Apologies for another two days of no reviews. But I am back today and ready to review the load of comebacks over the next couple of days whilst I hide from the heatwave that is happening in Australia. Anyhow, first up is STAYC’s comeback, which is their first since BEAUTIFUL MONSTER in July of last year. Since then, the group made their Japanese debut with Poppy (which I have yet to review, but will get around to doing in a future International Song Review segment). On Valentines Day a couple of days back, the group made their comeback with Teddy Bear, which is also the title of the group’s fourth single album.
When you have a song title like this one, you can’t help but think the song is going to be childish and cutesy. And ultimately, Teddy Bear is best described as childish and cutesy. Personally, I have a hard time digesting most songs of this nature, though there have exceptions in the past. But Teddy Bear is actually quite approachable and enjoyable. I found it to be a fun and cheerful listen that brought a smile to my face (though this might have been an effect of the visuals). Teddy Bear is mostly pop, but there are pop rock elements during the choruses, which adds to the appeal of the song. The guitar intro was an entertaining yet light introduction to Teddy Bear. The hook was quite catchy, much to my surprise. While I have no issues with the repetition of “My Teddy Bear“, there is a whiny synth alongside the post-chorus hooks that I thought would have been annoying or jarring. However, despite the listens I have given the song since its release, it hasn’t come to that point. Maybe it will in the future, only time can tell for that. But it is this hook that makes me come back to the song, while the rest of the song has this pleasant melody that fits the fun and cheerful nature of the song, but also makes the song appreciable. I enjoyed the more serious breakdown in the second verse that made way for rapping. Was it needed? I actually do think so, as it didn’t make the song feel overly saccharine. Overall, Teddy Bear is a release that I enjoyed.
I mentioned before that the energy of Teddy Bear was potentially the cause of a smile on my face whilst listening to the song. But I also raised that the music video could have been the cause of that. The video features an childish and cute energy, just like the song does. There are over-the-top moments in the music video, such as the truck crashing into the store to deliver a supply of bear bread, the widening of the bus (which was a pretty clever set up for the upcoming choreography shot) and the cult-like scene during the bridge to summon the cartoon bears. I did find the teddy bear masks to be cringy. But it, alongside those over-the-top moments, were still okay to watch, and so brought a smile to my face.
I am kind of glad to see teddy bear references in the choreography. I was actually questioning how they would go about bringing a teddy bear element into the choreography. Props came into mind, but I wasn’t too keen on that. Apart from that, it is a fun and super energetic performance that works.
Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.3/10