Oh, the ever-elusive Boyfriend. It’s been two years since they’ve released a promoted title track in Korea. Some listeners might even assume the group has disbanded. But in reality, Boyfriend has been churning out excellent Japanese material during their k-pop absence, most recently with last October’s standout Jackpot. And new single I Miss You is another to add to that high-quality list.
As evidenced by their cheesy name, Boyfriend have never been particularly edgy. Instead, their pop-informed discography is an unending sugar rush of classic melodic hooks. I Miss You relies almost solely on its sentimental melody, dodging some generic production to pack a greater punch than expected. The song’s anthemic hooks are classic boy band, refreshingly devoid of trendiness or image-obsessed posturing. Though the song doesn’t explicitly reference any one decade, its reliance on a slow-build hook and strong pop structure feels old-fashioned in the best way possible. It also allows for a gorgeous climax of cathartic high notes.
On the other hand, I Miss You‘s reliance on generic production touches keeps it from being quite as flawless as something like NCT U’s similarly-sweeping Without You. The song is begging for a more complex vocal arrangement. I would have loved to hear a greater focus on harmonies and layering, which was such a hallmark of Boyfriend’s earlier, Sweetune-produced work. Similarly, I wish that the producer had chosen a more interesting instrumental motif for the track’s chorus. The ultra-familiar EDM synth line blunts some of I Miss You‘s effectiveness, cheapening an otherwise fantastic release.