The BOYS24 project has been an exhausting, drawn-out ordeal, with the prospect of its resulting boy group IN2IT getting less exciting by the month. But then the guys started dropping teasers for their official debut, filled with gorgeous scenery and a majestic, African-sounding instrumental that seemed as if could offer a breath of fresh air to this trend-driven year in k-pop. My interest in the group suddenly began to pique. Unfortunately, that instrumental turned out to be taken from one of the album’s b-sides, leaving us with the wholly generic Amazing in its place.
The past few weeks have seen a resurgence of a more classic form of k-pop, driven by full choruses and unique soundscapes. This taste of what could be coming down the pike makes a tropical song like Amazing feel even more derivative and out of touch. The track was produced by Duble Sidekick, who are no strangers to genre-defining hits. But this time around, they’ve borrowed from the same toolbox as nearly every other k-pop producer in 2017. Amazing‘s chirpy, synth-infused instrumental feels utterly lifeless — a cut and paste job that takes every expected turn without offering anything new or noteworthy. I believe we’re witnessing the last gasps of tropical pop’s rapidly degenerating frame. And it’s time to well and truly bury it — at least for the time being.
With that said, Duble Sidekick can always be trusted to deliver a catchy hook. Amazing‘s chorus isn’t particularly fresh, but at least it is a chorus. The song pitches IN2IT as a bright, playful group and its sing-along refrain convincingly establishes this tone. The verses are less memorable, essentially killing time between hooks. It’s all perfectly serviceable in an Astro-lite kind of way, but “serviceable” doesn’t quite cut it when it comes to a debut track.
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