The Bigbangification of Beast continues with Guess Who, their new Japanese single. They began to veer toward this more hip-hop influenced sound with last year’s Yey, but that song grew on me the more I heard it. I’m not sure Guess Who will share the same fate. There’s just not as much to hold onto when it comes to melody or, quite frankly, hooks.
Now, I consider Beast to be a bias group, and I actually thought the bulk of their Japanese material last year was heads and tails above their Korean output. Distinctive voices like Yoseob and Hyunseung can save just about any track, but they’re not given much to do here. Instead, the song’s main hook is instrumental — an overused breakdown that seems to have been copied and pasted from any number of boy group releases over the last few years. It feels like backward thinking and, worse yet, an abandonment of their incredibly strong sound for something run-of-the-mill and past trend.
Given that Japanese tracks tend to differ greatly from Korean comebacks, I expect Guess Who to be a bit of a one-off. I hope so, because they’re a group in need of a strong return to the kpop scene — something as melodically exciting as Fiction or Shadow. Guess Who feels like coasting, with even its more melodic portions lacking the group’s usual punch.