Boy group 24K were the recipients of the lowest score I’ve ever given with last year’s obnoxious Bingo. Things could only go up from there, right? After a seemingly endless pursuit of noisy, “hard” hip-hop sounds, the guys have finally moved on to new territory with Only You (너 하나면 돼). It’s not a moment too soon, and sees them begin to regain their appeal as a group.
Only You has its own issues, but by pulling things back for a sleeker, more focused sound, 24K is able to provide a compelling case for their continued relevancy. The song’s opening moments will sound familiar to anyone that’s listened to pop music in the last year or two. The future bass synths and pitched vocal samples are the definition of trendy, and sure to elicit an eye-roll or two as the track seems to settle into a been-there, done-that structure. The verses, too, are utterly disposable, relying on the same forgettable sing-talk deliver that’s marked dozens of similarly positioned singles over the past few months.
It’s not until the second half of the pre-chorus that the song really gets going. Leader Cory unleashes a gritty, scene-stealing vocal that cuts through the muddled production to deliver a shot of late-career Michael Jackson bombast. This segues brilliantly into the chorus, which relies on one repeated hook. Usually, this over-simplified structure feels boring and lazy, but the vocal layering here gives the refrain a massive, memorable sound. If anything, I wish the vocals would have been pulled even more prominently into the mix, as the bubbling synth line threatens to steal attention. It’s these types of gripes that prevent Only You from being a slam dunk — but I’ll happily settle for a huge improvement instead.