It’s been several years since SE7EN has released new material, and a large part of that gap included his mandatory military service. First comebacks after enlistment are always a big deal, but I’m Good also marks his first work since splitting from YG Entertainment.
Operating as an independent artist allows SE7EN more musical freedom, but it also means he won’t be able to pull from YG’s talented stable of songwriters and producers. Because of this, I’m Good (괜찮아) feels slightly pedestrian as a song. To be clear, there’s nothing pedestrian about SE7EN’s nuanced tenor. His voice sounds just as stunning as it always has and he squeezes every bit of drama from the song, playing tug-of-war with I’m Good‘s melodic peaks and valleys. I love how his performance incorporates crooning and rapping seamlessly, and the atmospheric instrumental adds weight to a melody that’s otherwise pretty generic. I just wish the song didn’t need that much extra attention to stand out. When it comes down to it, I’m Good sounds like a million other slinky, r&b midtempos.
There are definitely hints of what could have been an adventurous piece of music. The track has a certain mercurial beat — at times barely there until it amps up to something that feels on the verge of exploding. But it plays more as a tease, pulling back to the minimalist central refrain rather than building to an affecting climax. It’s perfectly solid stuff, but I wish he’d given us even more after such a long time away from the spotlight.