Though the Produce franchise has all but crumbled in its home country of Korea, it has seen much popularity in neighbouring Japan and China. JO1 is the resulting group of Produce 101 Japan’s first season. I adored the dynamic Young from the show, and I’ve had my hopes raised for the debut of this group for some time now. The Japanese market is very different from the Korean market, so I was eager to see what kind of sound they would be pursuing. Though I’ve had my issues with the quality of music released by Produce groups, a dynamite debut track is all but guaranteed. Unfortunately, Infinity (無限大), alongside IOI’s Dream Girls is probably the weakest Produce debut yet.
Instead of harnessing the many productions unique to J-pop, Infinity (無限大) adheres to many of the most uninspiring trends that currently plague the K-pop landscape. It’s murky verses, coupled with a generic drop and trap breakdown although all due course for a 2020 track, are as uninspiring as they can get. Although I don’t usually mind the heavily processed vocals, they come off as quite faceless in this track. A dynamite debut is meant to showcase each members individual talents, and by having so many of the segments processed, it makes it difficult to distinguish each members unique vocal timbers. I could do without the dubstep inspired bridge, which drags on just a bit too long and feels more shoe horned in rather than an absolutely necessary addition.
Though It may seem like I hate the track, there are a few aspects that I really enjoy. Though it may resort to a primarily beat drop chorus, I actually enjoy the sample here. It’s surprisingly catchy and the post chorus hook is also fairly strong. The funk laced segments are also quite enjoyable. But in the end, JO1 is going to need stronger material if they really want to hook me in for future listens.
Final Rating: 7 / 10
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