Song Review: BOYNEXTDOOR – But I Like You

BOYNEXTDOOR - But I Like You2022 delivered a host of newly-debuted girl groups, and this year seems poised to do the same for boy groups. One of 2023’s most anticipated debuts is BOYNEXTDOOR — the first idol act under Zico’s KOZ Entertainment, with the backing of K-pop overlords HYBE. Their upcoming single album promises three promoted tracks, and today we get an advance taste with pre-release But I Like You (돌아버리겠다).

But I Like You lacks the gravitas of a title track, but its buoyant, youthful energy quickly establishes BOYNEXTDOOR as… well… boys next door. Its vaguely punk rock sound is a tried and true K-pop formula, performed by vocals that adopt a polished sneer. It’s good clean fun — short and sweet and to the point. There’s a limit to how high I can rate a song this slight, but it does its job very well.

In a different world, But I Like You could have been performed by some scruffy UK indie band in the mid-00’s, and that duality is kind of interesting. BOYNEXTDOOR pull out some dance moves in the music video, but I can just as easily imagine them busking on the side of a road with minimal instrumentation and plenty of charm. If anything, the song is too short. It’s a real teaser, and I hope this means more robust, exciting things are coming down the pike. For now, I’ll definitely file BOYNEXTDOOR under “ones to watch.”

Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25

Grade: B


24 thoughts on “Song Review: BOYNEXTDOOR – But I Like You

  1. It is almost painful- how I like this song so much more at first listen compared to Bite Me.

    What stands out the most about it is the vocal delivery and processing, which manages to survive HYBE’s infamous vocal processing and is bursting with personality and charm. It is so refreshing. I literally cannot think of any other fourth gen group that delivers vocals like how they do. The group truly feels like it is made by Zico, as I imagine how he enunciates his sleeper hit Anysong two years ago (I think?). There is literally no other boy group out there doing that so I’m very much giving them credit where it is due.

    I’m giving this an 8.75 or 8.5 for now.


  2. I predict a HIT! Because they are from Hybe, not because of anything else. At what point do Hybe start completing with themselves? I want to see the mood boards for how the marketing genii have segmented this group vs Enhypen vs TXT. No, no I don’t just saying that a company with the marketing genius of Hybe probably has such mood boards in spades, perhaps entire mood rooms, from whence this group was constructed.

    It sounds like old Pentagon circa “Shine”. Ah, Shine, what a good break-out song. The best use of the hitchhiker too.

    And then the song ends, like cuts out. Like the producers themselves got bored. Its not the song length per se, its that the song does nothing interesting with the time it is allotted. I mean, Beach Boys early “Surfin USA” clocks in at 2:29 and does A Lot More. Beatles “Please please Me” the title track from their debut album = 2:00, still hummable today.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I like the song. But I’m wondering: What’s the point of wearing Pink Floyd and Nirvana t-shirts? Are BOYNEXTDOOR going to do a 22-minute multi-part prog song to compete with Echoes or Atom Heart Mother, complete with long guitar and analog synthesizer solos, with special effects like wind blowing and whale song? Or are they going to perform a double-album conceptual rock opera about the existential crisis of postmodern existence? Or are they going to scream their lungs out over a skeletal Steve Albini-like production, wailing about teenage angst? Nevermind (pun attended) the fact that few Nirvana fans were into Pink Floyd, and vice versa. (You know, the whole Sex Pistols-wearing-“I hate Pink Floyd” t-shirts and whatnot.) Is it purely a fashion choice? I know they’re not the first ones to do this, but I never got the point of it. In the US & UK, generations-long genre alliance wars were more bitterly contested than any online stan-dom conflicts. (Think: anti-LGBT Disco Demolition Night in Chicago in ’79, or east coast/west coast rap assasinations.)


    • More likely they picked up the tshirts at the Korean version of Target, got an armful, picked based upon color scheme.

      But I think the time is way overdue for kpop to do a full on 70’s prog rock retro revival. Get off this 00’s boy band revival which none of us asked for. Do something inventive. *sigh* kpop is so boring this year. Where are my key changes? All I want in life is one surprising key change. *sob*

      Liked by 2 people

      • The funny thing is, I think a lot of Kpop *is* sorta proggy, within a 3:30 time frame (and J-pop too, within a 4 to 5 minute range). Wild beat changes, complicated song structure (within pop songs, anyway). Plus soaring choruses that would make Yes envious. I guess that’s why I’m so drawn to it, haha.


        • Time was, yes. This year, no. Xeno used to go on about how kpop resembled Genesis in the 70’s, lengthy paragraphs, but Xeno has gone quiet as he does from time to time, because it ain’t so anymore.

          Anyway, I did the search because I was curious. Target online, today, sells tshirts of:
          Prince Purple Rain
          Nirvana Bob Marley Guns’n’Roses Outkast Tupac FleetwoodMac
          TLC “No Scrubs”
          Rolling Stones “North American Tour 1975” (that is what it says)
          the Notorious B.I.G Metallica Ice Cube H.E.R
          Pink Floyd AC-DC
          another Pink Floyd … have these people even listened to Pink Floyd
          eleven more AC-DC … that’s a full dozen of AC-DC, working the merch

          So yes, costuming by Target.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Oooh, I might have to pick up that Purple Rain one. I must come clean: massive Genesis fan here. Selling England by the Pound is a definite desert island album for me. I was always a weird kid, haha 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Loved this! As somebody else pointed out, it has such a high contrast to Bite Me lol I was a bit surprised they were both scheduled to release on the same day. If only it was not cut so short! Just an extra 30 seconds would’ve been effective in turning this from “pretty good” to “great”. Loved the vibes, the lyrics, and the “nextdoor-ness” they deliver as promised. Excited for what is next.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “Good clean fun” is perfect for description of this one. I like the song and the vibe it evokes, but…damn, it’s too short! After I finished listening, I was like: nah, I didn’t have enough fun, I was expecting a bit more..
    Still, But I Like You seemed better to me than Enhypen’s Bite Me, especially the latter’s chanted first half of the chorus caused my disappointment to increase.


  6. really dig this excited to see what comes. I think Zico is perfect idol to start a boy group because I feel like he is tapped into the rising, ever so hip k-r&b scene and a hitmaker Korean general public. “Any song” was friggin everywhere.
    This song definitely has his spry, staccato touch, especially when the instrumental hits in sync with the vocal melody.
    I def think this group is going to be big, especially with the HYBE machine behind it, hope their true debut title track rivals “Crown.”


  7. I think it will grow on me. It dances a little too close to 00s pop punk for me, but it’s nice to hear some actual good bottom end on this song. Punchy bass, cymbal. I dig that.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Cute, very one direction. Not my thing but it’s nice to be able to hear 4th gen boy group vocals for once and that there’s a kind of melody


  9. It feels tried and true, yes, but in my opinion, in an awful way. The song was fine, but nothing about it stood out. Not the melody, not the concept, not the lyrics, not the choreography. The most I could compliment is the vocal production and direction, but that’s hardly enough to make a splashy debut. This song was more of a forgettable, typical “new-tro” sounding B-track than a debut single.

    Liked by 1 person

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