After waiting for almost half a decade, 2PM is back as an act of six to bestow their fans with one of the best albums as promised. Fondly known as the beast idols in the K-Pop scene, 2PM also became one of the second generation acts to go through the test of time by fulfilling their mandatory military services. Though the sextet was not able to make a comeback as a group, the members got themselves busy with solo projects, acting gigs and much more.
It ain’t an overstatement to say that the five years felt like forever but it was all worth every day we spent counting down the days beside the calendars. After much anticipation, the group released its 7th studio album, MUST with 10 unique tracks including an acoustic version of ‘My House’ and exceeded themselves again.
As we are to celebrate the sextet’s 13th anniversary and also receive a Japanese album soon, here is our review of the group’s latest release, MUST that kept the fans awestruck!
The title ‘Make It’ is a groovy R&B track that succeeds in showcasing the group’s gentle and mature image. Surprisingly, the single does not rush with bombastic sounds like any other songs we expect from the beat idols but explore more with the members’ distinct vocals. Co-written and composed by Wooyoung, the single combines mild guitar riffs, trumpet and bass to bring out a classy jazz-pop song. The song might sound similar to their 2015’s hit, ‘My House’ because of its modest approach yet has its own charm.
“Nothing else matters but to see you/ I’m going to see you,” begins Wooyoung, flattering the listeners from the very beginning. The track continues with Nichkhun’s mellow verse and briefly introduces us to the melodious pre-chorus led by the vocal trio, Jun.K, Wooyoung and Chansung. Regardless of being a vocal dominant pre-chorus with mild keyboard notes, the members’ voices make it sound rich and notable during the listen. The smooth track gets exciting once the pre-chorus drops to unravel the most expected chorus. The chorus remains catchy like any other 2PM songs with Nichkhun and Junho alternatively sharing the lines, “I gotta gotta gotta/ Say something now/ I gotta gotta gottta/ Come up with something,” throughout the song.
The pace of the song slows down during the second verse with Taecyeon gratifying us with his cheeky verse, “When you look at me/ I lose my mind/ Coffee, Shopping, Driving LP, Cooking, Wine, are you down?” certainly making us answer the question with a yes. Following Jun.K and Chansung’s high hitting falsetto, the track reaches the climax with the members coming together to sing the chorus. The song concludes with Jun.K gentle vocals gently wrapping it up by repeating the chorus one final time.
Been in the K-Pop scene for more than a decade, the members have earned a name for being smooth talkers in most of their lyrics and ‘Make It’ is not an exception. The lyrics are modest yet compassionate as the members hope for a second chance with their loved one. “And now, I can’t stop looking at you/ Have we met before?/ If love is real/ Maybe this is what it feels like,” goes the lyrics as it necessarily need not be for a lover but the fans who have been waiting to see their idol group in the K-Pop scene again.
The Music Video
Accompanying the melody, the music video is set to please and gratify the viewers with a colourful picture. The sextet sticks to its style and focuses on engaging the viewers with a simple and bright music video. The video begins with Wooyoung spotting the girl in the crowd while one of their b-sides, ‘On My Way’ is being played in the background. As soon as his eyes catch her, things get disrupted as a huge meteor shower strikes the earth.
After a brief pause to introduce the album title, the video resumes with Wooyoung gently initiating the track. The shot immediately shifts to the next scene where we find the members come together to perform their choreography. The video continues with an easy script of the members giving their fullest to woo the female lead. While the sextet has their moment with their lady love, the city’s buildings and malls crash down with people running to save themselves from the meteors. Despite a lot going around, the members are in a trance and are least bothered by the chaos.
Personally, the scenes tend to remind some of the popular romantic scenes from Bollywood and Kollywood movies where the heroes are dramatically lost in their own worlds at the sight of the female lead. A similar scenario takes place in the lives of Jun. K, Nichkhun, Taecyeon, Wooyoung, Junho and Chansung.
Formal or casual, the members look stunning in every outfit they wear. Adorned in formal suits, office wear and silky shirts, the members redefine the charm of being a gentleman. Adding to the on-point looks, the act looks even more classy while performing their choreography. The footwork and formations are neat and sleek and are worth fawning over.
The music video also delights us with viewers POV angles which makes the viewer travel along with the members throughout the music video.
The music video ends by zooming out of Wooyoung’s eyes and it feels like we have hit the rewind button as everything seems to be back to normal. After a few seconds of realisation, we understand that everything has been happening in the members’ minds as soon as they saw the female lead. The music video might not deal with huge theories to decode but effortlessly becomes a favourite watch while entertaining the viewers with gratifying picturization.
The album begins with an instrumental ‘Intro’ that sets the tone for a must-listen album. The 60 secs instrumentation featuring Jazz band elements is a perfect way to introduce the listeners to the group’s fresh beginning. If you have been familiar with movie scenes of western bars, it is obvious to think of ourselves chilling in a jazz bar while being entertained by the performers’ melody.
The third track ‘Okay or Not’ is a dramatic song with emotive instrumentals and members’ expressive singing. Written by Jun.K, the song’s lyrics describe the nebulous state of a protagonist who is strangled in a flimsy relationship. Both the protagonist and the lover aren’t happy in the relationship yet are hesitant in expressing themselves. “It was you who said it was okay/ you left me saying it was okay/ How have you been in that time, I wondered maybe,” sings Chansung as the lyrics bring a mature shade of love. Relationships can’t always be candid and would need a lot of thought to make the right decisions. Even if parting ways is the best option it takes time to recover and the lyrics explain it genuinely.
