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Rant and Rave: Defying the odds with long-awaited ‘GOT7’ comeback

Gloom filled the K-Pop community when it was announced that global boy group GOT7 will not be renewing their contracts in JYP Entertainment (JYPE) after seven years. Still, the group unfailingly impressed and soothed their fans with their jovial performance in the group’s last schedule under the company. But Ahgases—a wordplay on GOT7’s fandom name, IGOT7—were further assured they’ll continue singing for them until the end of days through the release of their final single, Encore, last February 2021. 

Since leaving JYPE, the members have established their own solo careers, improving upon their individual style and artistic approach. But after a year-long wait, GOT7 returns to the music scene in full ensemble. Combining the finesse of their individual growth, the seven members give us a glimpse of their new beginning in their latest self-titled extended play (EP), GOT7.

Acquainting with the familiar

The EP evokes vivid imagery: two long lost friends catch up over drinks on a Friday night, realizing how much they’ve grown in the years they failed to reconnect—just like how the tracks reintroduce GOT7 as the unrefined, the unobstructed, and the improved. 

It’s a fresh take on their existing styles—emitting a sense of familiarity while still capturing new, unparalleled emotions. With their six powerful tracks, listeners can easily connect with the unequivocal emotions emanated. With this, everyone must be ready to relive GOT7’s distinct yet familiar sound: the home of the members’ bold and merry voyages in music.

Carrying this energy of familiarity is the EP’s title track, NANANA. Its foundation is a laidback and vibrant soundscape that overflows with the boys’ bright personalities—a flashback to the ecstatics from the group’s signature, Page. It features a sweet blend of R&B and trap, backed with a heavy percussion that complements GOT7’s vocal colors. Interpolating the honey, clear, and raspy, every verse only progresses with newfound confidence; Jackson’s rendition of the chorus particularly deserves a spotlight. 

While it is evident that NANANA’s groove deviates from the impact of their momentous comeback, it only echoes that GOT7 is no longer singing for the industry. Rather, this is for themselves—unwinding and enjoying the summer breeze of creative freedom.

The indulgence

In a slow and alluring aura, TRUTH starts the EP by bringing out the sound of the group’s subunit—JUS2—which leans toward soulful vocals and electronic percussions. The song tells a story of a push-and-pull relationship, seemingly unsure of the direction it’s taking. But it will only take one reassurance for them to stay. The tantalizing synth sounds and their silky voices smoothly convey the search for something sincere. 

Entering the city pop genre, Drive Me To The Moon brings in a lively and adventurous approach that’ll truly bring listeners to the moon. The slow buildup of soft beats, synthesized with the creative tones of the flute, evokes the feeling of a lively night of adventure. The light and hopeful tone of the song epitomizes having courage to do anything. Youngjae, the composer and lyricist of the song, references the moon as something unreachable. But with Ahgases by his side, he conveyed that he can go through difficult places—even reach as far as the moon.

The emotive and calm beat found in the Truth returns with Two. The utter desperation of wanting to forget a person is captured by the track’s hypnotizing melody, highlighted by the boys’ constant harmonization. Starting off with a faraway electric guitar riff, it reflects a beguiling ambience as percussive sounds are woven through the verses. 

Bridging stronger trends in the mini-album is Don’t Care About Me. In this track, GOT7 intimately yet boldly conjures their past. They feign an elegant b-side that retells the frustration from the industry doubting their comeback. The calm mask eventually dissolves to the song fans fell for. This is a discerning execution of purposeful lyrics atop balanced drops in fire. 

With their negative feelings out of the way, they conclude with well-founded vulnerability. Don’t Leave Me Alone is a plea to fans: as long as you love me, hold me tight. The members whisper this with ear-pleasing melodies. However, it becomes evident that the melancholic track goes both ways. With a tear threatening to fall and a hug sequentially sung by the members—a bridge that starts and ends with GOT7’s leader JAY B—the septet wraps up the EP.

Welcome home

GOT7 is created by seven architects who constantly redesign and piece their past, present, and future together. By maintaining the group’s debut formations from Girls Girls Girls, this comeback is the septet branching out from their deeply rooted beginnings. This is their time of rebuilding; the GOT7 of JYPE is eradicated from existence and GOT7 is reintroduced as themselves alone, showcasing the various visions they have music-wise. With the existence of their individual journeys, the EP captures what makes GOT7, GOT7.

From dancing to Just Right, screaming to Thursday, coming home to Page, and ending the night with Encore, both Ahgases and GOT7 have sped through time. In true fashion, GOT7 shows they remain essentially the same: wise adults with childlike hearts and curious minds. Their puzzle—composed of birds, soul, melodies, camaraderie, and smiles—has always been complete. And with freely creative layers now atop their puzzle, they have defied and will surely break through more odds.

Telling to Encore, the septet continues to sing. GOT7 is only the beginning of their rebranding—this is them finally breathing. With humble pride, the members stand, “Come and get it,” and then they bow, “GOT7 is our name.”

Rating: 4.00/4.00

By Arianne Joy Melendres

By Angela Carla Ramos

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