Back in March, GOT7 became Exhibit A in my diatribe about messy K-pop verses. Their Look was only half a great song, with its memorable chorus waylaid by all the atonal posturing around it. Hearing teasers for new single Lullaby convinced me that it would be more of the same, but this time the guys have enlisted outside producers in the form of the Full8loom team. Would new collaborators be able to reign in some of the messiness that has plagued latter-day GOT7 singles?
Yes, and no. Lullaby is definitely more cohesive than Look, and it has an even stronger chorus. Unfortunately, its lethargic verses spoil some of the fun. The song’s first forty-five seconds offer little imagination, retreading the kind of trendy tunelessness that sees the members’ performance perched somewhere between singing and rap. This middle ground proves to be unmemorable, and mars the sloppy post-chorus breakdown as well. It’s not that these moments are completely devoid of pleasure. It’s just that they feel cut from a different song entirely. They blunt the track’s energy just as it gets going.
Fortunately, Lullaby’s chorus gives us a peek at just how thrilling a song this could have been. Its upbeat production takes cues from Look’s deep house influences, but feels more fully realized. There’s a wonderful sense of propulsion, complimented by a sticky melody that hearkens back to classic boy group K-pop. Each time this hook comes around, Lullaby transforms into the kind of world-conquering hit you’d expect from a group of GOT7’s popularity. This sense of contrast makes the track as frustrating as it is exhilarating, but at least it feels like they’re getting closer to finding an effective balance.
If we tried to make a count of the average time given producers by the agencies to compose a track, I’m afraid this year it would never overcome 15 minutes.
More and more groups are overloading their agendas with closer and closer comebacks, and the result is a massive lack of quality, relevance and entertainment in their songs. Lullaby is one of the clearest examples of 2018, with every single part of it going exactly nowhere from the beginning to the end.
Actually I don’t mind if sometimes a track is a mess in the course of a whole career, but I’m beginning to fear that there can’t be a happy ending for young guys in their twenties forced to pull out 2 or 3 albums a year (+ training + recording + MV filming + MV editing + fan meetings + promotions + concerts + shootings + reality shows + featurings + duets + guest starrings + advertisings + only God knows what else) and for producers forced to pop out tons of songs whithout having time to find an idea.
It’s much more than Lullaby. It’s collapse.
I’m not sure if a decline in quality can be tied so directly to artist schedules. K-pop acts have always been overbooked, but it doesn’t always affect the music. As an example, an act like Golden Child has been promoting almost the entire year, attending every KCON and filming a ton of online content in between. Yet (for me, at least), they’ve delivered three of the year’s best singles.
I think (and this is completely subjective) that the true issue lies with K-pop’s increasing reliance on following what Western pop music is doing. The industry has always borrowed heavily from the West, but American mainstream music is currently in a terrible state, and that’s unfortunately filtering down to K-pop.
Present: You is a prime example of this. While I like Lullaby alright, I find much of the album borderline unlistenable — especially some of the solos, which sound as if they’re trying to replicate some of the worst trends in Western music.
Again… completely subjective. It’s clearly working for GOT7 when it comes to international sales. It’s just not working for me.
Nah lots of really good songs can be composed in not really that much time. Got7’s songwriters just seem to suck.
I think have a negative Pavlovian reaction to future bass synths, pitched vocal samples, and descending pentatonic scales. 10 seconds in and I was reeling with annoyance and barely anything had happened. My mind is conditioned, what can I say?
Also the chorus wasn’t really that good… where is my second If You Do?
P.S. I think it’s really funny that you swear maybe two times a year on this blog, and yet you still deliver the most incisive burns. “Plagued latter-day Got7” “not completely devoid of pleasure”… what a legend
Yeah, the teasers with the chorus made me think I would’ve love the song,,,,,, but listening to it as a whole is underwhelming
Hmm I actually really like the song, including the first fourty-five seconds 😀 It’s one of my more loved songs of theirs (although not the best). Personal preference, perhaps?
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