‘On My Way’ another song written by Jun.K stands out as one of the notable tracks in the album. The song lightens the mood and carries the same vibe as their title track. The Korean song title is translated as, “I miss you, I’m coming to see you,” prompting that the members have been waiting to meet their lover/fans. “I don’t need anything, I miss you, I am coming to see you,” begins Jun.K as the members once again flatter the listeners with their honest lyrics. The melody’s catchy tune and the members’ mellow yet powerful vocals grab every listener’s attention. Junho in particular outshines while leading the chorus with his strong vocals. On the whole, the song owns a limelight for itself in the album and is as strong as a single which is just one of the many reasons why the track is a must-listen.
‘Champagne’ takes us back to the luxurious side of the sextet that we are used to during the ‘Hands Up’ and ‘Go Crazy’ era. Written by Taecyeon, the song is rich with bass beats and synths and is a perfect fit to your party playlist. Following a drum roll opening, Taecyeon begins his verse singing about how lonely it feels to party while missing the loved one. The lyrics are romantic in expressing how much the protagonist needs his lover’s presence by his side as Nickhun sings, “Dry or sweet, whatever it is/ it doesn’t matter if I am with you/ Everything is good/ Champagne with you”. The actual party begins with Jun.K’s line, “Doesn’t matter where we are, it’s a party,” as he shows off his new identity as a rapper and surprises his fans. The song also brings out Taecyeon’s rapsy verses that we have been missing in the album. And, next time you hear champagne you can’t help yourself from singing, “You’re my champagne”.
‘The Cafe’ is a breezy pop track. Coffee is the best beverage that goes well with a romantic date and the members know it. Taking inspiration from the best-known pickup line, “Would you like to grab coffee together?”, the members make a melody to pursue their love interest. The very word cafe sounds pleasing and aesthetic and so does the track with the members’ melodious verses. The romantic track is also a perfect track to go to after having a hard day with Taecyeon comforting us by singing, “You’ve worked hard this week , you’re really cool/ forget what’s gone, don’t think about it, just breathe”. Though the track doesn’t leave a strong impression in the first listen it eventually becomes a sweet song to chill with at any time.
‘Moon & Back’ is another R&B track where members get to flaunt their smooth vocals. The members try to verbalize their one and only true love by using one of the best-known expressions “Love you to the moon and back”. With mild instrumentals, the track focuses on the members’ strength as balladeers and harmonization. “Love was a bit funny to me, I believed nothing lasts forever/ You make me change,” goes the lyrics with sincerity while sounding undeniably aesthetic in our headphones.
‘Two of Us’ is another harmonizing track that emphasises the members’ vocals. As soon as the song starts playing, it gives a sense of belonging to the group regardless of being a fan for years or days. The song gets personal with lyrics such as, “You’re the only one/ It’s nice to be together with you, two of us/ I will do everything for you, baby,” as both the artists and fans rely on each other for comfort. The song gets even more sentimental at the end as the members assure, “Don’t be afraid, I’ll make it love ma, baby/ It’s nice to be together with you, two of us,” making us shed a tear or two while being extremely grateful for the group’s return. Personally, the song is an inevitable listen in the album and is the best go-to track to make you feel loved.
With mild keyboard notes and finger-snapping, ‘Hold You’ opens up as a soft R&B track. The song solely written by Jun.K himself is a heartfelt message to the fans. “I’ll hold your hand and will never let go/ I’ll listen to you from the bottom of my heart/ No matter what else is trying to keep us apart/ We’re holding tight with our hands, never let it go,” sings the pre-chorus as the members express the disparity of all these years yet feel grateful that they stayed together along with their fans. Adding to the sincere lyrics, the members harmonizations and graceful vocals makes the song sound ethereal.
The long-awaited album ends in a perfect way with the members gifting the K-Pop world in general with the re-recorded acoustic version of ‘My House’. The 2015 hit single is one of the most popular tracks from the group leading many artists as VERIVERY, Stray Kids and Dreamcatcher perform in multiple stages. With the guitar stringing the intro, the track pops up as a sweet surprise and puts an inevitable smile on the listeners. Despite listening to the song on repeat through the years, ‘My House’ still sounds fresh and charming with its smooth-talking lyrics as always. The final song stays as a beautiful souvenir to reminisce the good old days and as a promise to the upcoming days with the group.
The veteran group known for their beasty anthems has surprisingly brought out a whole new meal to the table with MUST. The album is a definition that the sextet has grown through the years while still being rooted to their originality and signature. Undeniably, MUST is a new sonic introduction of the group to the old and new K-Pop fans alike.
Personally, MUST is one of the best albums to listen to while having the best times of our lives. Do give it a listen and let 2PM love you.
To celebrate 2PM’s grand return, the act also performed their most iconic singles as ‘Hands Up’, ‘A.D.T.O.Y’ and ‘My House’!! Check them out below!!
‘A D.T.O.Y’ Stage
‘My House’ Stage
‘Hands Up’ Stage
Listen to the album on Spotify!
The sextet will also be making their Japanese comeback with the mini-album With Me Again on the 29th of September this year! The teaser images of the comeback have already got the fans going head over heels for the upcoming concept. With the group marking their 13th year in the industry, we only wish them great success and blessing in the upcoming years.
Have you listened to 2PM’s latest album? What is your favourite song from the album? Let us know in the comments.
PC: JYP Entertainment