Beast has already had quite a year so far. Coming off of a commercially underwhelming 2015 (by their high standards), they lost a member in Hyunseung, turning their reliable 6-member team into a five piece. They’re in desperate need of a shot in the arm, allowing them to remind Korea why they are one of its most important k-pop groups.
Beast also has a long history of pre-releasing tracks before their official single drops. More often than not, these are ballads. Some have a music video, but most don’t. Upon hearing Butterfly‘s genre, I can’t say I was overly excited. I prepped myself to consider it as nothing more than a holdover until the good stuff arrived. But quite pleasantly, Butterfly is a ballad with some heft to it. Easing in with a spare, wistful melody, the song grows more as it goes. A sprinkling of gorgeous harmonies hint at what’s to come, but it’s not until just before the second chorus that the beat drops and the song starts to soar.
From this point on, Butterfly transforms into something that feels dynamic and alive. Even so, there’s still a bit more restraint in the production and vocals than I would like. One big power note wouldn’t go amiss during the track’s final moments. We get a glimpse of that from main vocal Yoseob, but it doesn’t go far enough, leaving Butterfly‘s climax to feel a little underwhelming. Honestly, the song could do with an added thirty seconds or so to keep it firing on all cylinders. The fact that I want more just proves how solid it is, and I’m hoping that their upcoming title track will act as the second round of a one two punch to reinstate their standing in the k-pop world.