When The East Light debuted late last year with the giddy power pop of Holla, it felt exciting to have such a young group tackling a different sound than expected. Since then, the boys have fallen into the tropical trend, moving away from a live band style in favor of a poppier approach. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing (I mean, look at the quality output of NCT Dream), but it does seem like each subsequent release is aging them downward when it should be doing the exact opposite.
Though basic by any standard, April’s You’re My Love ingratiated itself over the spring thanks to a series of lively performances and gawky charisma. That track was performed without member Lee Woo Jin, who went on to become a notable participant in season two of Produce 101. Now he’s back with the group, making I Got You the first East Light single that Produce fans will likely embrace. Unfortunately, it’s the most cloying of all the group’s tracks.
The song aims to be a cute fluffball of summertime pop, but by jettisoning any sense of edge it sacrifices what made The East Light such an exciting prospect in the first place. Yes, its retro arrangement is fun in an obvious bubblegum sort of way, but the delivery feels too hokey. In a way, I Got You hearkens back to the sillier k-pop of the 90’s. There’s much to be mined from that era, but I’m not sure that this particular sound works very well in 2017. It’s just kind of lame, even for a group as young as they are.