JYP Entertainment artists have been blitzing the Korean and Japanese markets this year. It’s hard to think of a more prolific agency, especially when you consider the ratio between JYP’s roster of artists and number of 2018 comebacks. Just like Twice, Stray Kids and DAY6, GOT7 must be exhausted. But, that didn’t stop them from releasing one last Japanese music video before the year ends.
I’ve been pretty tough on GOT7’s Japanese work in the past. Most of it has taken on a noisy, rap-heavy style that feels pretty polarizing. Thankfully, I Won’t Let You Go dials things back for a more melodic touch. Its tropical synth underpinnings are as trendy as can be, but the group largely makes it work.
I can’t overstate how nice it is to hear a vocal-driven title track from GOT7. The verses unfold without unnecessary “swag” interruptions. Even the rap is dialed down a few notches to support (and not contrast) the main melody. This arrangement sets the song up for success, but it would have been even stronger with a more memorable hook. As it stands, I Won’t Let You Go gets by on mood without bringing much else to the table. The post-chorus instrumental-and-vocal drop feels recycled from any number of past 2017-18 hits, while the chorus itself emotes without much of a compelling structure behind it. Still, the song’s smooth arrangement gives GOT7’s vocals their most appealing spotlight in ages. Minus the played-out tropical influence, this is a direction I’d love to see the group pursue further.