Also making their comeback on Wednesday of this week was JUST.B. Their first comeback since their debut with DAMAGE comes in the form of the single TICK TOCK and their first single album, JUST BEAT. Let’s see if TICK TOCK has what it takes to put JUST B on the map, following the likes of DAMAGE, which has managed to secure the group their nomination for Best New Male Group in the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards (voting will open mid-November).
If I have to answer that above proposition right away, I would have to say no. TICK TOCK, as JUST B’s second step into the industry, doesn’t really live up to the same standard as DAMAGE had set for them. To me, TICK TOCK is not a bad or terrible song. But long story short, TICK TOCK is just rather stagnant and plain. Despite all the abrasive synths and edginess that comes from the song, TICK TOCK‘s instrumentation sounded one-dimensional and lacked charm. It was pretty much neutral throughout, with nothing memorable or worth mentioning. The exact same could be said about the vocals and rapping. The member just didn’t infuse much character or personality, and hence TICK TOCK just doesn’t come off as a strong release. There, however, seems to be two somewhat decent elements to the song, but it isn’t really enough in hindsight to rescue the song from the pits of the song’s boring nature. The first element in question is the song’s repetitive ‘Tick Tock‘ hook. At first, it came off very monotone like the rest of the song. But as usual, a few repeats of TICK TOCK since its release has shown some hope for the song’s repetitive phrase. But it isn’t as strong as many other hooks in KPOP. The second is the glitchy effect in the song’s background. While I did like the effect in the song, I don’t think I can get past the rest of the dull instrumentation to really dig back into the song. It is quite disappointing, but there is (hopefully) next time for the group to show something of DAMAGE‘s calibre or more.
From what I understand, the video is all about tackling your own fears and getting that feeling of fear controlled. The video begins with the members in these futuristic machines that place the members into their worst fears or situations. Fires, lack of sight or not knowing what is happening around you, darkness, being chased by someone, underwater and loneliness (the mirror scenes) are fears or situations that the video zones into. I am not sure what the butterfly represents, but it seems to help the members overcome the fear – maybe its presence evokes a sense of calmness. But anyway, once the time is up, the members are pulled from their scenarios and wake up, with their fears controlled. I quite like this concept, if I interpreted it correctly. The sets looked industrial and futuristic, which helped with the edgy appeal.
The choreography for this comeback is its strongest element by far. I really enjoyed the impact the entire hook sequence had on stage, with said sequence consisting of their Tick Tock hand movement, the zombie walk and the vibrating bomb. The bridge was cool, with the x formation.
Song – 5.5/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating -7/10