It’s ‘Golden Child comeback’ time again, which means a track-by-track review of their new album, Game Changer! Check back each day of the week as I make my way through the ten new songs.
We’ve got a big one here!
The Game Changer album is structured in waves, with the biggest surge hitting right off the bat. Spell (주문을 걸어) is the first of two shorter swells, but it stuffs its three-and-a-half minutes with enough ideas to power several songs. Coming on the heels of two unit tracks, this is the moment when Golcha re-form as a group. It’s like the robot lions connecting together into Voltron. Only, this robot has extra gears and armor and a few flashing lights for good measure.
Yeah, I know that’s two opposing metaphors in one paragraph, but ‘overstuffed’ is what Spell’s all about!
The song comes across as a male version of WJSN’s most ballsy work. That’s no surprise given its producers. The Full8loom team has already composed such off-kilter classics as Luckitty-Cat and B.B.B.Boo. I’ve always longed for a boy group to emulate WJSN’s sound. Now that it’s happened, I only want more.
Spell pulses along a fitful beat, powered by glitchy electronics, scuzzy feedback and nimble keys. It pulls back and punches forward with constant restlessness, held together by the force of its vocals and melody. The first time through, I feared there was just too much going on. But, as the claustrophobic verses build to a striking crescendo, Spell releases its tension and breathes. The pre-chorus chorus (I honestly don’t know how to label it) makes use of a halting vocal over a gurgling bit of synth that feels minimalist when compared to the rest of the track. But, this is prelude to the song’s massive refrain.
Spell‘s wall-of-sound hook is the loudest moment on the entire album. Its chorused effect gives the illusion of a giant group singing together, but I think it’s mostly just Y and Joochan. Either way, the result sweeps you off your feet. It’s almost overwhelming.
From here, Spell continues to enchant – even when it dips and dives out of focus. It’s not as streamlined as Golden Child’s absolute best material, but it certainly leaves its mark and may just grow into a legendary track with time.