Korean Dr. Luke, and not the Korean RedOne that he used to be.
Like “To You,” “Gone…” is hip-hop-based, but TEEN TOP’s boppy beat has now been slowed down to a lethargic grind. A porno noir (pornoir?) saxophone riff plays a prominent part in the production, like the kind you might hear playing at midnight on a seedy motel’s TV. It’s both depressing and hideously sexy; a style that’s been big in K-pop ever since miss A’s “Touch.” It’s good, because if you can’t understand the Korean lyrics about wanting to get drunk and die when memories of an ex-boyfriend become too painful, you can just lazily gyrate to the music like a heavily-medicated stripper. (It’s the kind of song that makes you want to do that.)
Vocally, Hyorin does almost all the work, while Bora pops in briefly for a rap verse. It doesn’t really matter though, because Bora’s clearly just there for the visual aspect in the music video and nothing else — and she definitely delivers on that front. Both Bora and Hyorin look off-the-chain hot wandering around in men’s shirts and panties, serving up a seductive brand of sexuality that struts a thin line between fragile and ferocious. The pair even rip-off the “Alone” leg slide choreography, this time changing it from a floor foot sweep to a table butt wipe. (As was to be expected from an anal-obsessed group like SISTAR.)
Is the whole thing so positively tantalizing that it’s going to unleash endless boners across Korea for the next three months? Hell yes. Is it original? Not in the slightest. SISTAR couldn’t have released “Gone…” as a group because of its obvious twin-like relation to “Alone,” but they knew they could get away with it if they just slapped a sub-unit sticker on top. That way, it’s a SISTAR comeback, without really being a SISTAR comeback. But who cares? Overall, “Gone…” is the most sizzling entry into the sad-but-sexy K-pop sub-genre to date, performed by the two most relevant members of the hottest girl group of the moment. What more could you ask for?