Every since they released Born To Be Wild last year, JO1 have been on my radar in a different way. Now that I know what they’re capable of, my ears are ready for more. And though nothing else has lived up to that high water mark quite yet, I’ve enjoyed becoming more familiar with the members’ vocals. The group is surprisingly stacked when it comes to that aspect.
New single With Us shines spotlight on those vocals, tethering them to a stomping beat and flourishes of strings. Like most of their material, it’s very “K-pop” in execution – down to their choice of collaborators and glossy music video. The overall sound takes me back to 2017, when Chainsmokers-esque EDM drops were all the rage. It’s not an era I’m particularly fond of, but this style has its charms. Fortunately, With Us ties the approach to a hearty melody that gives the group plenty of time to simply sing.
What we come away with is a piece of generic pop music, executed well. It’s not particularly exciting, but I’d rarely skip it on a playlist. Those aforementioned strings are my favorite element, and I wish the entire track had given over to symphonic bombast. I mean, if you’re going to make a sentimental mid-tempo, you might as well go as over the top as you can! Instead, With Us focuses on being amiable and nice all the way through. It’s hard not to be charmed by it, but if Born To Be Wild or Move The Soul happens to come on next, the difference will be striking.
I think i agree with this rating, though i would still put it above “Real” a little bit, and more if they didn’t use auto-tune on the chorus (it bothers me so much). They lowkey set JO1 up with releasing this after Move the Soul. Since you like their vocals, i recommend checking their performance of Move the Soul on The First Take channel. it blew my mind
I second that.
After your post that included Outriders by Sawano Hiroyuki I’ve been digging through JO1’s discography for the last week and a half and I am really enjoying it. They really do have some amazing vocalists too. Move the Soul and Born to Be Wild are both fantastic though I think I like Move The Soul a bit better, that song really doesn’t let you breathe. I also really love the b sides Icarus and We Can Fly. Also I’ve noticed they make so many performance videos for all their songs it’s kind of hard to tell what the actual title tracks is, they promote nearly everything.
Also, Nick do you know where I can watch their season of produce with English subs by any chance?
There’s a page called JO1/INI Subs that should have everything
Both seasons are available with English subs here: https://101jpsubs.weebly.com/directory.html
This song screams Chainsmokers, I thought we were over that sound 😦
Hah, I’m alright with this “Chainsmokers but by likable people” genre for a song or two. I thought their previous single “Toberu Kara” showed off their vocals a bit better, but I agree with you that this song gives the members plenty of room to sing freely.
I enjoy reading your reviews, it helps me better understand what draws me to a song beyond “I like this song and it makes me happy.” Thanks for that!