Since their late-career surge in 2015 with the brilliant ballad It’s Okay, BTOB have hit the ground running, releasing a steady stream of albums just as their contemporaries are beginning to slow down. And now that Beast has left Cube Entertainment and 4minute has disbanded, the group are at the top of the pack within their agency. This would have sounded crazy only two years ago, but everybody loves an underdog success story.
Like last November’s I’ll Be Your Man, new single Movie was composed by the members themselves. It returns the guys to uptempo territory, but takes a lighter approach than its predecessor. Its funk-driven instrumental layers a lush bed of harmonies over a buoyant dance beat that favors a live band sound over a more synth-based arrangement. This gives the track a smooth, mature tone that’s smartly matched with BTOB’s unique charms. It’s not the type of flashy production that stands out on its own, but it has a fullness to it that’s appreciated in an age of trap-influenced minimalism.
The melody isn’t particularly impactful either, but in this case that’s not a huge issue. Movie gets by on groove, with each hook a small piece of a larger puzzle — all working in tandem to establish the song’s irresistible funk-pop vibe. As far as individual segments go, Movie is at its best when members Ilhoon and Minhyuk deliver their catchy post-chorus refrains. The filtering on the vocals here offers a nice bit of texture when the song needs it most. There are times Movie threatens to become a little toothless in comparison to more daring boy group material, but the guys pull it off with aplomb.