Because they debuted at such a young age, FTIsland have been able to consistently release music for twelve years without a military enlistment-forced hiatus. This is almost unheard of when it comes to male K-pop groups, and it’s positioned the guys as one of the industry’s staples. Zapping is their first album without leader Jonghoon, who left the band after getting caught up in the ever-expanding scandals surrounding March’s Burning Sun revelations. I can’t imagine what losing a leader would do to a group, but you won’t notice his absence when listening to Quit (관둬). The emotive power ballad is FTIsland by-the-numbers.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s been awhile since the group delivered a big ballad title track. 2012’s Severely is the template here, which makes sense since that has become one of FTIsland’s signature songs. Quit doesn’t feel as immediately iconic, but that’s largely due to the fact that we’ve heard its ilk before. Without a huge band presence, it almost feels like a Hongki solo track — even a sequel to his 2015 Insensible. The guys mix traditional, lighters-in-the-air rock with a symphonic heft, opening the song with piano and strings before bringing more elements into the mix.
This dramatic arrangement suits Hongki’s powerful vocals well. It’s always a pleasure to hear him let loose, and he gets to attack some satisfying power notes during Quit’s cathartic chorus. The song is at its best when it goes for broke. The snowballing pre-chorus is a rock-opera-ready treat, as is the dynamic bridge. During these moments, Quit approaches Jim Steinman-esque overload, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I just wish the melody wasn’t so repetitive. It has a desperate pull — which is probably the point — but I fear that the track’s constant pleading might limit its long-term appeal.
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