Like a handful of mid-tier groups from their era, Boyfriend have established a more lucrative career in Japan than their native Korea. That’s a shame, because they have one of the strongest (Sweetune-produced) runs of title tracks that k-pop has ever given us. I’d love to see them make a resurgence in their homeland now that leader Donghyun’s stint on KBS rebooting series The Unit has finished.
As far as the group’s j-pop material goes, the quality can be pretty hit and miss. For every awesome Jackpot or I Miss You, there’s a less impressive Glider or Summer. New single Try My Wings falls somewhere in the middle, borrowing from retro influences for an old-fashioned j-pop sound. After an extended, piano-led introduction, a delightfully cheesy electric guitar heralds the song’s opening rap verse. The rest of Wings feels like a constant build toward something bigger that never really shows up.
Fortunately, this endless build is full of charm. The aforementioned guitar is a wonderful touch, as are the 80’s synth riffs that underline the chorus. The verses are less impressive, coming across as too hesitant and slow-moving for their own good. The same could be said for much of the chorus, though I love its punchy conclusion. Overall, the song would have been amazing if given more oomph. It’s like it wants to be a huge, bombastic stadium rocker but is constantly held back. This makes it enjoyable in fits and starts, but limits the sense of payoff and satisfaction once it’s over.