I know that I start every Great Guys review with a statement about how lame their group name is, but it just gets more ridiculous the more serious and brooding their music becomes. It fit the bright bounciness of this spring’s Dang, but seems at odds with the sexiness of new single Be On You. The odd English-language choices continue into this song’s provocative lyrics, which are eyebrow raising to say the least.
Of course, I rarely focus on lyrics when writing a review — cringeworthy or not. My bone to pick with Be On You is connected to its choice of genre. The song is what the industry is calling “future r&b,” which rivals trap music as my least-favorite trend of the moment. You’s verses are fine, creeping forward with enough musical pathos to satisfy. The chorus, on the other hand, is just whiny and repetitive. Its slabs of washed-out synth feel borrowed from too many other tracks this past year, and force the melody into a lockstep pattern that keeps it from growing into anything beyond an echo of the heavy-handed instrumental.
A post-chorus trap breakdown goes over about as well as you’d think it would, and then it’s back to killing time before chorus number two. The guys are clearly talented, and deliver the material as well as can be expected. There are a few standout vocal moments, including a sustained power note at the track’s climax. Fans of musical genres that start with “future” may even find a lot to love here. But for me, there’s nothing about Be On You that sounds remotely futuristic or forward-thinking. It’s just music to slink around to without a shirt on, which these great guys revel in throughout the music video.