I came to GOT7’s “You Are” MV with little anticipation. I hadn’t watched the teaser nor listened to the album spoiler, because in my experience, GOT7 teasers reveal the best part of the song and set me up for disappointment. When I started the video, I was glad I’d brought low expectations, because for a moment during the first verse, I thought I was wrong. I thought, “Wow, this is finally going to be the song that makes me a GOT7 fan. This track will set the bar.”
The truth is that the same thing happened in the beginning of “Never Ever,” and that, similarly to with “Never Ever,” the song had lost me by the prechorus.
What I see happening again and again with GOT7 is an attempt to hit too many musical trends at once, which results in the genre splitting two or three ways as well as the dynamic of the song falling apart. “Never Ever” began with some warm, mellow dance sounds (which I loved) but quickly devolved into icy, future-bassy EDM in the chorus. “You Are” makes the same mistake. We start out with some nice electronic pop sounds, then the production gets a little ambiguous and abruptly we’re dumped into an indolent pop-rock chorus. It’s boring and frankly a little bit cheesy-sounding. The cheesiness I can set aside—I’m a K-pop stan after all—but I can’t put up with the tediousness.
Furthermore, because the song doesn’t know what it wants to sound like, the buildups and the drops (for lack of a better word—it’s not like there is any beat that can drop) don’t go anywhere. The percussion sounds during Jackson’s part in the first verse, for example, raise the tension so you expect the chorus to hit just afterwards, but instead it goes into a mellower part a sung by Youngjae and Jinyoung with a light sprinkling of BamBam. This part, the actual prechorus, has a far weaker buildup than what we heard in Jackson’s part, and there’s no anticipation for what comes next. This doesn’t do anything to help the chorus, which is the part of the song that most needs it. With the tension in all the wrong places, the song’s dynamics fall flat.
Some of these failures may be forgiven when a song has a great melody or some seriously superior vocals or rap. However, “You Are” demonstrates none of these. The one thing I did like about this track was the chord progression, which for me is a colorful one that I don’t see often in K-pop or in music in general. Unfortunately a nice chord progression isn’t enough to make a song.
In regards to the album, I would give it a listen if you haven’t already. Most the songs are better than the title track, and “Moon U,” in particular, is great. Its smooth R&B beat couples with pretty chords, solid vocals and the occasional compositional surprise (did they skip a whole beat before the chorus on purpose? Because I love it) to keep things interesting. Still, this album isn’t one I’ll ever put on shuffle in my free time. There’s nothing particularly exciting going on here.
All that said, I love the members of GOT7. They’re one of my favorite groups to watch on variety shows, they’re good people, and they work hard. If their popularity grows with this comeback, I’ll only be happy for them. But their music just isn’t for me.
YOU ARE: KAYBOP OR KAYFLOP? This one’s a flop for me.
Take a look at GOT7’s “You Are” MV below: