Song Review: Just B – Tick Tock

Just B - Tick TockDespite not loving the teasers, Just B’s debut song ended up exceeding my expectations. They found a great collaborator in B.A.P’s Yongguk, and seemed to be heading toward a lasting partnership that could develop that all-important “signature sound.” For their first comeback, Yongguk is nowhere to be found, but the agency has enlisted another Bias List favorite: Andreas Örhn. I’ve been following Örhn’s work for well over a decade, and it’s been fun to watch him break into the K-pop industry. With all this talent involved, Tick Tock should be an easy contender for “song of the month.” But, I’m shocked at how bad it is.

This sort of boy group “noise music” is par for the course, and there have been a fair share of strong songs to come from this approach. However, the bland Tick Tock alternates between generic and obnoxious, lacking the promise found in debut track Damage. The song is designed to emulate the ticking of a bomb, and attempts to develop the same tension as that life-or-death situation. But although the track cycles through so many familiar K-pop tropes, nearly everything falls flat.

From what we’ve heard so far, Just B has a strong vocal line. That skill is displayed here, but the guys aren’t given any engaging melody to play with. Every refrain feels smoothed of its edges, resulting in phrases that fizzle out rather than hit hard. This all climaxes in one of the worst choruses I’ve heard all year – a monotonous “tick tock tick tock tick tock boom” that feels designed to grate. There’s no variation in melody here, just an off-putting shout-a-thon that undercuts Just B’s immense potential.

 Hooks 6
 Production 7
 Longevity 7
 Bias 6

13 thoughts on “Song Review: Just B – Tick Tock

  1. That’s sad because if JUSTB is just given the right material (like with their debut Damage), they could have easily been a kpop standout. The vocal line is strong and the boys do know how to make an impact (even with a song like this). It’s wasted potential if they won’t give them the material that can make them “boom” (as what the lyrics of this song suggests).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Okay, so I gave it a go with the good headphones and I don’t actually hate this, but I don’t especially like it either. I feel like I’d have loved it if Nick had had cause to rate it in the 5s but it just isn’t obnoxious enough. I am curious to see if watching stages helps it grow on me – the guys are definitely a step up from the average rookie group when it comes to stage presence and the choreo for “Damage” was fantastic. I think my issue with this musically is the same problem I’ve been having with NCT 127 and many of the girl crush releases this year – it sounds like three or four different songs smushed together and I find that makes for really jarring listening. I’ll just say it’s not for me and wait for the next trend to roll around. Honestly, three months after “Permission to Dance” I was expecting everyone to be releasing bland English songs, so at least this isn’t that. I’ve even liked some of the retro dance stuff.


      • I think the song reminds me of EXO when they’re trying to be edgy. It even feels like the boys are gonna sing “I’m creeping in your heart babe” anytime here. I wish the song had a Monster-like chorus so that this song could have been elevated just a bit. Damage was definitely a highlight!


  2. Changing the subject to things that aren’t kind of super disappointing, I just scanned through your recent tweets and DANG that Lucy cover of “One” does not disappoint!


  3. I am going to be honest hear, the only reason I made it all the way through the song was that I was working on something else and couldn’t get to the youtube tab to hit skip.


  4. I’ll be honest, I read this before listening to the song and… I was SCARED 😂

    This is no Damage … but it wasn’t bad either? 😅 I don’t know – maybe my non-existent standards had dipped or maybe my love for their voices is too strong – either way it didn’t feel as horrible as everyone here is making it out to be 😂 It doesn’t highlight them like Damage and it doesn’t go BOOM either but it was enjoyable. The pre-chorus and first chorus were rather nice 🙂

    I even saw somebody commenting this reminded them of My Turn?! 🤣…. Then again I actually “like” My Turn so joke’s on me 😝😝


    • Agree i just can’t help but overlook the wasted potential to make a powerful back to back single run but i also don’t find this song bad. I’m generally more tolerant of this sound and their voices are good that’s why i think the song sounds better than it should be.

      Liked by 1 person

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