I debated whether or not to write about 2AM’s comeback. Their surprise reunion feels too important to ignore, but I’ve never felt any connection with the group. I’m simply not a big fan of ballads, and 2AM’s heyday came before I was fully invested in K-pop. So, their music doesn’t bring a sense of personal nostalgia. Because of this, take my thoughts with a huge grain of salt. In fact, you should always take my thoughts with a huge grain of salt!
The group has delivered two title tracks – both ballads with similar energy and sentiment. Each was composed by a K-pop luminary with strong ties to 2AM. Should’ve Known comes courtesy of Hitman Bang, while No Good In Good-bye (잘 가라니) was penned by Park Jinyoung. For me, the two songs are nearly interchangeable, so I’ll write about the one that currently has more YouTube views.
No Good In Good-bye is your typical K-ballad. It’s overwrought in a good way – very emotional and structured so that we move toward the expected blasts of catharsis that are a cornerstone of this sub-genre. Of course, the guys sound incredible. There’s a reason they’re considered legendary within this field. The vocals are clear and dynamic, driving home the sentiment with each note. The melody feels quite familiar, slowly cresting and waning like a good K-drama. There’s not many new tricks to pull within this format. As we sometimes say in the elementary education field: “we get what we get and we don’t throw a fit.”