2PM has returned this week, releasing an album with yet another uninspiring title. What is it? Well, the title is “Still 2:00PM“. If you ask me, mainstream pop-stars get one pass by attempting to be clever with their group name and incorporating it in their title. 2PM have stuck with the whole ‘time’ theme for several years now, and frankly, it is 1.) lazy, and 2.) meaningless. A title should at least reveal a prevailing theme in the album. You know, to cross ‘cohesion’ off of their to-do list. Right? But alas, things rarely occur in that manner, especially in Kpop.
So let’s get into the music. From day one, this group has done just about nothing for me. There was a point when I sort of liked “Without U“. The chorus got me into a nice head-bobbing rhythm, and not to mention how much ass they kicked with the choreography. I admit, it was hot. JYP‘s got some great choreographers trapped in a hidden basement somewhere. No doubt.
So, I was definitely waiting to see what they had come up with this time.
The choreo for “I’ll Be Back” (the lead single) is borderline goofy. I mean, it’s not ‘hot’ like I expected it to be. And this group thrives and exists off of their sex-appeal. It’s probably killing them right now how much clothes they have to wear for this song, too. But as lame as I sound, I sort of like it. If anything, it looks fun. It doesn’t make sense with the song, but at least it’s more interesting to look at than, say, U-KISS’ awkward slicing moves for “Shut Up“.
Anyway, the music. As far as their Kpop status goes, these guys top the list of most overrated idols on planet Earth. Beating Super Junior by a hair. Musically, 2PM are weak. Their vocals are as average as my neighbor’s, and that’s probably stretching it. But this is a pop group, and so I treat them as such.
For a pop group with zero power in their singing, they sure know how to work with what they’ve got. Actually, no. Their production team knows how to make them sound good. Sometimes, really good. Particularly with memorable melodies and decent beats. If I remove 2PM’s vocals from “I’ll Be Back” and I talk through the whole thing, I could probably sound just as dope as them (confident, much?). Hypothetically speaking, of course.
“I’ll Be Back” sounds too much like JYP munched off of “Without U“‘s chorus and called it a day. The two songs sound like they’re at the same BPM, too! Laziness strikes again, I tell you. But for what it is, it’s not an awful song. It’s catchy and makes for a perfect work out song. I’d ask Junho and Junsu to calm down on the ad libs because, honestly, they add little to nothing to the dynamics of the song. And I’d scrap Chansung altogether. I’m obviously getting picky here, but man is he nasally. Not really into that.
Overall, 2PM know how to shit decent dance tracks, even if their singing is underwhelming. Plus, they work well with their strengths. And listen Ma! No auto-tune! Well, I did hear a subtle touch of it here and there, but no where near as excessive as some other idol groups. I expect Big Bang to be pouring large amounts of processing into my ears very soon, so at least 2PM are giving me a break.
“I’ll Be Back” isn’t a strong single and it’s completely recycled material. If you’re interested in hearing a better quality song from these sex objects, I’d recommend “I Can’t” off the same mini album. It features a more natural instrumentation and they sound a lot better than on the single.