Let Them Shine: JJ Project’s “Verse 2” Album

For a while I waited for this album. Not necessarily this album, but an album like it, that would finally let JB and Jinyoung do whatever they wanted and let their voices shine and resonate where they’re meant to.

I didn’t ever really follow Got7 closely. I randomly reviewed their album for a class and that made me pay more careful attention to the songs’ structure, style, and the members’ voices. I felt like JB’s voice in particular was strained at points to hit high notes in songs that are often trendy/following the latest music craze. I was frustrated because I knew that his voice could sound better, richer, smoother, if only he could do what he wanted to do with it, craft a song around it rather than fit it into something. 

Last year December JB released a duet with Baek A-Yeon and finally I felt like his voice was more relaxed and comfortable. But then right back he’d go on Got7 tracks sounding a bit forced.

And then.

This gem happened and let me just say, I am satisfied and feel like this is so so important. Jinyoung and JB were involved in every song, whether it be lyrics, composition, production, or a mix of the three. And I feel like the songs are more genuine. Considering that their last song as a duet was a very market-focused bop I was wary that their title song would be some standard, expected song, even though the album photos were in black and white and moodier.

But thankfully, no.

It was a solid well-rounded song. It felt like a wholesome loaf of bread; satisfactory and well crafted and, to a degree, nutritional.

And the rest of the album is also well crafted. As I’m listening to it now, it doesn’t seem like any songs were forced or part of a quota to fulfill a certain style. It seems like the songs were truly born from the boys and it just feels better. And considering the other songs that JB and Jinyoung made for the Got7 albums, I’m not surprised by the sound of Verse 2.

Take a listen to the album for yourself:

If anything, Verse 2 proves the absolute need for singers to be able to do what they want, explore what style they want, have a hand in the process. We’ve seen the success of such singers like IU’s Palette, G-Dragon’s Kwon Jin Young, all of SEVENTEEN’s material (a member produces every song), Akdong Musician, BTS’ individual songs on Wings, DAY6’s material.

I feel like nowadays in the field of K-Pop, there’s a shift that’s happening. I mean, yes, there will always be some groups that will exist for the music market, for the trend, but now it seems like there’s more people in it for the sake of music itself. Not for the sake of entertainment, but for the sake of music, to connect with audiences, to express oneself. And it seems more tangible this way, when the people who sing the songs are the ones who wrote the melody, lyrics, or both.

JJ Project, congratulations on releasing such a great mini album. And JYP, their entertainment company, thank you for letting JB and Jinyoung release this album.

///

I’ve been consuming a lot of music lately, readers. If you’re interested in seeing what I listen to, click here. Nowadays I’ve been trying my hand at making music which is such a wonderful and exhilarating process. I’ll post here with updates for that!

And as always, thanks for reading and swinging by my blog~

~ajc

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