Review: JO1 - Born To Be Wild
JO1 is one of those groups and soloists bridging the gap between J-Pop and K-Pop. Technically, they are J-Pop, but in execution and method, they are more K-Pop. I loved their Oh-Eh-Oh from last year quite a bit for its 2017ish K-Pop charms. That said, Born To Be Wild is a different beast.
If there was one way I had to describe this song, it would be the analogy of throwing all the spaghetti strands at the wall and seeing which stick. The song is a mix of pop, funk, hip-hop, trap, violins, and piano. This, in the end, turns out to be the song's biggest strength and weakness.
In each of their own songs, these elements would be stand-outs. The funk and trap elements are trendy, while violins and the piano add an ornate feel. But in practice, putting them together without a story to tell, they can prove way-ward, and they do here. In fact, I love this idea of combining a lot and acclaimed the similar Set Me Free by Eden Alene. The issue here is that some elements were added without any purpose, such as the jarring and off-setting trap segment in the second verse. In the end, I have the same criticism many have applied to SuperM, a bit more room to breathe would help, such as a slower bridge.
Still, some of the anecdotal spaghetti strands do hit. The xylophone-esque synths in the second phase of the chorus create a sort of refreshing feel, and the piano is welcome whenever it comes. The funk-pop package also, for the most part, stays together.
You may notice I never mentioned the vocal performance or the lyrics yet, for they are pretty much normal. In the end, this song is one of those that somewhat collapse occasionally under its weight. Despite that, the free-flowing energy feel has grown on me, and the "Get Get What You Want" hook is bound to get in your head sooner or later.
While not perfect, I have to praise Born To Be Wild's production-based ambition. And eventually, the good does outweigh the bad.