Boyfriend have been away from the kpop scene for too long. Throughout their career, they’ve released a truly under-appreciated barrage of modern pop classics. Luckily, their Japanese discography has also been pretty strong, so we have those releases to fill the long gaps in between comebacks. Glider is the most recent, and it is super, super j-poppy. Those looking for their Korean Sweetune sound should probably temper their expectations accordingly.
And for those who listen to j-pop regularly (or have ever heard an anime theme song), Glider will sound very familiar. It adheres to almost all the expected hallmarks of the genre. From the frantic synth work, to the unflagging, bass-less dance beat, to the ever-climbing melodic drive, it is truly a love-it-or-hate-it-affair. But weirdly, I can’t bring myself to feel strongly in either direction. There are elements I appreciate, like the anthemic bit of melodic push that ends each chorus, but there’s also the nagging sense that the song never peaks or slows enough to provide the dynamics necessary for maximum impact.
Glider, then, becomes your quintessential classic j-pop — not interesting enough to break from that mold, but certainly nothing to be ashamed of. It has a certain energy that keeps it aloft, even if the melody never sticks as strongly as it should. Still, the guys pull the sound off well, providing a powerful mix of vocal and rap that battle it out with the almost overpowering instrumental. More than anything, it makes me hope for a proper Korean comeback soon.