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.
I’m a big proponent of albums ending on an energetic high, but I’ll take a knockout ballad as well. Golden Child have quickly built a repertoire of strong pop ballads, and I Know (난 알아요) sits comfortably amongst them. Like previous tracks All Day (still my favorite!), Thank You and Pass Me By, it’s a ballad with a beat. It thrives on sappy sentiment in the way you’d expect from a boy band, but this is no bad thing.
After a mysterious opening, the track grows into a gentle melody that takes advantage of the guys’ clear vocals. I love how the pre-chorus gains momentum – especially Y’s clipped delivery. It’s a nice energetic upswing before I Know subdues once more for its chorus. The melody here is repetitive and uneventful, but pleasant enough.
I want to zoom in on I Know’s second verse, because I absolutely adore it. In fact, this is my favorite kind of second verse in pop songwriting. Rather than replicate the melody from verse one, the song moves in a new – yet complimentary – direction. The instrumentation gains steam, fleshed out with synth strings as the segment builds toward a vocal climax. This approach lends the track movement, preventing it from becoming stale or boring.
The remainder of I Know swells in expected ways, culminating in a series of power notes that usher in the final chorus. None of this is revolutionary, but it’s a tried-and-true formula that works. And with one last Joochan-performed note, I Know closes the album with a satisfying sense of finality.