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[Editor’s Pick] This is us, this is BTOB

Considered one of the underrated idol groups of K-pop, BTOB always surprises the audience with their hidden composing skills and vocal talents. Starting from their debut album, the group members co-composed their album tracks and participated in rap-making and writing lyrics. Back in 2014, BTOB’s Christmas release The Winter’s Tale marked their first time using a self-composed song as the title track for a comeback. For their last album Brother Act, the title song Missing You was co-produced by Hyun Sik and ranked high in various music charts. This summer, BTOB put aside their usual melancholic style and returned with a unique summer vibe in This Is Us.

BTOB’s 11th mini album This Is Us consists of seven tracks that are all co-composed and co-written by the members. Following their great success with Missing You, Hyun Sik once again teamed up with his singer-songwriter friend Eden to produce the title song “Only One For Me” (Track 2). “Only One For Me” unfolds the thoughts of a man who is ready to confess to his crush: “I don’t want to regret. I love you. ‘Cause you are the only one. I only want you.” The straightforward lyrics are joined with a joyous and summery melody. As shown in the music video, this song conveys the image of enjoying summer at the beach. The chorus of the pop ballad features a harmony part that makes you want to sing along. Almost two months since its release, the song still ranks in the top 20 in Korea’s major music streaming sites.

As the first song released off This Is Us, The Feeling (Track 7) once again assured that BTOB’s quality works would not disappoint. Produced by member Il Hoon, the pre-release track combines acoustic and electronic sounds. The song depicts one’s earnest hope and feelings while thinking of their love. My heartbeat follows the beat of the song every time I listen to it.

Written and composed by member Min Hyuk, jazz pop song Blue Moon (Track 4) goes beyond my expectations for the album. The jazzy, ambient grooves sound smooth and relaxing, and BTOB’s voices fit perfectly into the song, showing a mature side of the boy group. Though it is produced by an idol, the song does not sound like an idol-style album track.

IceBreaker (Track 5) is a trap pop song performed by the rapper unit. This stylish song is fun, especially in the last part when the melody fades out during Peniel’s rap. I personally like his rap the best as the amusing lyrics stay on beat and on rhyme. The group’s vocalists unit BTOB-BLUE expresses the pain of farewell in the slow-tempo trap R&B song 1, 2, 3 (Track 6). When I first listened to the song, I thought, “It must be written by Hyun Sik.” And sure enough, he co-composed this characteristically BTOB-style R&B song.

This album unveils the real style and color of BTOB, which is why the group named it This Is Us. As the group members recently renewed contracts with their label, I excitedly anticipate the talented group creating new works and bringing BTOB to a new level in the future.

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