Buried Treasure: Jinjin & Rocky (Astro) – Lock Down

Jinjin & Rocky - Lock DownA K-pop act’s title track isn’t always the best song on their album, even if it’s the one most people will hear. Sometimes, b-sides deserve recognition too. In the singles-oriented world of K-pop, I want to spotlight some of these buried treasures and give them the props they deserve.

There were a ton of mini albums released this week. After listening to them all, I think Jinjin and Rocky’s Restore is my personal favorite (Yena’s Smiley comes second). It’s not perfect, but there are enough highlights to elevate the less-striking material. Though I’m going to gush about Lock Down today, I also recommend Rocky’s solo CPR, especially if you want to hear what it sounds like when a vocalist absolutely attacks a pop song.

With that said, Lock Down is my favorite song on the album. I even prefer it to the title track. We all have bad memories around the words “lock down,” but the sound here isn’t glum. The song continues to develop the funk pop style lacing the bulk of the album. It’s anchored by an incredibly catchy chorus, creeping over rugged bass guitar that brings weight to the bottom end. Seriously, this bass will shake your bones. It sounds great in the car.

The compelling instrumental is met with equally exciting melodies. Lock Down’s hook traces the bassline — a coordinated attack that’s impossible to resist. But, the song doesn’t stop there. The post-chorus fires off a key change to provide a sense of lift just when Lock Down needs it. The verses are a mix of vocal and rap, continuing to spark the song’s funky energy. We’ve heard a ton of ‘bass drop hooks’ in K-pop over the last year or so, but this one still manages to feel fresh and exciting.

 Hooks 9
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9


5 thoughts on “Buried Treasure: Jinjin & Rocky (Astro) – Lock Down

  1. Yes! So happy to see you review this b-side. And you nailed down on what makes this song so memorable.
    I was looking forward to this track the most from the highlight medley too! I mean, hearing Rocky belt in that video (aka the last few seconds of the song)? Ah… That high note adlib trick never gets old. What I also really like is Rocky echoing himself at 2:40 with “lock” and “lock down” was super fun.

    As one who knows Astro by name and a few title tracks by them, seeing this unit debut gave me so surprises. Like Rocky doing the splits in ‘Just Breath’ like it was nothing. Or how the entire mini had both members taken part in composing. Or just finding out that Rocky is one of the two main rappers of the group along with Jinjin?? All the time I’ve been looping ‘Lock down’ Rocky got me convinced he’s a main vocalist.

    Despite being rappers, Jinjin and Rocky compliment each other really well.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. God, I’m so glad they let Rocky go on vocals. Jinjin absolutely holds his own, too (he sounds great!), but this is like… 2017 me’s dream. I always thought he was one of my favorite vocalists in the industry, even though I only had a couple minutes’ worth of clips to prove it.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Your use of ‘PTSD’ here is inaccurate and honestly offensive. Being triggered and having triggers that affect you negatively is not the same as having PTSD, and not everyone who’s gone through the pandemic has PTSD because of it. I would very much appreciate if you would change the wording of that sentence to better reflect your actual thoughts and not downplay an extremely serious mental health issue.

    Liked by 2 people

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