BTOB enjoyed one heck of a 2015, finding a new level of success and finally becoming the group they were meant to be. They also began to push into Japan with original material that catered almost exclusively to the genre preferences of that market. In other words, their two singles were super j-poppy.
Dear Bride strikes a nice balance between both musical cultures. On one hand, its emphatic, sweeping balladry sounds like something jpop group News would record. But, it also demonstrates some of the restraint present in their more mature Korean releases. The verses are largely forgettable, but the chorus has a nice melodic build that sticks almost instantly. The bells used in the instrumentation are likely meant to conjure images of wedded bliss, though they give the song an oddly festive, almost Christmassy, feel as well. This can read as a bit saccharine, particularly paired with some of the more cringe-worthy English rap lyrics (seriously, why do they always give Peniel such lame parts in every single song?).
Even so, Dear Bride isn’t an embarrassment — and that’s more than I can say for a lot of Japanese tracks by Korean groups. Sure, it’s not going to set the world on fire, nor is it likely to last on my playlist for all that long, but there’s something endearing about the fact that all it’s trying to be is a decent pop song with a solid hook.