JYP, or J.Y. Park, is back yet again, this time enlisting the help (sorta) of 80s pop star Kim Wan Sun on “Changed Man“. While aspects of grandpa’s latest comeback are predictably horrifying, perhaps more horrifying is that he feels amusingly self-aware, almost mocking the viewer with his antics in the music video as he makes you begrudgingly nod along to his track.
Jokes aside, look away for a moment and try to imagine your favorite boy group member releasing this, because aside from JYP existing, this is undoubtedly a throwback synthpop hit straight from the 80s. It’s an inherently finger-tapping track from the first second, powered by synth beat that just keeps pumping along, and if you told me this was for a Korean remake or musical of like Flashdance or another one of those 80s dancing movies, I’d believe it.
Of course, a throwback sound is nothing new nowadays, but the immense energy it holds throughout is unfortunately still pretty rare. And most importantly, this is probably his best chorus in … since I can remember. With sung refrains separated by some “ah ah ahs“, it’s a fleshed out effort, which makes the “I’m a changed man” at the end a memorable payoff that echoes in your brain as it segues into the “Take On Me” on steroids instrumental post-chorus. The only time it takes a breather is for the bridge, which is well-timed and excellent in itself, admittedly due to JYP’s emotive delivery that convincingly conveys a sense of regret and desperation.
The only complaint is that Kim Wan Sun wasn’t given a vocal part in this at all even though the concept seemed primed for that. The music video’s story was also entertaining other than having to look at JYP try to relive his youth, and the choreo leans into his pants meme, which is awkward otherwise but kinda funny when thinking about it with that knowledge.
So that is to say … it is with a heavy heart I regret to inform you, that JYP at age 98 has released a retro banger.