As usual, Golden Child gets the “bias group advantage” on this site. This means not only their title track and a buried treasure will be reviewed, but I’ll be taking a look at the entire new mini album YES.
I can always tell how much I love a group’s music when even their ballads and mid-tempos end up on my “most played” list. I’m usually far more fond of up-tempo material, but Woollim Entertainment has a knack for picking great slower songs as well.
Milky Way didn’t stick out to me as part of YES’s highlight medley, but I found myself smitten with the track as soon as I heard it in full. It takes advantage of a tried and true formula: emotive ballad underlined by EDM drop-style production. This usually elicits a pretty heavy eye roll from me, but I absolutely love the instrumental choices here. Yes, we have many of the standard K-pop sounds, but a generous dose of rock guitar ties it all together and gives Milky Way great texture.
This song is pure atmosphere and emotion, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in melody. Milky Way’s mighty instrumental drop is preceded by a simple, but catchy, hook that clears space to give that drop maximum impact. Yet, my favorite moment in Milky Way occurs during the verses, when distorted guitar enters to give a chugging – almost industrial – drive to the production. I also love the perfectly placed pause right before the song’s final drop, as well Joochan’s closing ad-libs that echo that instrumental melody. Basically, Milky Way takes an overly familiar format but does everything right with it. It’s an incredibly solid b-side.