2016 has seen veteran boy group B.A.P shift towards a lighter uptempo pop sound, and it’s working better for them than I would have ever expected. That’s My Jam feels like a natural extension of their very strong mini album Carnival, released earlier this year.
The song augments a trendy EDM beat into something much more pop-oriented, despite its heavy focus on hip-hop verses. We’re hit with the hook right off the bat, and it’s the kind of chorus that impacts immediately — simple and short but incredibly fun and effective. Its propulsive silliness stays just shy of novelty, though it has the undeniable infectiousness of a Gangnam Style or Bar Bar Bar. Most importantly, the chrous feels authentically fun. Having listened to B.A.P for quite awhile, I’m actually surprised at how versatile a group they’ve become. That’s My Jam is the perfect workout song, operating at a ridiculously high, energetic level without shame.
My only quibble involves the track’s bridges, which could have been cut in half. Their build to the chorus is effective, dropping the beat and pulling back on the instrumentation so that the hook really clobbers you over the head when it finally crashes in. But just like iKON’s Dumb & Dumber, the build threatens to go overlong, to the point of losing the very energy that it’s trying to generate. Still, once the chorus hits, all these concerns are forgotten. It’s just that fun. Now, if only Korea would pay attention and give these guys the second chance they deserve, to rebuild and reinvent their brand.