It’s been interesting to watch the trajectory of JBJ’s members ever since the project group’s disbandment earlier this year. It’s like a mini precursor to the type of reconfiguration that will happen next year when Wanna One is no more. Some JBJ members have gone solo, others have returned to their original groups, and two have formed the permanent sub-unit, JBJ95.
This duo consists of Japanese-born Kenta and former Topp Dogg member Sanggyun. Kenta takes the main vocal role, while Sanggyun is primarily in charge of the rap. There’s not a huge precedence for successful duos in modern K-pop, with TVXQ being the obvious exception. But, JBJ95 have the support of an entire fandom behind them, and Home is a pleasant debut single — if somewhat limiting.
Frustratingly, the track conforms to the instrumental-drop-as-chorus structure that has marred so many like-minded songs over the past few years. But, Home is rooted in its warm, familiar melodic refrain. This hook occurs where we’d usually find a pre-chorus, but instantly becomes the track‘s most defining moment. The instrumental drop that follows is less memorable, even if it forms the frame for most of Home‘s strongest turns. As we move into the second verse, a brassy, lower-pitched electronic riff underlines the duo’s performance. This is a far more enticing variation of the same musical theme, proving that these kinds of production touches are more effective when paired with engaging vocals. Sanggyun’s soft hip-hop delivery and Kenta’s emotive tone help bring Home over the hurdle, but the song is one knockout chorus short of being an outstanding debut.
I really like this song! I don’t mind the chill drop, mostly because it retains the song’s central hook, which for me is a killer one. The prechorus in particular is such a highlight for me–that gorgeous melody against the staccato synth was an instant favorite at first listen. At any rate, I find this chill, almost wistful kind of song very refreshing in KPop; it’s somewhat reminiscent of Macklemore’s mellower songs (i.e. Good Old Days, These Days) and I’m honestly here for it.
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I like Home, but my personal favorite of the album is Stay. I don’t really understand music, but I find Stay is more emotionally touching(?). The chorus is really great, I feel like it’s tickling my chest (haha idk how to explain)
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