Block B are a group who have become increasingly unpredictable in their output. While hip-hop will likely be at their core for their entire career, they’ve incorporated much more soulful elements into their music of late. And of course, when it comes to original j-pop releases from k-pop artists, all bets are off. Japan is a very different market, with very different collaborators.
But despite the language difference, My Zone isn’t anything too jarringly different for the guys. In fact, it’s a pretty even blend of their mature and boisterous sides, resulting in a funky soul number that melds the old with the new. For the first minute and a half, the song even feels tame and old-fashioned for the guys. Then the second verses changes things up, focusing on P.O. and Zico’s trap-influenced hip-hop breakdown. I’m not sure how well these two aspects fit together, though either one on their own wouldn’t have felt particularly gratifying either. It would have been interesting to hear a track built around the guitar that drives the entire post-chorus refrain. It sounds as if it was lifted straight from an old western movie, and gives us a taste of that offbeat appeal Block B has become so well known for.
Ultimately, My Zone feels like a bit of a grab bag, making it difficult for the song to have the same lasting impact as the group’s best material. And I suppose as a re-introduction to the Japanese audience, this approach makes sense. It may not go down as essential listening, but at least it’s upbeat and a pretty solid display of the group’s various skills.