This week, Sistar is officially saying farewell after seven remarkable years together. The group released their farewell single “Lonely” on May 31 with members Hyolyn, Soyou, Bora and Dasom performing the song for a week of goodbye promotions before officially disbanding.
But one’s liable to get teary-eyed while listening to “Lonely,” it’s inevitably time to think about how it compares to the rest of Sistar’s past material. For a while, the best description of Sistar was like a quartet of Katy Perrys since every song the girls released (as a group, in duos or as solo artists) went to No. 1. For years, K-pop fans counted on the girl group to drop a summer single and they always delivered some of the brightest and representative songs for the scene to becoming a chart and K-pop culture force. And while there have been loads of great B-sides and promotional songs (one should take a moment to listen to some of Sistar’s album introduction tracks like “Wow” and “Miss Sistar”), it’s time to see how their farewell track fares in comparison to their past singles.
Continue on for Billboard‘s ranking of every one of Sistar’s singles:
12. “Shady Girl”
Sistar’s second official single was fun, but ultimately too laid back and lacked the punch the ladies needed to stand out so early in their careers. Though, one could argue standing out wasn’t much of a problem for Sistar, who had already found chart and fan success with their debut.
11. “How Dare You”
“How Dare You” was one the slicker moments of producers Brave Brothers’ long line of Sistar singles. While it was certainly an anthem for the Sistar girls themselves (“Head up to the sky/ ‘Cause we’re mighty Sistar!”), it’s somewhat tough to connect with a song that continuously yells the band name.
10. “Give It to Me”
A snappy, burlesque-inspired romp, “Give It to Me” certainly brought the energy of past Sistar singles, but with a concept that felt a bit out of place for the girls. Hyolyn and Soyou’s unmistakeable vocals run a marathon on the chorus and it’s a major highlight, but the rest of the song ultimately falls flat compared to other tracks.
9. “Push Push”
Sistar officially hit the K-pop scene on June 3, 2010 with “Push Push.” Their debut single was indisputably fun and packed the confidence that we’d feel in Sistar’s future music. Yet the song’s clunky electro-pop sound and heavy Auto-Tune use felt a lot like 2NE1 — who had just made a majorly successful debut a year earlier — and lacked a strong identity past its irresistible hook.
To say goodbye, the foursome went with a moving, R&B-inspired ballad. It’s about a failed relationship, but boasts all the hallmarks of a great Sistar song with fluttery and powerful vocals, a spirited rap section, and an ultimately uplifting sentiment minus the peculiarly gloomy English speech at the end where Dasom laments, “In time, everything will be gotten/ As will you/ That’s what’s really sad.” Still, it’s ultimately a heartfelt and impassioned goodbye from the girls.
7. “Shake It”
By 2015, Sistar was on their fifth year of consistently delivering a chart-topping summer anthem. “Shake It” is by no means a bad song, but felt too novelty compared the effortless feel-good nature of their past seasonal singles. The heavy focus on the ladies’ “money makers/ rump shakers” had already been more sophisticatedly explored on the superior “Touch My Body.”
6. “So Cool”
The first of their No. 1 singles, “So Cool” established Sistar as queens of the club with this sleek electro-pop number that way too fun to ignore. The track boasts multiple hooks to get stuck in the listener’s head and became the slick, gateway track for Sistar to begin their streak of chart-topping hits. Also fun history fact: “So Cool” was the first song to top Billboard‘s K-Pop Hot 100 chart making it an important (and effective) entryway song for curious Korean-pop listeners.
5. “I Like That”
For their last full-fledged promotion as a group, Sistar changed things up a bit. The rock-inspired “I Like That” showcased the group in a grittier light that was a refreshing change to what listeners came to expect from their annual, colorful singles. The song doesn’t pack the same punch of fun as Sistar’s best singles, but shouldn’t be counted out for that reason. It’s a further representation of Sistar’s versatility.
4. “I Swear”
“I Swear” was the late-summer groove that the group released in 2014 that highlighted their R&B sensibilities. It boasted all the markings of a signature, summer Sistar song — peppy brass, a super-fun rap bridge, a belt-along chorus — but presented with a more subdued delivery that marked a different side for the ladies. The fact that Hyolyn revealed the song originally had a more gospel vibe to it makes it all the more intriguing of where “I Swear” could have taken Sistar.
3. “Loving U”
Do songs get more feel good than “Loving U”? A track that feels plucked right out of Disneyland, the breezy, bubblegum jam wholly embodied the summery vibes Sistar crafted in their most famous singles and still boasted loads of sugary harmonies.
With the one-two punch of “Alone” and “Loving U,” 2012 was a major year for Sistar with the former track solidifying the girls’ versatility. The sultry, disco-tinged number didn’t need any uber-catchy hooks to stand out, but instead it was the ladies sold it with their delivery and an even stronger sense of charisma. If anyone thought that clubby singles was all Sistar was capable of, “Alone” proved how the group could handle a lot more and they were an artistic force with which to be reckoned.
1. “Touch My Body”
Perhaps one of the best indicators of a great musical act is when an artist can create a song representative of themselves and their musical scene or genre and “Touch My Body” does both. The 2014 single incorporated of-the-moment-pop-music trends (saxophone riffs, trappy snares, rushing synths), like the best K-pop does, with undeniable sunshine bursting from it in a way only Sistar had mastered. The cheeky “Touch My Body” theme worked so well with the strong, powerful female image the quartet had created with moments of pure seduction (when Hyolyn says she’s prepared “wine and sweet chocolate chocolate” or Bora asking what part of her body her paramour likes) to empowered independence (They open the song declaring, “I know you want it”). Ultimately, “Touch My Body” should be required for anyone curious to dip their toes into the K-pop world with its super-accessible, inviting sound, not to mention its Technicolor music video (though, that ranks high on a whole different list).