Because as much as I'd like to say that K-Pop idol debuts are only about the music, and that the choice of song is the be all and end all, at the end of the day that's just one part of several. K-Pop idol debuts are about the package, they're about presentation as much as they are about content. And so when looking at a debut with a critical eye it's important to remember that while the debut happened because of the music and therefore it must remain the central aspect, the music has the power to affect so many other factors, and can tell us a lot about the rookie group.
GOT7 is JYP's first boy band debut in years, and apparently the first in a series of JYP debuts this 2014. Two members, JB and JR, were formerly known as JJ Project, and to say I loved "Bounce," and the entire package, would be an understatement. So at the very least I was curious about this debut, mainly to see how the dynamic JJ Project established would be improved on, or changed.
"Girls Girls Girls" is nothing special, if you look at it strictly as a song. It's disjointed, the hook does little to pull the song together and has weak recall despite being extremely repetitive. It's bare, but the scarcity requires effort to be fully appreciated. It doesn't grab you.
But, as a debut single it does its job.
To me, the main goal of a debut is to introduce the group, as a group. When we introduce ourselves to new people we try as much as possible to show our strengths -- we state what we do for a living, or where we study, all of which come with their own set of assumptions ("oh you must be smart," or "you're creative"). In the same way, the debut single is our first encounter with the group as a musical entity and so it's supposed to show off what they can do with their music.
"Girls Girls Girls" is GOT7's introduction, their "resume" of sorts. If that's the case, by simply taking a closer look at the song we can actually conclude a lot of things about them as a group.
As far as their actual performance is concerned, there's also a lot to say. But the big picture is that "Girls Girls Girls" has showed this as a style GOT7 has mastered enough to execute with comfort and confidence. As serious as the song sounds, with the "urban" loops and sharp production, their performance brings an element of mischief and effortlessness. It's mischievous in the playful sense, not the arrogant sense, because it's very obvious that they're genuinely enjoying themselves on stage. It's like there's a spring to their step, despite all of those steps being choreographed and calculated. They're comfortable -- they move with accuracy, but perform with grace.
one of the most stable live performers I had seen promoting "Bounce," which was a much more physically-demanding performance. And seeing that they get a considerable amount of exposure on "Girls Girls Girls," I'm not that worried.
Like all other debuts, it's too early to tell how GOT7's career will unfold. But at the same time, first impressions are crucial because they will either keep people interested, or turn them away -- first impressions matter. And this first impression shows potential, which in my opinion is the perfect middle ground for a rookie group. Through a well-put together package they've shown what they can do at the moment but at the same time they're not setting the bar unreasonably high, the operative word being unreasonable. There are expectations now, of course, but they are more out of curiosity than they are out of requirement. This leaves room for the group to experiment without potentially debilitating pressure. Their succeeding releases can only raise the standards set by "Girls Girls Girls," and that's a very good thing.
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