We’re not even half into 2018, and we’re already about to say goodbye to one of Produce 101 project groups… It’s always sad seeing them go separate ways like this, but JBJ is that special case when you’re both absolutely discouraged by their incoming disbandment and outraged at their managing company for not listening to fans’ concerns (and thus, I must mention, they were known for following fans’ wishes regarding JBJ).
Let’s talk about JBJ first and final full album then?
JBJ Full album <New Moon>
Release date: April 17, 2018
01. 부를게 (Call Your Name) *Title
02. ☆☆(Be Joyful)
03. Just Be Stars
04. J.B.J. (Intro)
06. Say My Name
08. 꿈을 꾼 듯
09. 예뻐 (CD Only)
10. True Colors
11. On My Mind
14. Wonderful Day
16. 매일 (Love Ver.) (CD Only)
First thing I wanna say about JBJ is that they’re probably the most solid group coming from Produce 101 as of now. I dare to label them as even more solid than Wanna One. Solid vocals, solid rappers that match each other perfectly. I’m sure I’m gonna be sad as well when Wanna One’s last day comes, but somehow I feel that it won’t be as painful as JBJ’s disbandment day now. The way Fave Entertainment tricked and failed Joyfuls is unforgivable. All Produce stans were looking for their contract to be extended until the end of the year; and it feels completely unfair the project group that debuted the last must be the first one to separate ways.
I wasn’t a Joyful, but I supported JBJ with all I could, and I loved JBJ concept a lot. All their releases were about them and Joyfuls, even side-tracks were not less of a love letters from the boys to their fans, and that’s what I absolutely loved about JBJ. As a group created by fans, JBJ did everything in order to cherish that special bond with Joyfuls.
Now this final song, Call Your Name, is a very heartbreaking one, even with that upbeat melody and EDM beats. Lyrics are the reason why it hits so hard in your feelings. The first time I heard the song, I already broke down during Sanggyun’s rap, “We probably went too fast, how would it be if we were a little slower? We both knew the end, but why did we give love to each other?”. Knowing how much the boys were looking forward to stay together a little bit longer, all these lyrics are getting even more painful.
Musically there’s nothing very special about the instrumental: it’s a usual track that we’re used to over a span of 2 years listening to similar vibes (e.g., it strongly reminds me of BTS Spring Day, even song construction seems similar). I don’t remember if I said this, but JBJ’s vocal and rap lines are what makes their song stand out more than other similar tracks. I love the boys vocals, especially Longguo and Taehyun; and both rappers Sanggyun and Hyunbin bring that special flavor to their songs. Altogether it sounds complete and flawless. Even if I won’t totally dig the instrumentals, their voices are what will make me definitely stay for more and more listens.
Now the other two new songs from the album, ☆☆(Be Joyful) and Just Be Stars are as good as their title track is, but I personally really love Just Be Stars: another gemstone of a ballad track to add to my playlist. Its JBJ’s “downpour” song: painful, sad and with very heartbreaking lyrics. It’s hard for me to imagine the boys singing this song at their final concert. Not sure if I can listen to it without tearing up and missing JBJ so much.
Finally, screw you, YG, for being a jerk of a company, and Fave Ent, for being such a coward listening to YG. You promised Joyfuls and JBJ a contract extension if My Flower gets successful. I guess having over 100k sales for True Colors album alone (over 200k in total not including New Moon), public broadcast music show win and various year end awards is freaking not enough for you to keep your promise. Damn you. JBJ deserved that contract extension until December 2018 more than anyone.
Title track – 8/10
MV – 10/10