Review: Got7 Doesn’t Have IT with “Got It?”

1st Mini Album- Got It_

After catching the eyes of fans in late 2013, when they competed against YG trainees on the agency’s competition show, WINNER, JYP’s Got7, has made their official debut with 1st mini album, “Got It?”

I firmly believe that the ‘value’ and quality of an album, especially that of a new artist, involves much more than the music itself. For Got7, they are debuting within the shadows of labelmates, and one of Kpop’s most revolutionary boy bands, 2pm. Needless to say, this album was the group’s first, and most important way of overcoming a major obstacle. In order to avoid crippling comparisons, “Got It?” needed to be radically different, visually, stylistically, and most importantly, musically. Unfortunately, the group has failed to rise to the occasion.

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The album opens us with여보세요 (Hello),” a weird Hip Hop wannabe, Pop hybrid. Throughout, the song bounces back and forth between a flowing almost ballad-like rhythm, very reminiscent of 2pm’s latest release “하.니.뿐. (A.D.T.O.Y),” and a robotic dance beat. As the album’s introduction, the jerky, uncertain melody, makes it immediately clear that this group lacks a strong identity, and will continue to struggle for the remainder of the album, to establish one.

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Next is the group’s lead single, “Girls Girls Girls,” an incredibly repetitive, and basic pop number. The song provides the group its most basic needs, a catchy near addictive beat, that sets up the foundation for an even catchier and easily replicated choreography. The problem with this is that Kpop, for the most part, is no longer being ‘catchy.’ A successful group needs to display substance, and flare, and uniqueness. With Got7’s biggest ‘competition’ being SM Entertainment’s EXO, and JYP sub-label, Big Hit’s Bangtan Boys, ‘catchy’ just isn’t going to cut it. Got7 needed to display something with these promotion that would give both of those well established groups a reason for concern. I have found nothing.

The lack of a ‘wow-factor’ and the blatant miss use of a debut is a actual a prefect example of why JYP Entertainment is at the place in the industry that it is. Just like their labelmates, Got7 lacks an edge that is competitive, noticeable, and memorable. While I admit I do find myself singing this song, and dancing the dance at the most random of moments, that’s not enough. I wouldn’t pick this group to be the next leaders of the genre, because  they are lacking the flare that will keep them interesting for years to come.

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Now, while I’ve found myself repeating the same complaints I had for “Girls Girls Girls,” with most of the rest of the album, I found myself particularly interested and in love with “따라와 (Follow Me).” The song’s beat was used to both promote the group in the weeks before their debut and to as an introduction for their “Girls Girls Girls” MV. The flare that I complained “Girls Girls Girls” lacked, “따라와 (Follow Me)” delivered.

While the average age of the group is 18, the maknae is only 16 and the oldest is 20. Of course it will be tough to find a style of music that is age appropriate for all members, and I believe “따라와 (Follow Me)” does just that in fresh way. Today boy bands are either going for tough, macho images or extremely juvenile, down right effeminate images. “따라와 (Follow Me)” finds an interesting middle ground where the boys are being just age appropriate. There’s rapping, there’s singing, but its all playful yet mature which is what 16-20 year olds are in a sense. For this reason, I felt, this song would have been a much better choice for a promotion. Had this song been executed perfectly I feel, I may be feeling completely different about got7’s debut.

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As I’ve stated multiple times throughout this review, I feel Got7 really missed the mark with their debut, and have failed to make a real impression as a major player for the next generation of Kpop boy bands.

Scores: 

여보세요 (Hello): 0/1

Girls Girls Girls: .75/1

난 니가 좋아 (I Like You): 0/1

따라와 (Follow Me): .75/1

Like Oh: .5/1

Playground: 0/1

Final Score: 1.6/5

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