Ever since last year’s immense Born To Be Wild, I’ve had my eyes firmly locked on JO1 and their rapidly growing discography. And though we sometimes get wildcards like last month’s excellent Move The Soul, it’s been a venture that’s failed to bear as much fruit as I had initially expected. They’ve had solid songs for sure but haven’t quite managed to reach the heights that made songs like the aforementioned Born To Be Wild and As You Are such essential listens. With Us continues that trend, giving us a solid if rather unessential single.
With Us harnesses the kind of sentimental energy that buoys so many other modern day tracks, harkening back to the emotive percussive backbone of past songs like Shine a light to frame the entire track with an air of melancholia. The verses are as such, easily the most successful parts of the track, working as a strong playground for the boys to emote to their hearts content. The structure and melody isn’t too dissimilar from other boy group mid-tempo’s of this style but as fan of tracks like this, I personally don’t mind. It’s got a great sense of drive, punctuated by a strong performance that’s supported by a generous dose of strings that pop their heads in at just the right moments.
But great setup like this requires an equally stirring chorus to really succeed but unfortunately With Us falls manages to *just* fall short here. The lurching electronics that make up the instrumental are potent but feel too restricted to a prewritten template than something that feels exciting. The soaring vocals help make up for much of this but I feel like it just doesn’t have the same spark as some of the groups best centrepieces. It nails exactly what it wants to do but it lacks a unique vision that would have made the entire package much more exciting. A sentiment that could be echoed about With Us as a whole.
Final Rating: 7.75 / 10