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DAY6’s “I Loved You” is a solid filler ballad, but still waiting for ballsy rock to return

DAY6’s monthly ‘Every DAY6‘ project kicked off with a bang during 2017’s first few months, but like every promotional plan this ambitious and long-lasting, the impact of their releases has started to lull as the year has gone on. It’s not that the past few months’ songs have been of poor quality, but they definitely feel more like solid album tracks than statement-making comeback material. This trend is not specific to DAY6. Even Big Bang‘s 2015 ‘MADE‘ series began to feel more redundant as its roll-out stretched on.

What the group really needs is another big, ballsy rock track in the vein of January’s excellent “I Wait. Instead, we get “I Loved You” — a solid DAY6 ballad that goes down easy even if it doesn’t inspire much excitement. As we’ve become accustomed to from the guys, the vocals and background harmonies are stellar. In such a short time, DAY6 has really established a unique rock sound within Korea. Their songs feel idiosyncratic to the point where I can’t imagine another idol band performing them in the same way.

That said, “I Loved You” drags a bit too much. Its tentative verses recall 90s college rock in the best way possible, drawing on the guys’ compelling tones to create a suitably emotive soundscape. Jae is the star this time around, delivering an unexpected series of high notes during the second verse that will melt even the most hardened of listeners’ hearts. I just wish the chorus pursued a more interesting direction. It’s a bit of a trudge to get through, and never builds to any standout moment. Perhaps a less straightforward instrumental would have helped, but when it comes down to it I just don’t think “I Loved You” was designed to be one of the group’s more ambitious tracks. Here’s hoping they amp up the creativity for the final three months.

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