When last we heard from Donghae and Eunhyuk, they were trying to convince us how dangerous they were. I wasn’t totally sold on the concept, but now they’re back with B.A.D – another attempt at bad boy posturing. This time, the sentiment feels a little more authentic, thanks to a few musical touches that stray from the typical blustering boy group template.
Composed by Donghae and writing partner J-Dub, B.A.D fuses retro influences with trendier trap flourishes. It’s mostly successful, though I wish the guys would lean more heavily in a single direction. The track opens with a satisfying synth texture reminiscent of a talkbox. This returns later to underpin much of the chorus. From here, the first verse unveils a vaguely melodic sing-talk structure, helped along by punchy synth and a sense of freewheeling energy.
After a restrained pre-chorus, we move into B.A.D’s two-part hook. The first half is a little repetitive for my taste (I’ve never been a fan of ‘spelling out words’ and calling it a chorus), but the track is smart to include a livelier second hook. It’s all very shouty, but the instrumental frames it as such so B.A.D never feels jarring. Even as the structure changes for verse two, the song retains much of its energy. Compared to a track like 2015’s excellent Growing Pains, B.A.D feels quite lightweight. But, Donghae and Eunhyuk’s strong personalities help drive its weaker moments, while a few great instrumental touches give it the character it needs to stand out.