GOT7 have been a weird group for me. I loved most of their debut era work, but almost all their post 2016 has left me cold. However, last years excellent You Calling My Name gave me hope of a resurgence, one dominated by unique soundscapes and instantly captivating hooks. This gave me hope that the groups latest comeback would completely blow me away, especially given that agency head Park Jinyoung was listed as a prominent producer. Unfortunately, Not By The Moon and its accompanying album are anything but worthy followups.
Honestly, I need to get this off my chest first. What’s been up with boy group comebacks lately? It seems as though almost every big name comeback has been adhering to the same edm meets trap-pop soundscape. Stripping the orchestral flourishes present throughout Not By The Moon, it’s basically interchangeable with songs like Pentagon’s Dr.BeBe and The Boyz’ Reveal. There’s nothing to be excited about here, as the song dirges forward without any real sense of conviction or momentum. It’s just uninspiring and leaves much to be desired musically. Even the hook, which attempts to go big, falls short thanks to those clammering trap beats and the oddly lifeless vocal performance. It’s impactful, but I don’t think it really hits the mark.
This extends to the tracks verses, which almost evaporate into thin air after they’re done. My favourite aspect of Moon is probably the pre-chorus, which utilises Jackson’s unique husky tone wonderfully. It’s the most engaging element of a song that doesn’t really attempt to differentiate itself from its peers. In 2019, JYP Entertainment, musically had a near perfect track record, with almost every major title track from their groups making my top 50 songs of the year. And unfortunately, Not By The Moon is the first real dud we’ve gotten from the agency since 2018.
Final Rating: 6.5 / 10