Being the current bias group of The Bias List has its advantages, and just like their big brother group Infinite, Golden Child are going to get the full-album review treatment. (Plus, back in the summer when it seemed like Golcha was never going to come back, I promised on twitter to run this feature!)
So for the next few days, I’ll be offering my thoughts (and ratings) on every one of Re-boot’s tracks.
1. Re-boot // 2. Wannabe // 3. Lately // 4. Compass // 5. No Matter What // 6. A Song For Me // 7. Spring Again // 8. She’s My Girl // 9. Our Heaven // 10. Fantasia // 11. Don’t Run Away // 12. Go Together
SHE’S MY GIRL
After listening to She’s My Girl for the first time, I cursed Woollim for not selecting it as Re-boot’s title track. I don’t want to take anything away from Wannabe, but this song feels like a natural maturation of Golden Child’s sound rather than a 180 turn at odds with the rest of their discography. And unlike Lately, which is also an amazing song, She’s My Girl has potential for the visual performance aspect that K-pop title tracks demand. God, If they would’ve released this, they would have secured a spot in my top ten K-pop singles of the year. Easy.
I feel like this album review is just going to devolve into a list of reasons I love Golden Child, but yet another reason I love them is that they draw inspiration from some of K-pop’s most hallowed tracks. Last year’s stellar Eyes On You borrowed a bit of The Chaser’s almighty DNA, and She’s My Girl feels like a descendant of… dare I say it… SHINee’s legendary Sherlock. Of course, the song is not the undisputed masterpiece that Sherlock is, but it packs a similar funk-pop wallop. I’m not sure I can pinpoint a K-pop track of the past few years that bounds forward with this same level of energy.
The opening moments of She’s My Girl are the musical equivalent of being grabbed by the collar and pulled forward. I love songs that yank you into their energy whether you like it or not. Jibeom is often an overlooked vocalist in the group, but his first lines here shocked me. K-pop rarely sounds this convincingly aggressive, and he really pulls off the intensity. I would’ve never pegged him as the member to do so. Donghyun, too, impresses with his very MJ-esque rhythmic phrasing as the song amps up toward the chorus. Later, Jangjun kicks off a standout second-verse rap that begs for an ultra-charismatic stage performance. Why oh why were we robbed the chance to see this performed on music shows?
She’s My Girl builds to a suitably bombastic finale, never letting up as the instrumental brings in electric guitar and layers upon layers of powerful vocals. It’s an invigorating brew, for sure. Of course, the track was composed by the same guy who created my favorite K-pop single of last year, ONF’s Complete, so a certain level of Bias List adoration was to be expected. My only slight quibble would be the song’s melody, which rests a little too strongly on heavy repetition during the chorus. Still, She’s My Girl is an absolute blast from start to finish. It’s just a throw-down-the-gauntlet knockout, and I hope that more than Golden Child’s hardcore fans get to hear it.