GOT7’s latest comeback has been highly anticipated, having been teased a few weeks ago by a prerelease collaboration with former SISTAR member Hyolyn, “One and Only You.” The group’s new mini album, “Eyes On You,” features title track “Look” and as aggressively an electronic approach as any of their recent releases. It’s all very trendy-sounding, and elements of this album have huge potential. But somewhere along the line, the production on GOT7 songs almost always disappoints me. I’m not sure at this point if it’s just me or if JYP has a chronic underproduction problem with GOT7. I can, however, say with confidence that this is GOT7’s best comeback in a while, easily topping last year’s “You Are” and delivering a handful of tracks that rank among GOT7’s best work recently.
The Hyolyn feature and title track “Look” both, as I see it, suffer from the same pitfall. There’s too much errant, grating noise in the high end of the instrumental, so it makes the bass feel imbalanced, the mid-range sound seem almost absent. It’s like an aesthetically busy visual design—for example, if you found yourself in a house where dolls lined the walls in every room. The construction may be completely sound and the furniture perfectly comfortable, but that doesn’t mean you want to move in. I guess that in this analogy, the construction is the song’s composition and the furniture is the performance. Both “One and Only You” and “Look” have great melodies, especially the former, whose hook could have been killer if its mid-range had been filled in with some meaty synths to offset the faltering effect of the hesitant rhythm. “Look” is even more guilty of this instrumental imbalance, which disrupts the beat more than once. It also weakens moments that should have taken the song above and beyond, like the reverse drop in the middle of the hook. The best part of the song is where the instrumental smooths out in Yugyeom and Jinyoung’s bridge, which allows bass and melody to take the stage instead clanging high noises. (Kinda reminds me how their bridge was the best part of “Never Ever”…) While the moment is a stellar one, it’s not enough to make up for the instrumental disparities in the rest of the song.
The rest of “Eyes On You,” on the other hand, has more to offer than its singles. “The Reason,” for example, is better than any title track the group has put out since “If You Do.” Just a few measures in, a wave of thick, low bass breaks over the instrumental, and the effect is so heavy it’s almost visceral. That bass propels the delicate melodies into pop delight. I could definitely have used a more exciting beat after all that atmospheric buildup, but the hook of “The Reason” doesn’t intend to push past a certain level of energy, and at the end of the day, it works. “Us” is another good one, with a bit of an unconventional dynamic structure that carries the listener’s attention a long way. I’m crossing my fingers that GOT7’s next title track will feature more of the balanced production that we heard on the B-sides of “Eyes On You.”
ONE AND ONLY YOU & LOOK: KAYBOPS OR KAYFLOPS? Flops.
Take a look at GOT7’s “Look” MV below: