One of the many admirable things about B1A4 is that they compose almost all of their own material, and this includes their Japanese releases. When most k-pop groups go j-pop, the difference between the two outputs can be shocking. But with B1A4 at the helm of their own career, there’s a nice consistency that all but guarantees quality in both countries. Japanese single Follow Me may not be composer Jinyoung‘s best or most memorable work, but its willingness to try something new is very much in line with the group’s reputation.
The song’s opening moments are unusual among B1A4’s title tracks. Rather than kick off immediately with the first verse, Follow Me erupts in a piano-driven bit of vocal riffing that sounds more like the opening to a musical than a modern pop song. Even more peculiar, the production then pulls back for the hesitant approach of the first verse. It’s as if a haze has been cast over the entire segment, as both the instrumental and vocals filter in with a languid pace. Once the beat drops, its more fragmented and complex than listener’s might expect.
Follow Me continues to play with tempo as it moves into the chorus, which has a stop/start sort of structure that feels disorienting at first. The entire track is almost a series of calls and responses, never cleanly distinguishing between its various pieces. In this way, it’s easily the most experimental single the guys have given us. And while it lacks the undeniable pop heart that marks their best work, its atmospheric unpredictability is absolutely fascinating.