As BTOB continues to rise in their homeland, they’ve also carved out a pretty successful career in Japan. Though I find much of their j-pop material to be more reductive and schmaltzy than their Korean output, there’s no denying that the big balladry of L.U.V allows the guys a platform to display their substantial vocal prowess. Whether the actual song measures up to its sound is another story.
To be clear, L.U.V is more impressive than their last Japanese release, the Hallmark-esque Dear Bride. It has a darker undertone, expressing a wider gamut of emotions through a series of well-timed bursts of vocal bombast. The melody comes in swells, flowing over a dramatic brew of strings and piano. More than anything, its cathartic nature gives it a specific purpose. It’s not the type of song I see myself playing on a regular basis, but there are times when this wave of pure angst suits the moment perfectly.
I hate to pinpoint one specific member of any group when speaking negatively, but the weakest point in L.U.V is the same element that turns me off many BTOB songs. Quite frankly, the English raps need to go. Peniel is from the States, so he should know better when it comes to the truly cringeworthy, cliche-ridden English that often litters BTOB tracks. I don’t know if he writes his own raps, but the juvenile poetry here brings down everything around it and transforms something quite stately to something clunky and awkward. It’s a shame, because the main vocals are on fire.
Thanks for the review. Yeah, I agree with most of it. I liked the beginning rap as the instrumentals gave this epic feeling, but yeah Peniel’s rap was the weakest point. But, personally, I think this is their best japanese single to date & I loved it a lot. I am not the greatest fan of BTOB, but I do like tracks like Insane, WOW & LUV a lot. They are talented, but I think they need better material in Japan. Something close to DBSK level material for me to really like them.
Thank you for this 🙂 I love BTOB (all seven of them really) but I do have to agree with you re: Peniel’s rap parts–in every song, actually. Maybe they wanted to reach to a larger audience but I hope he just raps in Korean so as not to make the songs a bit too cheesy.