The men of the afternoon, 2PM have returned stronger than ever with their 6th studio album 'Gentleman's Game.' With their last release "My House" pulling in much success, the boys continue the adult escapades with their manlier charms and grown image in "Promise."
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Promise (I'll Be)
Giv. U Class
All Night Long
- Can't Stop Feeling
While some of the members have been preoccupied with solo activities and their time away in Japan, 'Gentleman's Game' puts a stop to their 1-year hiatus. Don't wait any longer and check out their MV for "Promise" below!
To my surprise, 2PM came back strong with their 6th comeback album, as it contains a lot of variety in not only sound but messages. It is also fairly long, showcasing the fact they spent a lot of time in the recording studio.
The MV was clearly well invested, as it sports the men in unique locations such as church-like rooftops in England, hotel rooms, steamy bathtubs and flashy stage sets for dynamic dance scenes, not to mention the stellar fashion, as the boys are bringing sexy back in quite the sophisticated manner. The bold, royal-blue and jet-black, double-breasted, buttoned blazers in various styles, such as trench and velvet material, offer a great aesthetic combined with English fashion influences.
The viewer can easily see how the boys have become men as the MV emphasizes a lot of grown content. It utilizes each member with an individual story that builds up throughout the song. From simply watching, one can understand the frustration of not being what a girl desires and willing to change as well as the "heat of the moment" sensation that occurs during the steamy, shirtless scenes present in the hotel.
The instrumental for "Promise" contains a lot of synthetic tones that reverberate through the ears. The vocals, mainly in the chorus, somewhat wash out the edgy track as they shout, "Baby, I'll Be." I think it echoes the stress the members portray in working hard at being whatever their girlfriend wants. A promise a man makes once they have matured romantically.
The song continues following a jittery style as the rapid drums lead into loud, elongated snares accompanied by a light piano alongside the warp-like drops in synthetic sounds. Surprisingly, the song is very mechanical rather than smooth. Taecyeon further revealed in an interview that the theme the song incorporated is coined the "Future base genre," which is a popular style originating in England.
The melodies are repetitive as it lightly flows between high rising sounds and brought to a steady pace at the bridge after the refrain. The song is complex and a good approach for something new, but may not be everyone's style as it seems to lack a familiar JYP sound many have grown accustomed to hearing.
As the album goes on, it leads into their track "Uneasy," which has a nice deep echo that leaves a hollow feeling. 2PM continue using the "Future Base" influence but this song exhibits more of JYP's-esque. The slow beat of the drum and snare accompanied by the electric guitar that subtly breaks into the main beat after the bridge make it balanced and well executed. The falsettos and raised pitches for their vocals in the refrain make "Uneasy" a fittingly body melting track because guys singing in such angelic pitches is pure ear candy!
Afterward, the album continues to synchronize sounds with "Giv. U Class." This track incorporates today's popular trap styles and the members show off their rap game. Although it is more like talk-singing, this song is effortlessly cool and easy to jam to. Alongside the rap efforts of mainly Taecyeon, the song still emphasis lead vocalists Junho and Nichkhun wonderfully.
After these rather generic side tracks, listeners can really find the "wow factor" in "Make Love." Like the title suggests, it is a total baby-making track, and these songs are smooth like butter and feel like water as it flows cleanly through your body and into your soul. However, the rap can get a little cringe-worthy with the corny lines, "Making love all night, baby it feels so right," but it is K-Pop, so it is still cute and forgivable. The most appealing aspect of this song is without a doubt that 80's refrain with the modern twist. The lyrics "Making love" continue in a harmonious, humming tone making it irresistibly catchy.
As expected, 2PM doesn't disappoint after "Make Love" as they follow with some of the same characteristics with "All Night Long." The song has the most contagious instrumental, as it is well crafted and is a great fusion of modern trap and sweet R&B ballad. The soft, whispery "Hello, Hello, Hello" blends wonderfully alongside the orient-like, whistling beat.
Without trying (get it?), 2PM made a hit track that would be a waste if not performed live. JYP could have undeniably given this smooth and flirtatious track to GOT7, but it is enhanced by 2PM's well-developed vocals and complements this album's love making concept.
"Never" seems like a great dance track and border lines something I can see other boy groups singing. Aside from the, "never let you go when I sleep, never let you go, I want you" refrain, there isn't a real captivating element for this track. "Never" utilizes a lot of English lines and typical Korean lines as well. The falsettos are added nicely towards the end and spice up the steady, clapping beat and guitar strumming.
The song "Humming" starts off with a laugh as it appears they are saying, "Let's start from the biggest." Oh, Engrish. The song seems to appeal to the jack-swing vibe similar to Eric Nam's "Ooh Ooh." 2PM whimsically throw in a few "do doo" and "ah ahhs" as they playfully sing to the upbeat guitar, sassy but not overwhelming blares from trumpets and choir-like harmony in the instrumental. "Humming" is sweetly made and really lives up to its name as it is easy on the ears.
The rise in tempo towards the final bridge is the recipe for addiction in this case. 2PM carry the tendency to sing high and lightly for most of the bridge, as found in some of the previous songs. The rapping in this song is unexpected but adds to the jive-esque of "Humming," making it upbeat and a great addition to the album.
"Shall We?" offers that desire to see it as a second promotion upon first listen. It is a little edgy and still smoothed out. With familiar sounds found in "Promise" and "Humming," "Shall We?" has a lot of echoing rises, blaring trumpets and light traces of the "Future Base" genre. The instrumental evolves into something more creative as it drops to a killer trap beat after the second refrain. The song isn't littered with as many falsettos and rising pitches as the previous tracks but the members still entertain us with auto-tuned ad libs that match this futuristic bop.
The futuristic, jazzy sounds keep coming with "Perfume." The song is a little more charming and melodic as it features repetitious snaps, not as strained vocals and more "ooh ooh" ad libs. Like before, Taecyeon gets another moment to shine through his raps but it doesn't seem as uniquely integrated as the others except towards the end.
The instrumental is a bit more blaring alongside the vocals despite placing calming, shimmering sound effects. The quirky, trumpet that can be found squeaking in the opening and ending of the song appeared to be the 'it factor' but it didn't win me over.
"My Last" really seems like another baby-making track and a turn towards a more ballad-like piece; however, "My Last" doesn't put a halt to the upbeat, synthetic sounds of "Gentleman's Game." While being a bit easier on the ears, the instrumental is airy, follows the same light drum pattern that can be found in most trap genres, and is heavily synthesized with little variation in musical sounds and influences from previous tracks. Despite these sounds, it doesn't stop "My Last" from being a good listen. The instrumental strays from being more obnoxious, with only subtle pitch rises that pair nicely with the reappearance of Junho's falsettos and ad libs.
As all good things come to an end, "Gentleman's Game" finishes up with "Can't Stop Feeling." The track is a bit more instrumental than vocal, as it really offers that refreshing live band atmosphere. Like "My Last," "Can't Stop Feeling" avoids the messy style of "Promise" and is a bit more organized in sound, rap, and vocals. It has a minimal jack-swing jive and it is a bit more uplifting, like a church group song. The cheerful clapping, angelic ad libs and cleverly added piano and guitar solos make this song a great close to a well-made album.