GOT7 will return next week with their fourth Korean full-length album, but prior to that they’re sharing pre-release track Breath (넌 날 숨 쉬게 해). Like most of the album, this song is self-penned – in this case by member Youngjae. I think it’s great for idol groups to move into self-production, but that alone isn’t enough to thrill me. I just want an awesome song, no matter who composes it.
For me, Breath is in one ear, out the other. To be fair, I’ve never really enjoyed these kind of tracks. From the whistling hook to the murky synth tones, the entire thing feels languid and dull. I appreciate the focus on the members’ vocals, but they’re in service to a ho-hum melody that never really goes anywhere. Apart from the repeating whistle, the hook consists of little more than a single throwaway line and some half-hearted chanting. The verses have a bit more drive, but without a real centerpiece to revolve around, they kind of fizzle into nothing.
I think a consistent groove could have helped improve Breath. It’s not impossible to create a satisfying mid-tempo track of this genre, but it requires great use of rhythm. Breath’s instrumental is too fitful. It never finds a beat that works, flitting instead from segment to segment without the continuity that would make that approach work. Much of the instrumental is just too plonky for my taste, which is a shame because GOT7’s music has harnessed some great grooves in the past.