Rookies 1TEAM have earned fans across the K-pop landscape, but for me they’ve been hampered by their choice of collaborators. All three of their 2019 title tracks have been composed by production team Devine Channel. While there are some songwriters that I naturally jibe with (ahem… Sweetune), I can’t get into most of Devine Channel’s work. We just exist on two different musical planes. New single Make This helps to converge our tastes a bit, but the song is let down by its go-nowhere verses.
After so many years railing against instrumental drop choruses, this next statement is going to sound crazy:
Make This’s instrumental drop chorus is actually its strongest moment.
I had to take a few deep breaths after typing that, but it’s true. This is not a knock on 1TEAM as performers. They’re more than capable of holding their own, but Make This’s verses don’t give them much to do. Rather than forge an actual melody, they have the guys “talking melodically.” This is an important distinction, as the former necessitates meaningful, tight song construction. “Talking melodically” is as monotonous as it sounds – casting off phrases and rounding the edges so that it kind of sounds like singing. I’m probably butchering this description, but it’s an approach I’ve noticed more and more as genres like trap have taken precedence in pop music. It rarely thrills me, and definitely doesn’t here.
Anyway… back to that instrumental drop. The centerpiece to Make This doesn’t stretch itself too much, but its dark, dull electro throb is a welcome change from the styles of EDM that K-pop has pulled from over the past few years. It gives Make This a sinister appeal – far more evocative than its verses would suggest. A song structured entirely around this sound would have been very exciting. Instead, Make This is only interesting when it commits to being different.
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