It’s always gratifying to watch a group defy the odds. After exiting JYP Entertainment and embarking on solo projects, it would have been easy for GOT7 to dangle an unfulfilled promise of reunion before slowly fading into fans’ memories. Instead, the guys have joined forces for a new comeback just a year and a half after their last album. Never mind the fact they’re all signed to different agencies. They made it work.
I only wish GOT7 had returned with a song as momentous as the occasion. Instead, NANANA takes a more subdued route, offering a vibe rather than a knockout punch. Once expectations are adjusted, this track can be compared to similar efforts in their discography. With that in mind, it actually feels more like a song one of the members might release on their own. Its languid pace and straightforward beat seem perfectly suited to a soloist. It’s only when the guys join together for a chanted hook that we have the sense of a real group comeback.
A song like NANANA lives or dies on its groove, and groove can be a funny thing. What makes my shoulders move won’t necessarily be the same for anyone else, and the differences can be subtle. I’ve been listening to a lot of 90’s R&B and hip-hop lately, and it’s amazing how slight variations in rhythm can make all the difference. For instance, put something like this on and my head can’t help but nod along. When it comes to NANANA, the drum machines are expertly programmed but that head-nodding reflex just doesn’t come. Instead, the production feels weighed down – trudging rather than vibing. But, that’s all highly subjective. Whatever the song makes your shoulders do, it’s nice to see GOT7 back in action. I hope this won’t just be a one-off treat.