When it comes to idols, putting a number in your group name is like the kiss of death. With few exceptions, these groups always seem to lose a member or two. Such is the case with GHOST9, who are now GHOST7 after the departure of members Dongjun and Taeseung earlier this year. Beyond that, the group has had a weird run so far. After debuting with a darker, edgier sound, their music has become brighter over time. This culminated in the very good (but very out-of-character) Up All Night this June. For better or worse, Control pulls them back toward angst.
Last year’s Think Of Dawn was an unexpected highlight, proving these moody, formulaic boy group tracks can be a blast if bolstered by a strong chorus and gutsy performance. In comparison, Control feels under-realized. It’s the most generic title track the guys have released, joining their peers (The Boyz and TO1 say hi!) in shouty dramatics.
To be fair, there’s a bit more going on under the hood of Control. The instrumental holds fun surprises, like the cool use of piano and chugging guitar in verse one or the odd punch of dubstep synth in the chorus. I just wish the percussion didn’t feel so canned. A song like this calls for more than a simple drum machine. Why not opt for timpani to accentuate the orchestral influence and deliver a warmer texture? While Control casts off some decent spikes of melody, its overall construction lacks the towering appeal of past glories like Think Of Dawn or W.ALL. The group’s strong vocal line perform it with gusto, but for me, this is an “almost – but not quite – there” effort, and the weakest of their five titles so far.