Review

Song Review: GOT7 – You Calling My Name

Longtime readers will not be surprised to hear that I’ve had trouble getting into GOT7’s music these past few years. Ever since they started writing more of their own material, their sound changed in a way that just wasn’t for me. However, their May mini album offered hope. I wasn’t overly enamored by the title track, but the b-sides were quite potent. And now we have You Calling My Name (니가 부르는 나의 이름), which is easily my favorite GOT7 title track in years.

Composed by a quartet of Western songwriters (including Scandinavian pop star Benjamin Ingrosso), the track finds the group in funkier territory than we’re used to. You Calling My Name opens with plenty of atmosphere, placing JB’s vocals over a bed of haunting synths before moving onto a catchy rap segment buttressed by spare vocal adlibs. From here, the song bursts into its rhythmic, staccato chorus – a taste of things to come.

The second verse is a little too rap-heavy for me, but by the time the next chorus materializes — with its fully fleshed out instrumental — I’m sold. The melody here is excellent, recalling a classic JYP sound with modern flare. The addition of rhythm guitar and subtle brass gives the hook needed warmth and power, and the guys offer a restrained performance that perfectly suits the mood. I complain often about 2019-era K-pop tracks collapsing into half-time breakdowns right when they need to fuel momentum, but You Calling My Name knows how to use dynamics to its advantage. It has its slower moments, but they’re portioned out in the right places. The song always feels like it’s moving forward organically, and the end result is very satisfying and refreshingly timeless.

 Hooks 9
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.75

Be sure to add your own rating by participating in the poll below!

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13 thoughts on “Song Review: GOT7 – You Calling My Name

  1. I not quite as big a fan of this one. To me it tries to do a spare arrangement thing, but doesn’t have any point or counterpoint to be spare around. There isn’t a strong melody, and there isn’t a strong hook from any instrument. So to me it sounds like an ordinary kpop song minus all the exciting instrumentals and beats and all the other production hype bling bling they add to amp it all up.

    This is where I usually quote Vince Clarke. Since I quote him so much, instead I will quote a chill song from OMD “Secret”. The whole verse: one vocal, one synth line, one contrasting synth bass, one drum. Chorus adds all of one more synth line. This is all, this is all.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I see your point. I suppose I am revealing my bias since I haven’t admired a Got7 song since “Just Right” and “If you do” 2015 era.

        Related: can anyone tell me what the korean letter b with kinda sorta english letter capital D symbol mean in the video?

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    • I hear what you’re saying, but sometimes it’s less about bombast and more about staying in a specific lane. I think they were going for a “mood” with this song without trying to alter your mood. In other words, if you listen to this when your in a calm and tranquil state, you’ll love it. If you’re looking to party, less so. The song won’t take you there, you have to meet it half way.

      As far as your OMD comparison.. ..no fair bringing a gun to a knife fight. ’nuff said.

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    • The bridge part when Mark talking sounds strange to my ear and I think that part is unnecessary. But overall, this song is really nice. Even the rap parts in this song is also good and flow with the beat, unlike some of got7 title songs.

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  2. I had to watch this twice. On the first listen, I was focused on the song. On the second, I was focused on everything else.

    The song, itself:

    If I were to rate just the song, I’d give it an 8, but only because of some clever writing. I know it is customary to include a rap segment in virtually every K-Pop song, but it isn’t always slotted well. This song is one of the best examples of adding a rap verse while maintaining overall fluidity.

    The video, itself:

    If I were to rate the video, with the volume turned down, I’d also give it an 8. A lot of different departments really brought their “A” game to the table on this one. The overall theme is minimalist without appearing low-budget. The spartan surroundings allow you to focus on the performers. The hair/stylists/wardrobe people nailed it. The guys look chic and timeless (I love those suits). The choreographer fused creativity and masculinity while maintaining restraint. The video direction, camera work, and editing were, again, about focusing on the performers.

    The song & video, combined:

    Adding both elements, I’d give this a 9. There’s a symbiotic relation between the audio and video presentation that elevates each part into a sum that is greater than its parts. I wouldn’t be able to fully appreciate one without the other.

    Like

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