Back in March, I suggested that Eric Nam move back to an uptempo pop track for his next comeback, and somebody must have been listening because Can’t Help Myself is his brightest, most exciting single since 2014. Buoyed by the fame his personality has helped foster, Nam finally gives us the aural equivalent to the upbeat charm he displays on variety shows.
That’s not to say that Can’t Help Myself will be quite as enduring as 2014’s Ooh Ooh, but from the get go the listener is thrown into a bouncy, sun-kissed melody. The guitar-strum of the verses perfectly compliments Nam’s bright, airy voice, and the falsetto-driven chorus is even stronger. The song is a composing collaboration with Andrew Choi, who has written some amazing k-pop songs in the past, most notably for SM Entertainment. His fingerprints are all over the melody here, but in Eric Nam he’s found a good match for his poppy style. I especially love the gurgle of synth that punctuates the choruses, giving the track a slightly exotic summer feel.
Can’t Help Myself is lightweight by design. Thankfully, it’s not disposable, but it’s also impossible for a track like this to carry the weight necessary to truly break it into “masterpiece” territory. What we’ve got instead is a strong summertime diversion, perfect for playing with the car windows down on the way to the beach. It feels like what Eric Nam does best, and I’m excited that he’s chosen to break from the midtempo pattern he’d been in for the past few releases.