Last week, I lamented that it had been three months since I had rated a K-pop boy group title track higher than 8.25. This got me thinking about which act could be the one to break this unenviable streak. It turns out, the long-awaited champion was waiting right around the corner. After a fifteen-month hiatus, IMFACT have returned with Lie (거짓말이야). It’s not quite a slam dunk perfect track, but my god, I’ll take it!
Lie manages to harness the ever-popular sense of boy group moodiness without feeling overly glum. This is thanks to a sprightly instrumental that fuses percolating electronics to a deep house frame. The track opens in an uninspiring way, built upon the kind of atmospheric synths we’ve heard a million times before. But, the tempo quickly gathers steam, supporting the verses with a satisfying drive. Lie unveils an effective build, drawing out the best from IMFACT’s supremely underrated vocalists.
On first listen, Lie’s repetitive hook gave me pause. I’m tired of big dance tracks slowing down for their chorus in an anti-drop approach that only serves to stall momentum. But, this turns out to be a red herring, as the chorus’s subdued opening lays the groundwork for a far more impactful second half. This push and pull structure works wonders, giving the track a real sense of dynamics and emotion. Main vocal Jeup is used brilliantly here. He’s got such a pleasant tone, and offers the perfect balance between power and restraint. If I had my way, Lie would ditch its buzzkill, post-chorus trap rap breakdown and add a big, soaring vocal crescendo during its climax, but this is easily the most satisfying boy group release I’ve heard in some time.
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