At their core, double title tracks are designed to showcase two sides of an artist. With Bobby’s I Love You displaying a youthful, upbeat vibe, Runaway is given the task of digging a little deeper and hitting a more emotional tone. As such, it’s an important piece of a well-rounded comeback, even if the end result isn’t as immediately invigorating as its counterpart.
Like I Love You, Runaway throws more melody into the mix than expected. Rather than draft a guest vocalist, Bobby tackles both the rap verses and rousing chorus himself. Though the melody doesn’t require vocal acrobatics, his voice commands attention with its direct, spitfire delivery. Even when he attempts a note in falsetto, the effect is more like a confessional than a practiced-to-perfection studio session. This could have felt inauthentic and amateurish, but the arrangement smartly backs him up with a near-gospel fervor.
Kicking off with a somber, keys-driven hip-hop beat, the instrumental soon grows into a gorgeous mix of strings and soulful background vocals. This lends the song a fullness that supports Bobby’s energy and fleshes out what might otherwise come off as repetitive and slightly self-indulgent. The instrumental never tilts into over-the-top bombast, but definitely gives the track a warmer, more inviting vibe. Bobby’s rap style can sometimes feel overly caustic. Luckily, Runaway is another example of his best instincts being funneled into a track that skirts the line between personal and mainstream. I only hope the same care will be extended to his group’s next comeback.