Review

Song Review: Youngjae (B.A.P) – Forever Love

Back in 2012, K-pop found itself lodged within an EDM trend. But, it didn’t sound like today’s EDM, where stop/start structures and instrumental drops abound. This particular trend tethered huge choruses to the euphoric beats of club music, resulting in many classic comebacks. Some of you are probably going to call me basic or stuck in the past, but I miss this style of K-pop dearly.

Every once and awhile a new track comes along that recalls this simpler, more anthemic sound. Sometimes, they materialize from the most unexpected of places. Such is the case with Youngjae’s second solo release. His debut dropped back in the spring, but was too generically tropical for me to waste time reviewing. Forever Love is generic as well, but in a way we haven’t heard in ages. I adore its pulsing, insistent beat, I fawn over its mammoth, chugging chorus, and I give a standing ovation to its straightforward, momentum-building structure.

Going solo has freed Youngjae to record music unlike that of his former band. In fact, I doubt many of today’s idol groups would even mess with a song like Forever Love. It lacks the cool, edgy factor that most male acts tend to pursue nowadays. But in place of angst-filled brooding, we get the kind of chest-beating, feel-good melody that acts as a musical generator — spinning energy as it climbs toward its cathartic hook. This is present from the very start, as Love opens with dramatic, layered vocals before pulling back to its guitar-assisted verse. From here, the rest of the track plays out in a refreshingly unencumbered way, hitting all the peaks I’d hope for in a song of this nature. It may not come close to high art, but my god I’ve missed hearing K-pop songs with this kind of unbridled pop spirit.

 Hooks 9
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 10
 RATING 9

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5 thoughts on “Song Review: Youngjae (B.A.P) – Forever Love

  1. This song is a lot of fun. We’ve definitely got opposite tastes in some areas, Nick – I’ve never been partial to this sort of bright boy-group pop, for a funny reason (has to do with my synesthesia, not any actual issue with the music itself). But I really like this, thanks to being thoroughly exhausted of moody trap. I’m reveling in this energetic beat. It’s too bad that it’s receiving almost no attention.

    Honestly I’m happy that October reviews have been going so much more positively than September ones! I’m usually more into girl groups, but most of them have been seriously disappointing me this year; so October’s boy-group heavy slate is a good refresher. I don’t think we’ve had a good month since May!

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  2. Youngjae and Daehyun both came through with their solos this time, I live for it. I feared they’d both stick to plain ballads but between Aight and this, they’ve been scratching particular musical itches which few releases in kpop have lately.

    I miss B.A.P and would love a full group comeback but I’ll gladly take more of this in the meantime….

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  3. It is interesting that you mention that the current crop of idol groups wouldn’t touch this sound, because the song sounds like it was written for an idol group with all the lines broken out – the way the lines overlap each other so one can’t sing through it solo without either dropping the end of one line or clipping the start of the next line. (plus there is an obligatory rap)

    Anyway, the performance is fine. The sound and construction is solid boy band anthem song. Production is good. They spent money on the video.

    I personally find the saw tooth rave synth sound in the chorus and post-chorus to be annoying by the nth time around , but that is just me.

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