In one of the year’s most unexpected collaborations, pop group The Boyz has returned with a song written and produced by Block B’s Park Kyung. Kyung has already composed a lot of material for his own group and for himself, but this is the first time he’s created a song for an outside act. I often rattle on about the importance of producers in K-pop, and KeePer (지킬게) is evidence of that claim. From its melodic construction to the cadence of its performance, the song sounds exactly like an upbeat Park Kyung solo.
As an extension of The Boyz’ brand, I’m not sure how this benefits the group. Over the course of Boy and Giddy Up and now KeePer, the guys haven’t yet settled on a unique, definable sound. I’m afraid that this sonic shift may only muddy the waters further. But as a fan of Kyung’s songwriting style, KeePer is hard to resist.
Opening with a splash of summer guitar, the track quickly launches into its bouncy, freewheeling chorus. The hook’s sense of upbeat interplay works to The Boyz’ strengths, allowing their vocals to pinball back and forth in a way that feels organic. KeePer’s verses are similarly relaxed, not beholden to any strict structure as they maneuver between lively hip-hop and moments of gorgeous harmony. This arrangement is painted with impressive waves of falsetto, giving it a breezy, summertime vibe. It’s not an in-your-face kind of production, but draws strength from its ever shifting structure. In this way, KeePer won’t likely be a defining moment of summer 2018, but it’s certainly a nice poolside bop.