Teen Top, “To You” & Sistar, “나혼자 (Alone)” (mashup by 0oPeopleDidntKnowo0). The day “To You” was released, Brave Brothers, the producer of both tracks, pre-emptively tweeted that he had started working on it before “Alone”, and in fact intended the latter as a sort of extension of “To You”. My immediate reaction (and that of many others, judging by the initial Internet response to the song) was indeed to hear “To You” as a watered-down version of “Alone”, the rough draft waiting to be fleshed out. But the more I listened to it, the more I heard the differences rather than the similarities - or rather, the more I found strengths in the differences rather than weaknesses.
Teen Top fall squarely into guilty-pleasure territory for me, as useless as that designation is - my total enjoyment of their singles is always tempered by the rapper with a blasé view of child abuse and the gross noona-baiting. But I think they’re a good example of when “just singing the melody” works just as well musically as technical singing, and their singles work with their callowness and undeveloped voices rather than despite them, from the minimalism of “박수” (Clap) to the bubblegummy synth shower of “향수뿌리지마” (Don’t Spray Perfume). Conversely, Sistar’s greatest asset will always be how strong their voices are. So “To You” and “Alone” work as opposite sides of a coin: “To You” is light, “Alone” is heavy; the key instruments in “To You” are bass and drums, while in “Alone” the emphasis is on the strings and piano; “To You” is funk, “Alone” is disco. Even the music videos have opposite colour schemes.
Since there is a canon relationship between these two songs, this mashup works not just to satisfy an itch, but to present the two songs as closely together as possible to reveal the links. It sounds good, but it’s not quite the same thing as “To You”, and definitely not the same thing as “Alone”. And this is a bit tin-foil-hat of me, but I find it interesting that the part that works best is the second verse - which is also the part where Niel sings “ireoke na honja” (“like this, alone”) and, in “Alone”, the part where Hyorin sings “oh, ma boy”. (For a similarly satisfying Brave Brothers supermix, see Teen Top’s “Crazy” mixed with Big Bang’s “Last Farewell”.)