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.
Poppin’ (Y & Jangjun)
Looking at Game Changer‘s track list last week, this unit stood out most. It’s such a contrast in personalities. Anyone familiar with the group’s variety knows that Jangjun is as much a comedian as he is an idol. Meanwhile, Y usually has a more serious demeanor. But, they’re two of Golden Child’s oldest members, having trained together for years. So, the “odd couple” pairing never feels awkward.
Poppin’ is the perfect song for this duo, drawing equally from Jangjun’s ultra-fun rap and Y’s funky vocals. It’s also the album’s final upbeat moment, delivering one more blast of energy before we move into more sentimental territory.
Jangjun’s flow has always been closely tied to his personality. It’s flashy and boisterous, but he’s got great diction and really chews on the words in a satisfying way. You can tell he just revels in being an idol performer. And, Poppin‘ even gives him the chance to sing a few lines! Jangjun’s never been shy about singing (…or anything, really!), even when he can’t quite hit the notes. During Poppin’s second verse, he swerves into this strange trot-like style that’s a real hoot. Nothing about the track is trying to be cool, and I appreciate that.
On the other hand, Y gets to play around with his lower register, offering a smooth counter to Jangjun’s enthused performance. The two voices pair like old friends, equal parts studied and freewheeling.
I love the melody that opens this track, even though I’m sure I’ve heard it before in other songs. But, this familiarity brings a sense of comfort. The rhythmic nature of the verse suits the bassline, which creeps along underneath and forges an easy groove. When we hit the chorus, the track becomes more effusive. The instrumental fleshes out and the key raises. This melody here is big and brassy, and becomes more addictive the longer you hear it. An ultra-catchy post-chorus chant puts the cherry on top. Poppin’ is a party track through and through, and more than earns that distinction.
(Updated with official mv)