Rookie group Golden Child, who made a stellar debut last year with the vivacious “DamDaDi,” have made their first comeback with the equally lively “It’s U.” This was one of those rookies I was crossing my fingers for, hoping they wouldn’t drastically change their concept anytime soon, because they pulled off their debut so well. In that regard, I’m completely satisfied with “It’s U,” which carries on the upbeat pop onslaught without looking back. It’s not quite as polished or engaging as “DamDaDi,” I’ll admit. Still, it’s a good track, and the rest of the mini-album, “Miracle,” has enough strong moments that I’m pleased with this comeback.
We all know that Golden Child’s vocals and rap talents are excellent, but strangely, the members’ delivery is the only interesting aspect of the verses of “It’s U.” The melodies are a bit of a bore and the instrumental is strangely flat. I’m not sure how these verses ended up so bland when those of “DamDaDi” were so elaborate, but thankfully, the song is saved by a hyper-catchy chorus. This hook moves at full tilt, with a rapidly phrased vocal melody that to me, who’s not a native Korean speaker, sounds like a tongue-twister. You can’t help but (try to) sing along.
Now, the rest of the album is, like the title track, not quite as clean as the debut album. Again, I’m a little mystified as to why this should be. The main issue—to be honest, the only issue—is the sonic side of the production. The obscure flatness in the instrumental that I mentioned in relation to “It’s U” is also particularly noticeable in “Lady” and “Crush,” where clearer production of the vocal harmonies and the musical instruments could have taken the music a long way.
All that said, the strengths of this EP do outweigh the weaknesses. Most remarkably, the members themselves have definitely improved. Members aside from the main vocalists show up in a way that I didn’t hear on the first album. In addition, the distinctive composition that appeared in places on the debut album makes a definitive return, especially in “Crush” and “All Day.” What “Crush” does is take everyone’s favorite part of “DamDaDi”—the rock breakdown—and stretch it out into a full song. Yes, its production does fall short at times. Even so, the song’s full dynamics, zesty melodies, and occasional shouts of “hey!” and “love ya!” are so much fun that they make you want to forget about the production. And “All Day,” the token ballad that has to appear on any rookie group’s mini-album, is a huge improvement on the debut album’s ballad, “I Love You So,” whose melodies were comparatively generic. While “It’s U” isn’t a perfect comeback, it demonstrates growth in several areas, and I’m excited to see what else 2018 has in store for the group.
IT’S U: KAYBOP OR KAYFLOP? Pretty much a bop.
Take a look at Golden Child’s “It’s U” MV below: