As their latest Japanese release (and first as a five-piece), Beast have given us two singles under the concept “day and night.” I was pretty underwhelmed by the day, but it turns out that the night is where things really heat up. Though I enjoyed their latest Korean album (and loved the title track), it could have done with more party music in the vein of Whole Lotta Lovin’.
Despite the somewhat cringey title, Lovin’ is the most convincing dance track the guys have given us in awhile. It follows in the retro disco sound of EXO’s Lucky One, but adds extra syncopation to its incredibly funky backing track. A sliced-up vocal sample rides along a funk-inspired beat that feels loose and alive. On top of this is a chorus that hits the mark brilliantly. This is due in large part to its shifting rhythmic approach, kicking off with a rapid-fire call that slowly morphs from a measured vocal approach to something more drawn out and stately. It gives added complexity to a song that doesn’t necessarily demand it.
Despite its obvious throwback charm, Whole Lotta Lovin’ doesn’t come off as a pastiche. It has just enough modern touches to give it a fresh appeal. It also utilizes the guys’ individual voices well — particularly Yoseob’s glorious ad-libs towards the end and Junhyung’s fun rap verse. Beast’s Japanese output has always seemed a bit lighter than their domestic releases, but a song like this would be a welcome addition to their Korean discography. It’s their best Japanese material in ages.