When JYP announced that all 7 members of GOT7 had chosen to leave the company back in January of 2021, many including myself saw it as a soft disbandment. Sure the boys vowed to come back together as a group in the future to meet fans but as history has told us time and time again, such promises are rarely followed up on. But in a wonderful surprise, GOT7 have made a full return, defying the odds and coming back with their first ever independent album. So as the groups first project free from the creative vision of their former agency, how does Nanana hold up?
Well, unfortunately, it’s kind of a big ol’ eh. It’s great to see the boys back together but I really wish Nanana felt as musically momentous as the occasion. Instead, it opts for a more laidback, summery soundscape. One that while satisfying feels more suited to b-side territory than the lead to such a big comeback. And though it came as a minor shock on first listen, repeat listens helped bring out the tracks charms. First and foremost, the tracks got a nice groove, bolstered by some heavy percussion that works great as a driving force and a pleasant backing, working well with the groups wide range of vocal tones. GOT7 have one of the most diverse collection of vocal tones within the industry and I love when they use that to their advantage. Jackson’s gruffy vocal tone during the chorus is especially satisfying.
But then there are the things that really hold Nanana back. The main thing being its just too simple to work as a strong single. Similar to OH MY GIRL’s Real Love from earlier in the year, Nanana lacks impact. I know I’ve said this many times already but the track just can’t hold it’s weight. It’s nice in the moment but fades from memory after each and every listen. Sure it gets the head bopping and does have a few satisfying melodic turns but it doesn’t feel as loose and freewheeling as it should. And though it’s a serviceable return, I would have much preferred the retro tinged Drive Me To The Moon or dynamic electric guitar infused Don’t Care About Me for promotion instead.
Final Rating: 7.25 / 10