If any of your friends call BABYMONSTER’s latest single, “Stuck In The Middle,” hip-hop or even strictly K-pop, slowly calm them down and explain why the slow-burning ballad is not any of those genres.
The girls are ready to set themselves apart from other K-pop girl groups, and this time, we’re not seeing a branding that’s focused on the virtual world, dance routines, or even fantastical videos – though BABYMONSTER’s “Stuck In The Middle” music video is far from being something to sniff at. This time, we’re seeing the emergence of a K-pop group that’s not afraid to make love a little more serious, and their vocals are much more tantalizing than the rest.
Listening to the track, I get a taste that the production is easily teasing me, giving me glorious vocals only to cut it away as suddenly as it came, enough to leave me wondering and wanting more. And that’s okay because it’ll make you play it that one more time.
Since their November 2023 debut with the hip-hop-infused single “Batter Up,” the girls have decided to try their hand at a piano-driven pop ballad. And what if we had a multi-genre K-pop group, wouldn’t that be fun?
“All this time we’ve been together / (Oh-oh-oh) And I still don’t know how you feel / Sometimes I wish you’d just (Woah-oh-oh) / Talk to me,” Ruka and Chiquita sing in the first verse, describing a situation when one isn’t truly certain of their feelings.
The founder of YG Entertainment, Yang Hyun-suk, described the latest musical offering as “not a hip-hop track.”
“It’s so fresh to me that I wonder if YG [Entertainment] has ever released a song like this,” he shared of the single on New Year’s Eve. “If I were to share my personal opinion about it, whenever I listen to this song, I close my eyes, it feels like being in a state of zero gravity in outer space.”
This feeling described by Yang was what BABYMONSTER sought to achieve in their music video, as we see the girls in fantasy castles, surrounded by only things that will cause the eye to adore.
“The skills and unique colors of the members’ vocals make me want to focus on even the smallest breath,” Yang added. “It makes me focus intensely when listening. I think it’s a song that can be described as ‘beautiful’.”
While the group is down a member at present due to Ahyeon having to take a break for health reasons, reports say she’ll be ready to join her fellow band members by the time they release their debut album in April.