With their new album Be Together, BTOB join the ranks of post-enlistment boy groups. Not every act makes it to this point, with all current members back together after years of service. The album also follows last year’s Kingdom competition, where members Eunkwang, Minhyuk, Changsub, and Peniel showcased the group’s range and versatility.
With that in mind, I’m a little disappointed that BTOB have returned with a ballad. I mean, it makes sense. This sound reinvigorated their career back in 2015, and felt like a fresh new avenue for their talent. The problem is, the guys haven’t yet matched the potency of It’s Okay (a tough challenge, to be fair). At this stage in their career, BTOB’s music has the potential to feel a little fuddy duddy, and I would have loved to see them branch out again and deliver something unexpected.
The Song (노래) is as unassuming as its vague title. It’s a fine example of this midtempo, sentimental sound. BTOB give it their all, as they always do. I like the blend of vocals and rap, particularly during verse two. But, the song feels very targeted to fans of this style. There’s not much to grab onto for the rest of us. There’s no dynamic climax or memorable hook. The Song just swirls around the same light groove for four minutes. As a co-composition by newly-returned member Lim Hyunsik, I appreciate the weight of emotion fueling The Song’s existence. But, his own solo work hinted at much more interesting compositions. Here’s hoping this new stage of BTOB’s career results in the adventurous spirit that first won them chart success.