[Review] GOT7 sub-unit JUS2 (JB & Yugyeom) debut with effortless, understated “Focus On Me”

After the success of JJ Project, it’s time for GOT7 to spawn a second sub-unit. JUS2 is formed by members Yugyeom and JB, and comes after a year in which the group took more creative control of their sound. “Focus On Me” is again co-composed by the guys themselves, and builds on aspects of their 2018 style. But without the need to divide itself between multiple vocalists and rappers, the song is able to streamline its approach.

For me, GOT7’s “Look” and “Lullaby” were some of the most brazen examples of what I like to call “messy verses,” where a track’s momentum is upended by unnecessary hip-hop/trap breaks and sudden shifts in energy. This prevented me from fully embracing much of their music last year. In contrast (and befitting of its name), “Focus On Me” is fully engaged with its downbeat dance sound. It establishes its atmospheric groove immediately and never really strays.

The instrumental is relatively simple, pulsing on a hushed beat with additional electronic percussion brought in for the chorus and a bit of guitar towards the climax. It’s more of a whisper than a roar, but pulls off this aesthetic well. Neither JB nor Yugyeom are my favorite vocalists in GOT7, which worried me when this unit was first announced. However, the two blend surprisingly well here and “Focus On Me” doesn’t ask a lot of them. It’s not a showboating type of song, after all. But, their restraint is appreciated, and shines a spotlight on the most pleasant aspects of their tones.

As someone who’s always on the lookout for big pop melody, I would have preferred a more complex and rewarding chorus, but I guess that wouldn’t really jibe with the understated, effortlessly cool vibe “Focus On Me”. Judging by this track and JJ Project’s “Tomorrow, Today“, I think I’m starting to prefer GOT7’s sub-unit material to their full-group work.

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