Boyfriend have been on a roll lately with their Japanese material, releasing a pair of tracks over the last few months that rival their best Korean material. When k-pop acts go j-pop, they occasionally adopt the genre’s more frantic leanings, resulting in music that can feel a little shrill. Summer is a collision of these elements, with its smooth verses ultimately let down by a chorus that could do with a bit of subtlety.
As you would expect from the title, Summer is almost single-mindedly dedicated to the current season. Its bright synths form a bubbling beat that verges closer to EDM territory as the track segues into the pre-chorus. These segments are more generic than memorable, but it’s hard to be overly critical about such a bright, optimistic instrumental. Japan loves its dance music, and Summer delivers on that front.
If the verses veer on cheesy overkill, the chorus tilts directly towards j-pop’s more cloying instincts. The synths climb into a sharp, insistent attack as the melody becomes stuffed with too many moments hitting at once. The “summer summer” chant is certainly catchy, but in a shout-driven way that jettisons any hope of a funkier, less sledgehammer arrangement. Most of us already love the summer time. Shouting the word at us isn’t going to make the season any more fun. Boyfriend are capable of delivering on a more individualized approach that feels unique to them. As fun as Summer can be, it sounds like a song that could have been delivered by any pop group to similar effect.