Inquirer Super

GOT7 bares its soul in new album

By Inna Christine Cabel
05/26/19 3:59 AM

The planets have aligned for GOT7.

After months of solo activities, with members focusing on their own artistry, GOT7 comes back together as seven with a gripping EP preceding an epic massive-scale world tour. In its sixth year as a group, the multinational septet continues to reach new heights, taking a step to satiate their appetite for success.

The global K-pop sensation’s newest release, “Spinning Top: Between Security & Insecurity” is quite possibly their most introspective one yet. This six-track mini album is an honest exploration of life, rife with vulnerability and optimism. The binary setup leaves room for a narrative, as the first three tracks tackle the darkness, and the last three express light.

Acknowledging the darkness

“1°” unravels the album slowly, teetering on the edge of uneasiness despite the dulcet vocals and quiet, toned-down beat. The indulgent voices of JB and Youngjae urge you to listen as they croon, “Look at me, I’m afraid.” The track introduces the thematic metaphor of the spinning top that revolves around all six songs. It’s an insightful take on the uncertainty of life, much like a spinning top, which can descend to instability with just a 1-degree tilt. Produced by maknae (youngest) Yugyeom, this opening track is a stirring invite to listen to the rest of the EP.

And thus they deliver with the cosmic title track “Eclipse,” opening with JB’s atmospheric vocals pulling you in. GOT7’s inimitable candor is packaged into this future bass track riddled with ripping emotions and fragmented synths. It’s a confession to anxiety and worries that can be expressed by no one but them, as they promise “we’re gonna win this fight.” Built on an entrancing syncopated melody produced by leader JB (under the name DEFSOUL), the frenetic build adds to the utterly satisfying drop in the chorus. Lyrics notwithstanding, the track’s production perfectly relays the message the group wants to express, unstable and thrown off-balance by insecurities, yet coming together in this bold title.

“The End” presents a turning point in the album. The stark contrast in the upbeat melody and the lovelorn lyrics makes it all the more intriguing. With Jinyoung’s producing hand in the mix, nostalgia crawls under your skin as the group recounts regret in a relationship: “I’m walking the trails of our memories / I’m wanting the tomorrow where we should’ve been together.” This track proves once again just how versatile GOT7 is, with rappers like Mark singing on the track.

Reveling in the light

Starting off with music-box-like beats, this lighthearted ode about yearning for a break showcases how the seven members complement each other. “Time Out” carries on with the new narrative, acknowledging hard times but knowing when to let your worries slip away. Produced by Youngjae (as Ars), the catchy and playful rhythm delivered with the group’s unique flair convinces you to let your hair down: “For a moment I want to stop thinking and forget about it.”

“Believe” takes it a step further with magnetic beats. It’s a plea to trust once more. The hook is a comforting assurance that, maybe, everything will be okay. The autotune bars add texture to the whole song, with the members adding their own spin. Jackson’s “Don’t need to worry/ Trust me / Don’t worry,” is a security blanket you’ll hold on to during hard times, as the boys ask you to stay. “When the spinning top falls and stops, someone has to come and spin it again,” producer Bambam explains.

“PAGE,” inspired by JB’s diaries, is an upbeat and rosy dance track bound to make you bounce in your seat. Despite all the crippling anxiety, there’s a new frontier—a new page to write about. Funky layered synths and the boys’ signature swag push you to look forward to the future, excited and giddy for what’s to come. Producer JB shows off his chops once again in this track, proving once and for all how he’s mastered the art of creating music so clearly meant for GOT7. It’s a track meant to be heard live, and we can’t wait.

It’s a fitting end to an album that constantly hovers on the two concepts of security and insecurity. “Spinning Top” is a carefully curated body of work, and GOT7’s most cohesive album to date. In six impressive album cuts, the boys are able to spin you out of balance, sending you on a journey of reflection. Just alike, they bring you back to a world where they ask you to leave it to them, the magic seven.

With relatable verses and lasting melodies, it’s no wonder the album has managed to top iTunes charts in 17 countries. What makes “Spinning Top” so much more sincere is GOT7’s contribution in making all six tracks. Noticeably, their artistic hand aids them in envisioning what message they want to put out there. As a group that’s been in the industry for six years, the boys know that their endearing frankness has always been their charm. All cuts are brimming with genuine soul, tackling their creeping worries and deepest fears.

“Spinning Top,” underneath all the ambition, tugs at your heartstrings as it explores the inner turmoil we fear. Insecurity is what makes us human after all. But hopefully, with this release, the seven learn that maybe it’s their greatest asset as well.