Defying all odds, Produce 101 project group JBJ sold over one hundred thousand copies of their debut mini album last year. This ranks them right up there with the biggest boy bands of 2017, despite the fact that the group is composed of trainees who were unable to secure enough votes to become part of Wanna One. Last October’s Fantasy did a convincing job establishing an edgy — almost EXO — sound for the guys, but with My Flower (꽃이야) they venture into lighter territory.
There’s a dynamite song hidden within My Flower, if only they’d have stripped out all of the overused tropical house elements. I can’t even describe how much of a groan that post-chorus breakdown elicited the first time I heard it. But beyond those familiar synth squiggles, I’m just kind of tired of boy group song structures that sound identical. That slow-down, speed-up formula utilized in the pre-choruses feels particularly tiresome, transitioning from overly moody rapping to a cut-and-paste EDM build and repeating ad nauseam. There have to be more creative, streamlined ways to arrange these kinds of songs that don’t kill the energy for the sake of a predictable drop.
Thank goodness, then, for Flower‘s redeeming qualities. Its chorus has a punchy liveliness that takes full advantage of the guys’ vocals. And as much as I hate the heard-it-all-before instrumentation of the breakdown that follows, I appreciate the fullness of the production. The second verse also brings an added sense of rhythm that reinvigorates interest and points in more interesting directions. With a few stylistic and structural modifications, this could easily be an outstanding track. As it stands, Flower still has enough high points to make it worth a listen.