Review: 3YE - Stalker
For a lot of smaller K-Pop groups from unknown agencies, the most efficient way up is to stick to a style and build a fandom. It worked wonders for Dreamcatcher, but Snuper did so and faded into oblivion. 3YE's style is girl crush Blackpink meets Billie Eilish, and they have slowly grown into the role.
3YE's management has guts, this is the second time their single dropped on the same day as a BTS single. Or maybe they never cared to check the calendar, one of the two.
The simple melody at the heart of Stalker is why the song is so appealing. Every note was written to be catchy, and also endlessly dance-able. Thankfully, the synthy dance beat supports this greatly. Unfortunately, diversions often end up wrecking this plan. Some hooks and lines need more development, such as in the initial verse. On the other end, some notes and lines are over-extended, such as the "It's Mine" line in the pre-chorus.
This issue extends to the arrangement, which over-thinks things. Some lines, such as Yurim's post-chorus are drenched in vocal processing. The instrumental also switches between heavy-throated EDM beats and minimalist trap occasionally, and each of these diversions does little to help the overall theme of the song.
I use this to start talking about my biggest issue with the song: The lyrical theme. It basically is a stalker song, as the title suggests. This concept, even when written from a stalker's point of view, can work very well, such as in The Police's classic Every Breath You Take, when it showcases the theme as a dark and sad one, and does not try to make it fun. K-Pop girl groups, especially recently, have been suffering from stalkers, and this makes the lyricist of the song seem somewhat uncaring. There could be some irony in there, but I really am not seeing it too brightly. I can see hints occasionally that it was meant to criticize stalkers, but the music does not coincide properly with it. Thus, I have to fault the song for this, but not too much.
The song still has a lot of good, particularly Yuji and Haeun's parts of the chorus. In fact, this song may slowly transcend its issues to become an earworm. After all, that bass and those synths are great.