Release Date: February 21, 2022
- SAME SAME
- YOUNG LUV
- I WANT U BABY
YOUNG-LUV.COM is not an adult website (with a URL like that, you can’t blame anyone for thinking such dirty thoughts.) but the name of the second EP from STAYC. It is also the group’s first release of 2022, featuring the song RUN2U as its lead single.
Until the release of this EP, STAYC has been releasing a steady stream of catchy a-sides with viral-worthy dance routines complemented by equally memorable b-sides.
RUN2U is slightly different in that respect and goes against the trend set by STAYC’s previous a-sides. The song is a mid-tempo dance-pop number that is much more chill than previous singles.
There are hints of the trendy newtro sound spread throughout this track. However, it doesn’t go 100% in that direction and instead is more of an 80/20 split between modern-sounding electronic pop and throwbacks to different eras of pop music.
RUN2U, in my opinion, doesn’t lack in the appeal department at all. However, I can see those who favour a more impactful song either tolerating this or not liking it at all.
The remainder of YOUNG-LUV.COM is more mid-tempo songs that mostly fall within the Urban Pop category. This shift in sound will be the hardest to swallow for those wanting more of the uber, hyperkinetic pop that STAYC has been dishing out until now.
But if you give these songs a chance, you’ll find there is more to STAYC than what they have been presenting so far. While it is initially jarring to hear STAYC perform over what is essentially R&B/Hip-Pop tracks, I discovered that type of sound works for them.
This relaxed version of STAYC allows members to flex their vocal gymnastics to the fullest. It is what the faster, dance-oriented songs in their catalogue do not give them space to do appropriately.
J is the member who benefits the most from the sonic shift since her vocal tone best fits the type of music that makes up most of the b-sides.
All of the remaining Urban flavoured songs are fantastic. However, I found the bouncy swing of 247 and the smooth vibe of BUTTERFLY leaving the longest lasting impression on me.
The only real negative I can find is the placement of YOUNG LUV. It kills the groove established by the songs before it and sounds out of place. In my opinion, it works better at the end of the album rather than in the middle.
As I mentioned above, YOUNG-LUV.COM will be a shock to the system for listeners who are expecting a specific type of pop (or more of the same) from STAYC. Unfortunately, if you fall under that category, it may take more than a few spins to wrap your head around this album.
Those who are more open to seeing if STAYC can tackle a different style of music will be pleasantly surprised by the end of this album.