Infinite are “Back”

Such a clever title, am I right?

Since B1A4 are completely flopping with “Solo Day” and Queen Hyuna (and BESTie) aren’t having comebacks until next week, I figured I should check out Infinite’s new song since it’ll be winning on music shows until further notice, and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised with how much I liked it, especially compared to “Last Romeo.”

I have such mixed feelings about Infinite. I did rank them on my Top 10 Favorite Boy Groups list, but the thing is, I just don’t listen to that many boy groups, so it’s not a hard list to get on. Infinite have a very unique sound to their music, and for that, I can definitely praise them. Most of their releases have had a 1980s retro-vibe to them, thanks to SweeTune (who also produces regularly for KARA, 9Muses, Boyfriend, and even one-off songs for groups like BEAST). All in all, I would also say Infinite are one of the top dance groups out there – at least on the boy group side of things. They usually have challenging choreography, and are generally in sync with each other. Surprisingly, they aren’t really that popular on YouTube, and none of their videos have yet to crack the 10,000,000 view mark, which I really do find interesting since aside from SM and YG boy groups, Infinite are the highest selling boy group in Korea, and have had a successful world tour.

Yes, I do know that an SM subsidy did buy out Woolim Entertainment, but Infinite aren’t really an SM boy group in my opinion. They were famous before SM bought out the company, so they weren’t handed their fame like a majority of SM groups were.

Most of the Infinite member’s voices have a similar sound, so it makes it difficult for me to tell who is singing. Even on their title songs, I can’t tell which member is singing unless I’m watching the MV. I also haven’t been a fan of their last two singles; “Destiny” wasn’t too bad, but nothing as good as “The Chaser,” which is probably my favorite song by Infinite. As alluded to, I hated “Last Romeo” when I first heard it, and thought it was too messy sounding, and didn’t have enough of the group’s signature sound to make me want to listen to it ever again. Between me and every reader, I don’t think the song deserved all of it’s music show wins – there were plenty of other great songs released in May, such as Hyosung’s flawless “Goodnight Kiss”, IU’s cover album, 15&s first studio album, and even UKiss’s sexy comeback at the beginning of June were more worthy of music show wins, in my opinion. But of course, even IU, the Nation’s First Love, cannot compete with Infinite’s sales, which aside from Inkigayo, make up a good portion on how music show winners are decided.

However, Woolim probably realized that “Last Romeo” is the worst Infinite song ever, and rushed out a repackage album that will come out on July 22. The title song is called “Back” and it’s almost as flawless as “The Chaser” – almost. The song starts off slow, but then builds at the chorus. There aren’t any awkward rap breaks, so we get to hear Hoya and Dongwoo sing, and they really aren’t half bad! Sungyeol gets shafted in lines again, as usual, but hey, it’s to be expected. The retro-beat Infinite are known for is back on this track, and as expected, the dance is on point.

The video for “Back” was released on July 21, and the concept is back to the darker side of Infinite, such as the “BTD” days, but even edgier – like something you’d expect from a Block B video. While the video was a bit too violent for my tastes, the song is able to stand on its own. The opening has the same vibe as Big Bang’s “Haru Haru” (their best song), and the build up in “Haru Haru” and “Back” are also quite similar. After watching a live performance of the song, the arm movements remind me a bit of VIXX’s dance in “Hyde” – the thing is, while I would usually rip on a group for using so many elements of other group’s work to succeed, Infinite somehow makes this comeback uniquely theirs. If I wasn’t looking for things to poke fun at, which is what I do best, I would think this is a flawlessly executed comeback. In actuality, I do think it is a flawlessly executed comeback, and should have been the original title song. Perhaps I don’t like it as much as “The Chaser” and I still think BEAST’s “Good Luck” is the Boy Band Jam of The Summer, but I really think Infinite is back in their groove with “Back.”

While it doesn’t hurt to step outside of your comfort zone every now and then, “Back” shows that Infinite was able to do so without giving up their signature sound, unlike what happened with “Last Romeo.” “Back” has a mature sound, thoughtful dance, and popular-but-not-too-overplayed concept. “Back” will more than likely be dominating on most music shows, but this time, rightfully so.

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