Debuting last year, Just B’s music has already moved through several iterations. They’re currently in a phase where their singles incorporate “=” symbols into their titles. I’m sure there’s some complex lore supporting this decision, but I’m more concerned with the music behind those titles. Their tracks often incorporate rock sounds, exemplified by this excellent b-side penned by B.A.P’s Yongguk.
New single Me=(Naneun) (ME= (나는)) leans into a different side of rock music. Like TXT’s Lovesong last year, the track tackles an angsty, mid-tempo radio rock sound. There’s an anthemic quality to its chorus, but the rest of Me feels more subdued. It’s not the style of title track we’re used to hearing from idol groups, though acts like Pentagon and iKON have delivered similar energy in the past. This alone helps Just B stand out in a crowded pack of rookies.
As far as the song itself, I think it’s a mixed bag. I really enjoy the chorus, which isn’t something I can say about every K-pop track in 2022! It has a punchy energy that’s quite effective, but I’m most impressed with its diverse structure and arrangement. So many K-pop choruses run a repetitive hook into the ground, but Me unfolds with a melodic diversity that’s very refreshing. The song’s verses aren’t as memorable and threaten to drag down the rest of the track, making Me=(Naneun) more “sturdy” than “outstanding.” However, its strengths outweigh its shortcomings and I like this new style for Just B. I hope they get the chance to develop it further on future comebacks.