I’ve been waiting patiently to get my hands on GOT7’s new mini album, Got Love, or Got♡. My anxiety was increased, no doubt, by the seven (yes, seven!) teasers released over the past week for the single, “A.” But it’s finally here. Now let’s see what the hip-hop group has in store for us!
“A,” the lead single on the album, is pure fun, with a music video to match! After stumbling into a restaurant, the men of GOT7 stumble in love, all seven vying for the attention of one woman. They dance and sing for her, even perform stunts. This, friends, is what it would be like if life were a musical. It’s fun, at least for a minute and a half. After that, GOT7 seems to run out of ideas, and the video falls back on worn kpop standards, like dancing in a box. It should be said, though, that there’s something odd about seven men harassing one woman at work, chasing her down the street, even following her into a grocery store. There’s something dangerous. It’s a celebration of obsessive personalities. Stalking and saesang fans have been heavily featured in recent news stories, but maybe idols shouldn’t be surprised when their fans follow and harass them, not when it’s the same behavior they model in their music videos.
The music of “A” is insanely addictive, thanks to the oft repeated “Aaaaaaaay.” There’s a really nice feel to the hook, especially the way GOT7 goes down the scale and then up. By ending on top each time, they constantly revitalize a song that really only has one letter for a refrain. There’s also a hint of the complex sounds we’ll talk about later, but they remain in the background here, and don’t distract from the fun.
The first thing you’ll notice in this album is the complexity of the music. GOT7 eschews the norm by bringing in sounds we’re not used to hearing, like the hollow percussion in “U Got Me.” It pairs nicely with the throaty vocals, but does not bridge well into the rest of the song. Ultimately, “U Got Me” feels like two unrelated pieces of music. Though I like both pieces, the connection is tentative, at best.
If you like Kpop, you’ll love “Good Tonight,” a dance pop song with a heavy electronic emphasis, and a definite influence from B.A.P.’s “Warrior.” The buildup to the refrain is fun, and the song is nearly perfect. Over-perfect is a better description. It feels like the producer tinkered with this one too long, introducing far too many electronic riffs when simplicity would have sufficed. It’s unfortunate, but the riffs take away from an otherwise great song.
Last on the album is “Forever Young,” the only ballad. It maintains a strong drum beat, pushing it more into the category of R&B. That emphasis keeps the song from feeling out of place in the album, though maybe not as a follow-up to “Good Tonight.” But I wouldn’t see it replaced, as this is one of my favorites of the album. Gone is the complexity and over-production. In “Forever Young,” it’s back to basics. Strong vocals over a simple, patterned drum line. That’s all you need sometimes.
Got♡ is an album beset by its own complexity, trying to do too much, layer too many sounds, introduce too many beats. I’ve liked GOT7 since JJ Project, and this is a positive stepping stone for them. But their next album would benefit from less. The album earns itself a B for the catchy single, “A,” and the simple, but strong, “Forever Young.”
Zander Stachniak is a southern-born, Chicago-based writer who first discovered Kpop through ShoutCast Radio. His biases are f(x) and Block B.