[Album Review] Gentlemen’s Game (6th Studio Album) – 2PM

As per the Tuesday schedule, it is time for the next Past Album Review (PAR). This week, the artist I have chosen to focus on is 2PM. It has been been a while since we heard from the legendary male group from JYP Entertainment. Their last official full-group comeback was back in 2016 with the album I had chosen to focus on today, Gentlemen’s Game, which features the title track Promise (I’ll Be). We will probably be hearing some good news about music releases from the group soon, as the members are slowly coming back from their military enlistment. In the meanwhile, here is an album review to revisit and satisfy any 2PM cravings you may have. If you are after mature and sensual songs, this album is for you!

Gentlemen’s Game Album Cover

1. Promise (I’ll Be) (Title Track) – The combined review score was 6.5/10. Upon looking at my records, I originally gave the song component a 8/10, which contributed to the combined review score. Click here for the full review of Promise (I’ll Be). (8/10)

2. Uneasy – I really like the brewing nature of the verses in Uneasy. You just know that great things in the song are coming your way when they are slowly building to it in the verses. In Uneasy’s case, we get an amped up chorus, continuing that momentum that the verses had begun and built upon. The instrumentals are quite similar between the two sections. While I would usually make a comment about the song being consistent in this case, Uneasy manages to change things up slightly to keep the sections different. There are three differences: the subtle blast of energy when the choruses begin; the change in vocal techniques, such as Nichkhun’s falsetto; and smooth melodies. The bass gives the song a metrosexual type of appeal and binds everything together in a satisfying manner. (10/10)

3. Give U ClassGive U Class is another slow burning track. It delves into the R&B genre, infusing trap into the instrumental. Typical at the time of the album’s release and typical even now. As a result, I don’t find this song to be much of a standout instrumentally. What Give U Class does extremely well is the focus on the vocals and raps. The members shined in this song. But I don’t think anyone topped Jun.K’s delivery of his lines. When he sings in the chorus, you can hear the yearning behind his voice. And he ends his chorus lines with a short rap sequence, which definitely is a highlight. Other members that surprised me (in a good way) include Taecyeon and Nichkhun’s vocals and Wooyoung’s rap sequence that he wrote for himself in this self-penned track. (7.5/10)

4. Make LoveMake Love doesn’t waste any time, with the lyrics going straight for what exactly the title alludes to. Paired with the lyrics is a funky 80s instrumental. But this is no energetic retro spin, which is what KPOP is quite well known for. The song still remains sensual and mature as the lyrics are. The most I can be see being done with this track are body rolls. Aside from the falsettos we get in the chorus, there isn’t much in the vocal department to comment about. It is essentially what I had expected. The rapping could have been less cringy (sorry Taecyeon), as the opening line to the rap seemed to be a little more childish than 2PM mature, if you catch my drift. (7/10)

5. Without Trying / All Night Long (시도때도없이) – I find Without Trying to be rather dimensionless. While I do acknowledge that there is sophisticated nature to the R&B instrumental, it just doesn’t offer anything new or exciting about 2PM. In more blunt terms, I find the song to be quite dry. All the members may sound nice in this song, but I don’t hear or remember any memorable moments from the song. I also don’t enjoy that squeaky baby voice that pops up every now and then in the song. Sadly, a skippable track in my opinion. (5/10)

6. Never – 2PM re-approaches R&B with a more successful stride in Never. The instrumental, once again, enters typical land for me, though I do like the electric guitar. The instrumental also feels a little more upbeat, which I find enables for a decent choreography to be performed on stage alongside this song. I find the members vocals to be a lot smoother in Never. The melodies are quite dreamy and appealing this way. It also gets me to sway along to the song, which you may know is something I look forward to in a good ballad. Never is no ballad, but that measure can be broadened to other types of songs. The rapping also gives the song a little punchiness, which would make it sound really amazing on stage. I particularly liked how low the rappers went with their tone in this song. (8/10)

7. Humming (콧노래) – We divert slightly away from the typical R&B instrumentals for something a little more jazzy. I am already liking this change up. The song starts off with some nice harmonies from the members. Both the jazzy nature of the background and the harmonies kick off Humming in a warm manner. I liked how the harmonies continued into the rest of the song, but I felt they could have held back a bit with the quantity of harmonies we had by the time the song wrapped up. It felt like it was overdone and something so nice should have been used sparingly, so we wouldn’t get tired of it. The most surprising moment of the song goes to Jun.K, who has a really smashing and bold rap sequence in the bridge of the song. He does it in a way that fits the jazzy nature of the song perfectly, so there is no mismatch of tempos or style. (7/10)

8. How Is It? (어때?)How Is It? reenters the funky domain, cutting the string of R&B tracks we just came from. Like most funky tracks, I am enjoy the energy that comes from it. It just makes me want to dance. I just like how the chorus had a bit of everything when it comes to the instrumental, making everything quite enjoyable and appealing to listen to. The only part of the song that I am not keen on is the bridge. It attempts to fuse trap together with the funky retro and this doesn’t come off as well. But other than that, it is a fun track. (8/10)

9. Perfume (향수)Perfume steps away from the funkiness of the last song, but still stays within the boundaries of the retro genre. The main draw point of the song has to be the drums in the instrumental. Usually, it is synths or guitars that are the main centerpiece of instrumental, so it nice to hear drums as the main star, for once. This makes Perfume unique and distinctive. Everything else is quite enjoyable. The vocals, rapping, melodies, hooks. The lot was extremely pleasant, contrasting with the slight harshness that the drums bring to the song. (9/10)

10. My LastMy Last tethers between ballad and R&B genre. At certain points, we could say the song conforms to balladry. At other parts, the instrumental gives off a R&B feel. But that is fine, as the song comes together really nicely. There is a lot of velvety vocal moments in the song, such as Junho’s beautiful falsetto during the bridge/final chorus, Taecyeon’s rap (it didn’t feel out of place and felt somewhat refined enough for this song) and Jun.K’s ad-libs at the end of the song. All very appealing and enjoyable. (8/10)

11. Can’t Stop The Feeling – The final song on the album is brings back that jazzy feel that we heard earlier on in the album. Can’t Stop The Feeling seems to bring it up the notch and make it the main style of the instrumental. The brass and the low strings that we are so good. And those piano and electric guitar solos we get just before the song fades out! Too good! The members sound good in this song, like in most of the album above. For me, Taecyeon’s rap steals the show. I find this interesting, as I don’t find the genre to be the best match for him. However, his section is deep and has an upbeat kick to it, which made him more captivating than the rest. I also liked it when they all harmonise together with Jun.K leading at the end. Based on its position, I am giving it a hidden gem title. (10/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8/10

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s