[Review] DAMAGE – JUST B

Time for the final review of this focused weekend. Firstly, I want to say that I enjoyed this intensive reviewing weekend and will probably do it again in the foreseeable future when I know I don’t have much going on. But next weekend, it back to the usual transmission of album reviews (and I believe I had promised some International Song Reviews – a lot of big names to cover). But before I can get to next weekend and the week ahead, I have to complete one more rookie review. The artist is JUST B, who debuted at the very end of June with DAMAGE. It is a song produced by former B.A.P member Bang Yong Guk (one name that I have not heard for a while). JUST B is a six member male group (consisting of Geonu, Bain, Lim Jimin, JM, DY and Sangwoo) under Bluedot Entertainment.

DAMAGE is a powerful debut track that really thrives on intensity. Listening to this track was a thrilling experience and I liked how the energy kept me on the edge of my seat. And once again, leaving such an impression is a great start to ones career. DAMAGE starts off with this distorted vocal ‘Heya‘ that finds itself present throughout the track. It is quite catchy. Opening up with that was pretty smart. We are then taken into a pretty standard dance track verse. I didn’t find anything worth mentioning here, aside from the use of the opening in the background which I had already mentioned. But I was still keen on the rest of the track. Alongside powerful vocals in the pre-chorus is a rap sequence that I find reminiscent of Bang Yong Guk’s raspy and deep rap style from back in his B.A.P days (I haven’t been following his solo work, but I imagine he continued with this memorable style). The rest of the rap sequences throughout DAMAGE are of a similar manner, which is a big positive. For those who don’t remember or know, I was a big fan of B.A.P and their discography. And hearing anything that reminds me of those times is bound to get a nod from me. The chorus blasts us with some typical but refreshing EDM. I found it to be quite effective and really enjoyed the drive it brought to DAMAGE. The chorus also featured vocals and melody, which sets it apart from the releases reviewed today. Though, it was missing a memorable hook, as well. The melody just didn’t seem to be strong enough, despite such a powerful backing. The second chorus is followed up with an extension of the EDM, allowing the members to showcase their performance skills (more on this later). I did enjoy the extra texture it had, giving us a bit more to keep the song interesting and not repetitive. Following the instrumental sequence, the song ends by fading out somewhat. It slows down and we hear a light touch of piano in the background. I think this was an interesting way and place to end the song, given that I expected a final run of the EDM chorus. While it might be weird to some, I actually liked the way the song ended. It was unexpected, but creative and unique. Overall, DAMAGE really hit the mark and definitely introduced JUST B as rookies to look out for.

The music video tells the classic KPOP tale of being trapped and controlled. JUST B are members of a grid iron team, who are controlled by whoever (never revealed or touched on). Everyday, they are stuck in a routine of class (i.e. where I assume they are brainwashed) and training. They also have to take these blue and red pills, which I think enables them to be brainwashed and controlled. One member mistakenly drops one of these pills one day (and subsequently doesn’t take it) and notices that they were being watched. He rallies the members together and they all choose not take the blue pill. They rebel once whoever is controlling them activates alarms (i.e. the warning sign on the screen) and runs away from the facility to a stormy city. I hope their next comeback continues the story and sees the members in a different world that they are used to (i.e. the outside world). I do wish that we got to see a hint of who is controlling them or the people who were chasing after the members at the end. In addition to the plotline, I also liked the choreography scenes. I am not a fan of the football outfits, though the black and red suits look really good on them!

I liked how the performance emphasizes the intense and aggressive nature of the song. The members’ have this animalistic vibe, which I find extremely fitting for a song like this. Aside from that, I feel that this performance looks like a good thigh workout. The routine during the performance break was also quite thrilling to watch, while the ending had a very soft vibe and dififerent feel from the rest of the performance.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.7/10

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