Thus far, I think it’s safe to say that Beast‘s transition into Highlight has exceeded all expectations. On a commercial level, Plz Don’t Be Sad was (and still is) a major success. And on a personal level, the guys seem happier and busier than they’ve been in some time. This streak continues with the repackage of their “debut” mini album and new title track Calling You. It often seems like repackaged singles end up eclipsing an album’s original material. This isn’t quite the case with Calling You, but the song is still another solid entry in the group’s impressive catalog.
Ever since Highlight began composing their own material, they’ve seemed to gradually pull away from the high-gloss pop music that fuels many idol groups. Even at their most uptempo, their songs have a down-to-earth grit that sets them apart. Calling You feels like one of the more organic, conversational pieces in their singles run. Its mid-tempo, semi-acoustic bounce doesn’t draw attention to itself. Beyond a subdued synth riff buried in the mix, there’s nothing particularly memorable or unique about it.
Because of this, Calling You relies almost entirely on the strength of its melody. Luckily, the chorus pulls everything together with its laid-back, effortlessly catchy hook, which smartly blossoms into an extended Yoseob-driven key change that gives the song the centerpiece it needs. The verses are less memorable, but build to a climactic pre-chorus that injects a necessary moment of drama to cut through the track’s mellow vibe. None of it is galvanizing in the way of classics like Fiction or Good Luck, but the guys don’t really need to prove themselves anymore. This is Highlight relaxing and doing what they do best.