Last month, GOT7 announced their departure from JYP Entertainment. And as the members started signing with other agencies, a reunion or continuation of group activities seemed more and more unlikely. Yet, out of the blue a new GOT7 youtube channel appeared this week, with leader JB (now coined “Jay B”) promising that the group isn’t disbanding, but ‘going their own way.” It’s all a bit cryptic, making Encore even more beguiling.
As a piece of music, Encore is boilerplate “song for the fans” material. I expect its legacy will have more to do with the speculation and conversation it spawned than the track itself. But having heard different iterations of this “fan song” template throughout the years, I can confidently say that Encore is above average. Co-written by member Jinyoung, it sounds more like the work of sub-unit JJ Project than GOT7 proper. And I happened to love JJ Project’s output, so that’s no bad thing.
The instrumental has a muted quality, with most of its elements heavily filtered. This lends it a transient nature that draws upon nostalgia and the passing of time. In other words, it’s a perfect arrangement for a song like this. I especially like the use of keys, which give the track a driving rhythm that helps support the anthemic melody. Melodically, Encore actually reminds me of former agency-mates DAY6. The chorus, especially, harnesses the kind of surging melancholy found in many DAY6 ballads. Of course, the song’s lyrics are more celebratory than melancholic. We’ll see what this musical promise ends up delivering in the long run, but at the very least this is a solid capper to the first seven years of GOT7’s career.