Boy group Halo haven’t exactly had an easy time of it, releasing six comeback singles up to this point without garnering a substantial hit. Though it may be hard to believe, they’re actually senior artists to many of their peers, having debuted way back in 2014. What makes this lack of notoriety even more frustrating is the fact that their music has been consistently solid. They deserve that elusive hit, even if I Here I Am (여기여기) will probably not be the song to do that for them.
If anything, Here I Am‘s brass-heavy hip-hop beat recalls a certain sound that seemed ubiquitous back at the start of 2015. It’s a bit telling that it actually feels fresh in 2017, now that tropical house has all but taken over. In the past, Halo has worked with a light, melodic pop style that never really conformed to trends, so it kind of makes sense that when they do hop on a bandwagon it’s a few years late.
As for the song itself, there’s not a lot that distinguishes Here I Am from its many counterparts. The more beat-driven style allows the guys to try on an edgier concept, and they perform it as well as any other boy group of their caliber. There are moments in the verses that sound suspiciously like Super Junior‘s Mamacita, but the song never surrenders to full blown New Jack Swing (though I wish it would). The repetitive shuffle of the chorus is catchy, but lacks the kind of knockout punchline that would make it truly memorable. This results in a competent piece of k-pop that feels enjoyable but wholly unnecessary.