GOT7 have steadily began to have more creative input when it comes to their Korean material, but their scattershot j-pop releases are still driven mostly by composers from that genre. Sometimes I wonder how k-pop groups feel about their Japanese work. Do they treat the song as an important part of their overall discography, or do they just grin and bear it when they’re presented with a track that sounds completely different than the sound they’ve established in Korea? I suppose the reaction depends on a number of factors, including an artist’s comfort with the Japanese language and the j-pop idol scene in general.
I can’t imagine GOT7 are overly thrilled with a number of their Japanese singles, which range from being a noisy bit of fun to almost unlistenable. While their k-pop output has become more mellow and r&b focused, My Swagger relies almost entirely on a series of aggressively warped synth klaxons. Right from the start, the instrumental kicks off with a headache-inducing jackhammer of unrelenting bombast. This sounds utterly horrific, but the brashness of the production actually suits the song. My Swagger is not poetry in motion by any means, but in its own way it’s kind of addicting.
For a track like this, verses and bridges and pre-choruses are almost pointless because it’s all about the sledgehammer hook that fuels the song’s energy. I wouldn’t call My Swagger‘s chorus “melodic” — in fact, I’d hardly even call it a chorus — but its shout-along intensity feels kind of cathartic after the restraint GOT7 displayed on most of their 2016/17 Flight Log tracks. It’s a song for a specific mood, and even it it grates and annoys, it’ll at least it pump you up in the process.