[#42] Infinite - "Inception"

Released: July
Territory: South Korea
Previous Best of Entries: 2010: [#37] "She's Back" / 2011: [#4] "Nothing's Over" and "OVER THE TOP" / 2012: [#1] "The Chaser"
Other notable song(s) from 2013: "Man In Love"

I would have liked to say that Infinite had even more great additions to their repertoire this year, but I think their music has hit a plateau. That's not to say the production and the A&R that goes into their singles aren't to their usual standard, it's that it's no longer as fresh or ground-breaking as it was in the past years. "Man In Love" and "Destiny" sounded like combinations of previous singles, and didn't really wow as much as "The Chaser" or even their 2011 releases. Infinite have gotten a little too comfortable, and they really need to step up their game next year.

But there's always the question of how to do that because going forward, especially for a band with a sound as defined as Infinite, isn't easy. That's where "Inception" comes in. It's on the countdown first because I think it's a good song, but second (and more importantly), because I think it opens up a possible musical direction for Infinite. The Infinite style has become synonymous with mixing trends and flashy melodies with "retro" synths, but as far as sound goes they've always had a youthfully sophisticated sound. And that's a possible take-off point.

"Inception" is still very young and sophisticated, and a bit dark around the edges. But instead of the very clean, almost antiseptic execution of that most Infinite singles have, it goes in the other direction -- it's a lot more dependent on the bass and percussion than it is on synths and a flashy melody. It's not as packed as Infinite singles, but the emphasis on the bass and the "bottom" parts of the instrumentation give it a sense of fullness. "Inception" is a song that you have to savor and really listen to, but because of that it's also a song that grows on you. There's also greater focus on the melody and in turn the singing, which is good -- the melody is demanding not because there's a wide range to cover, but because the rest of the song is so quiet that slips and weaknesses can't really be masked. Considering how long they've been around, it's about time Infinite get, and pull off, a song that they can't hide behind.


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