SONG REVIEW: iKON – But You

After more than a year away from the scene, a baby and a marriage, iKON are finally back with their new mini album, ‘Flashback’. It’s been a long wait for fans of the group and though many fans have become accustomed to YG entertainments often absurd release schedule’s, the wait never gets easier. As such, But You arrives with high expectations from both fans and the casual listeners alike especially after the groups stint on last years Kingdom.And though its synth drenched soundscape riffs of many of todays modern trends, it twists them just enough to give us what might just be the groups strongest single in years.

I adore melancholic dance tracks and despite the retro trend being in full swing for nearly two years at this point, I still feel like we haven’t gotten our fair share of those. It’s odd because I feel like that general vibe is the perfect conduit to harness these trends in fresh, exciting ways and But You‘s opening collage of synths is an excellent example of why. It’s a gorgeous sound, one that feels as though its playing in slow motion to illicit the maximum amount of melancholia from the listener. This continues onto the verses, which use the introductory synth as a through line to give But You a consistent drive and clear cut intention. It isn’t trying to be everything at once but nail one specific mood, a characteristic that’s becoming less and less frequent in an industry that’s hell bent on “pushing musical boundaries”. The bridge harnesses a similarly euphoric energy, slowing the pace down to create a gorgeous melodic break that allows the groups vocalists to really grab onto the central melody.

But if anything, I wish But You‘s chorus had a little more punch. It’s nice and definitely has a great melody but It feels a little too safe and undercooked when compared to the tracks near flawless verses. The first part especially feels as though it’s holding back a little too much in both the performance and the melody, simply choosing to glide along the synth line rather than really transform into something more dynamic. The second part of the chorus makes up for this with a more forceful approach, harnessing an ascending melodic line to create a satisfying climax to a centrepiece that I feel will grow on me the more I listen to it. I’m being a little conservative with the rating right now but this is exactly the kind of song I’ve been craving and I hope that But You acts as a launching pad for more groups to embrace these ‘Tears on the dance floor’ type tracks.

Verses: 9

Chorus: 8

Production: 9

Performance: 9

Final Rating: 8.75 / 10

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