Boy group INI (pronounced “eye en eye”) was formed through the second season of Produce 101 Japan. After watching the series, I’ve found myself rooting for the guys. The group has so much potential in nearly every aspect. They just need the material to match. Unfortunately, the songs for Produce groups tend to be hit or miss. Season one’s JO1 debuted with a very generic track, only to release amazing music since. I hope INI follow the same trajectory, because Brighter is duller than dull.
This is part of a double a-side debut with last month’s Rocketeer. I found that track disappointing too, but at least I can recall it! Despite being the more vocal-driven of the two songs, Brighter is musical mush. It’s like a sleeping pill in song form.
This track comes courtesy of Korean producers Moon Kim and Stainboys – two creators who have crafted excellent pop songs for other acts. I consider both to be strong melodicists, but none of that skill is apparent here. Brighter crawls along with no energy at all. Its melody lacks bite, with each line fizzling into the ether. The dirge-like production only exacerbates this problem. INI sound like they’re half-asleep — a disconcerting turn when you consider some of their strong vocal performances on the series. I mean, they’ve got Kyosuke in their ranks! One can only imagine their agency had these songs lying around and is saving the good stuff for later in INI’s career. I don’t know why, but otherwise I can’t imagine debuting a group with such a faceless and inert track.