[Review] JBJ’s “Call Your Name” swan song is solid, which is better than how most end

Fandom culture springs up so quickly these days. Project group JBJ have only been active since last October, but in that short space of time they’ve amassed a following large enough to make their impending disbandment seem like a big deal. “Call Your Name” acts as both their latest single and their swan song, offering a sense of closure as the individual members return to their respective agencies.

Commemorative singles like this rarely connect strongly with me unless the group itself has a long or impactful history. I’d be lying if I said “Call Your Name” elicits much emotion at all — I just never really got to know JBJ very well. However, I applaud the choice not to smother the song in maudlin sentimentality and stereotypical tear-jerking cues. Instead, “Call Your Name” feels like a solid, accomplished b-side. Neither its production nor melody demand the same level of attention as their previous singles, but as a pensive Spring Day-esque mid-tempo, the song definitely works.

Maybe it’s the beach-set music video, but I immediately wanted to compare the structure of “Call Your Name” to the continual movement of the tide. Rather than provide an extended build towards the expected climax, the song’s instrumental and melody crest in and out to create a series of less dramatic peaks. While this approach feels underwhelming the first time through, further listens bring out the details. The background synths are in a constant surge/pull-back pattern, intercut with unexpected drum fills that add a nice bit of unpredictability to the otherwise straightforward beat. But the instrumental really soars when lush strings are brought into the mix. I only wish the melody itself was as impressive. It’s a solid composition, but never settles on a refrain memorable enough to match the beauty of its underlying track.

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