Boyfriend‘s latest song, “Janus“, is named after a Roman god with two faces. This is supposed to reflect the song’s lyrics, which talk about a “two-faced” man who smiles in front of his girlfriend during their breakup, but cries when she’s not looking. However, the metaphor extends further than press releases would have you believe- Janus is the god of transformation, which is the perfect word to describe Boyfriend’s comeback.
The almost terrifyingly sweet fluff of the past is gone, making room for a song and video with actual substance, courtesy of Sweetune. Boyfriend has a couple of pretty good vocalists in their mix, which I never noticed until now because I was too distracted by mediocre songs and overwhelming aegyo. Behind that not-so-great concept was some real talent that is finally getting its chance to shine.
Boyfriend still has quite a road ahead of them if they intend to stick around. “Janus” is a huge step in the right direction, but it also kind of sounds like a rejected “BTD“-era INFINITE track, which prevents it from establishing any kind of identity for Boyfriend. The instrumental starts off great and seems to be going somewhere, but the vocals begin with the second half of the chorus- possibly the dullest part of the song! This kills all the anticipation built up in the intro and makes the first part of the song feel like it drags on forever. “Janus” makes use of the multiple rap breaks that Sweetune likes to use with INFINITE, but the rapping itself is completely uninspiring. The video borders on MBLAQ-level overacting, but while MBLAQ videos have storylines to justify the drama, “Janus’” storyline is uneventful, so the acting feels silly and out of place.
Even so, “Janus” is by far the best thing Boyfriend has ever released, and it’s the first song of theirs I’ve wanted to listen to more than once. It isn’t the best comeback of the year, but it is one of the most surprising, which is a good thing for a group that’s been stuck in one not-very-successful image up to this point. For the first time, I’m looking forward to seeing what Boyfriend does next.