Rock group FTIsland are really on a roll this year. First, they released their Japanese N.W.U album with its excellent single You Don’t Know Who I Am, then they came back last week in Korea with one of the strongest singles of their career. Now, they’ve got another hit coming down the pike for an August release in Japan.
The single in question is the electronically-tinged Just Do It. The song does a nice job merging the band’s funkier and heavier sounds, featuring a robust infusion of strings and synth to their traditional rock music brew. I love how the electronic elements function almost as guitar solos normally would, injecting a burst of anarchic energy after the song’s full-steam-ahead chorus. The melody itself is pretty traditional of a track in this genre, but it’s delivered with reliable bombast — both instrumentally and vocally. Hongki has the kind of charisma that translates well to a variety of genres (as evidenced by his excellent solo album last year). His gravelly, full-throated attack on Just Do It‘s anthemic chorus adds a welcome bit of heft to what could have easily felt throwaway in the hands of a lesser vocalist.
Listening to the trilogy of singles FTIsland has released so far in 2016, it becomes more and more clear just how diverse this band really is. If I were to pick any Korean rock group to represent the country internationally, I think these guys would be more than up to the task. It’s nice to hear them experiment just enough with their sound to allow for musical growth, without totally throwing away the elements that make them so great in the first place.