Sistar were a four membered girl group, under Starship Entertainment, that debuted in 2010. It pains me to say “were”. Sistar recently disbanded, only 1 day after their 7th anniversary. They leave behind a discography that is synonymous with summer. Their light, upbeat songs were always released just at the start of summer, and they continued to dominate the charts for the following months. When it was announced earlier this year that Sistar were in negotiations with Starship to renew their contracts, everyone was hopeful that they would continue. But not even Sistar could beat the “seven year curse” that seems to plague kpop girl groups. However, the group disbanded on a positive note, and here’s hoping we get to see more of the awesomely talented members as time goes on. Let’s have a look at their last song, “Lonely”.
First things first, this is not the usual “Sistar” song. It’s not cheery, it’s not upbeat, and it’s not summery. It’s slower, more introspective, and desperate. It’s an unusual choice for a Sistar comeback, but even moreso as a “goodbye” song. I am sad that they didn’t get to leave on a high note with one last boombastic summer hit, but this works really nicely as well. It shows that even in their last moments as a group, they were able to surprise fans. This song leans heavily on the acoustic guitar, and works really well to add to the maudlin tone of the song.
The lyrics are very different, again, to anything that Sistar have previously released. They are despondent in a way that I haven’t heard from the girls before, and it works fantastically. The lyrics focus on the imperfect love that they have. They question whether they are in love at all, considering how much heartbreak and the feelings of loneliness it is causing them. They muse as to whether they are happy at all, or if they are deluding themselves into thinking it because the alternative of being on their own is too painful to face. They sing about being isolated and about
“Not expecting much” from this relationship. The lyrics broke my heart in places. They are a perfect fit for this song, and a perfect fit for the usually confident Sistar members. The shades of loneliness in this are twofold. They are lonely with the person, and lonely without, and it’s hard for them to relate to which is worse.
The members all sound phenomenal in this song. I expect nothing less from Sistar. My favourite part of the entire song has to be Bora’s rap. She always does a great job, but I think it fits so well here, I can’t imagine the song without it. I really hope that we will hear more songs from the other Sistar members, as I believe Hyolyn will continue releasing solo work, but I need more Bora, Soyou, and Dasom in my life. Their voices are too good.
The English lyrics at the end of the song, referring to everything eventually being forgotten are sad in the scope of the song, but even more sorrowful when you consider that this is their final song.
This video has no story, no dance routine, the usual tropes of kpop MVs are not to be found here. The video focuses on the four members, and how they seem insulated from the rest of the world. The only other people we see in this video are the background crowds. We don’t even see other faces clearly. The girls interact with noone but each other. They are running and playing together in a hotel, and it evokes how many times they did this throughout their career. Hiding in hotel rooms, hanging out in hallways, waiting in hotel lobbies, they do it all here. We follow them through their night of hanging out, and we see them eat together, and take pictures. It’s all very normal and they are having a great time. Finally, they arrive at a beach, and as the light gets brighter, the song slowly comes to end, with all four members in frame, slowly realising that this is it, the end. I think the video had more of an impact on the members and their disbandment than the song does, as it’s obvious from the video that this was about them, whereas the song can be about anybody.
The MV has a fantastic quality to it. There are some shots that reminded me of film shots, especially Bora in the swimming pool. Everything about it was fantastic. The lighting, the framing, the camerawork, they all came together to produce an incredibly high quality, yet very simple, MV.
The perfect swansong for Sistar. It’s sad and mournful but sweet and powerful. I will miss them so much, and I wish them the absolute best in everything.
If you want to listen to more Sistar, listen to everything! But I would absolutely recommend “Loving U”, “Shake it”, and “Touch My Body”.