With so many rookie groups that have debuted this year, I’d say BTOB is one of the few groups that actually have potential to be highly successful. Unfortunately, they are overshadowed by the ever popular B.A.P and EXO (two groups whom I myself adore). Their new EP, “Press Play,” consists of six tracks that resonate Pop and RnB styles from the late 80s to the early 2000s. Although this description may make their songs seem outdated, they’re actually quite innovative and remarkable. With all these new trends in music that greatly use electronic synthesizers and auto tuning, it’s refreshing to hear this type of music again.
The album begins with the title song, “Press Play” which features G.NA who is also BTOB’s label mate. This song seriously has this old school sound to it, very similar to the RnB that was extremely popular during the late 80s and early 90s. If I have to point out someone as an inspiration for this song, Bobby Brown fits perfectly. The song is purely a dance track, speaking of body motion and dance moves that flow flawlessly to the music. G.NA’s vocals add a nice touch and works well with the rest of the intricate elements in the song. “Press Play” is a song that you’ll definitely move your body to.
The next song on the album is called “Wow’ and at first I wasn’t sure if I liked it but the lyrics convinced me otherwise. “Wow” is one of those songs that don’t really make sense musically at first because of its turbulently mix notes but when you listen to it again, it catches a hold of you and it’ll never let you go. It sort of reminds me of a fast paced G.O.D or 1TYM song. The hook is also very catchy and before long, you’ll be singing along with it.
“사랑밖에 난 몰라(salangbakk-e nan molla)” or “I Didn’t Know About Love” has got to be my favorite song in this album. Again, it reminds me of the 1990s because of its similarity to the Dance/Teen Pop and New Wave musical style and sound. The hook, “It’s so blue…” , is maybe the defining line of this track that caught and kept my attention on the song. May I also add that Ilhoon’s rap is very attractive? Yes, I definitely like this song the best in the album and I’m sure you’ll agree.
After three upbeat songs, the tempo for “U & I” slows down and softens the mood of the album. Although this song seems to contain less foreign influences compared to the previous songs, I also find myself thinking of Usher when I listen to it. It’s a nice song that brightly displays BTOB’s vocal capabilities.
The beginning of “Stand Up” instantly reminded me of Far East Movement’s “Rocketeer.” However other than that, all similarities ended there. The meaning of the song is clearly expressed in the title; wishing for his beloved to stand up and be cheerful again, he sings her an uplifting song that reassures his love and devotion for her. The opening verse was pleasantly sung and slowly built up to a lively chorus that can penetrate the hearts of many. Ironically, the electric synthesized/keyboard bass gave off the feeling of a Christmas song. I felt like it was snowing when I listened to it.
The album closes with “My Girl,” a song that screamed out several artists to me. The guitar accompaniment along with the electronic elements of the song gives off a Fly to the Sky/M2M/N Synch feel. Quite a weird combination but that’s what I thought of. Anyway, “My Girl” is a love song that expresses the affection and loyalty a man would have for the woman he loves. It’s a sweet song that one can enjoy listening to. Rain or shine, this song has the capability to brighten up any girl’s day and give her joy.
For a rookie group, BTOB’s “Press Play” is really good. It’s an album full of happiness and seems to have the theme of encouragement; not one song is depressing. Never again shall they be called “Mini-Beast” because this album proves that BTOB can stand on their own and not be overshadowed by their sunbaes. Be sure to give this album a chance and check out their songs.
Check out their MV for “Wow.”
Review By: Samantha Her & Alona
MORE RELATED ARTICLES