[Album Review] 2PM – Gentlemen’s Game

2PM are back with a vengeance, ready to prove to us that they are still current and still making music that can appeal to old and new fans. Let’s be real here – their plan has been a massive success! With Jun K’s recent solo promotions with ‘Think About You’ (woah there) and then the release of ‘Promise (I’ll Be)’, I don’t think ANYONE will call them ‘old’ or ‘dated’ which is what I hear about some of the longer running groups (Nobody call them old please because I am the same age as Chansung and Junho so I’ll find you if you call them ‘old’). I know a lot of people haven’t ever taken the time to get into 2PM (why not?), I am 2PM’s biggest advocate in my group of friends, but I think this is the album that is going to change a lot of people’s minds.

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Promise (I’ll Be) – Starting off with subtle vocals and building in tempo to an upbeat, memorable chorus with a strong and punchy instrumental. The interplay between the pacing of the verses and chorus display the more delicate vocals and create that sensual tone throughout the verses. As ever, Taecyeon impresses with his assertive delivery in his lyrics through the rap (and thank you for being on the production team). The perfect way to open this album and what a song to come back with! Our perfect start to Fall. 9/10

Uneasy – To me, this is a classic global electro-rock sound – the midtempo song showcasing each members’ vocal abilities, yet remaining as a strong contender on this tracklisting. The moderate vibe echoes throughout, supported by falsetto notes in the chorus, making it a really accessible and international pop track. A song to propel you right into the winter – a firm favourite with me. 8/10

Give u Class – Whoo be ready to get down to this song. A slow R&B track for those steamy winter nights in. A lot of thought has gone into who they were making this album for right? The chorus will have you body rolling throughout – the sensual vibes are strong in this one. Possibly my favourite song on this album. Wooyoung WYD?  10/10

Make Love – EXCUSE YOU 2PM, EXCUSE YOU. This is a typical soul love track – the vocals are smooth and angelic, they will melt your heart completely…. until you hear Taecyeon and you will snap out of your reverie and realise you have been lulled into a daydream for the past minute. Some strong 80s soul influences here – an easy listen. 7/10

시도때도없이 (Without Even Trying) – A downtempo R&B track with a memorable 8-bar synth melody in the background. Bold vocals over a big instrumental – there are so many elements to the production of this track, but every sound contributes to the bigger picture and creating a wonderful R&B song. I’m not sure how I feel about the ‘baby voice’ saying what sounds like “Do It” but I think the chorus is unforgettable. 6/10

Never – Another R&B song delivered well by 2PM – these boys have been blessed with such soulful and smooth tones and every member gets to show their abilities in this mid-tempo track. Jun K and Junho on the chorus sent shivers up my spine the first time I heard this. Another firm favourite for those special evenings in with your loved one (if you catch my drift) – this is just one of those songs that makes you feel like staying in with someone. 10/10

콧노래 (Humming) – Moving away from the traditional R&B to return to a electro-rock/pop sound again. This is slightly typically more boyband than the rest of the album. It is a fun upbeat track that fits in well around the other tracks in the album as an easy listen, but is swallowed up by the strong R&B tracks that precede it. 5/10

어때? (How Is It?) – The song I was waiting for all album, that typical 2PM dance track that we are always treated to. This is unashamedly KPop and I love how much of a jam this is. It has your classic pop beat but still manages to provide that soulful, mature edge that 2PM are synonymous for. This is one of those tracks that you will be fist-pumping along to in the clubs, with the trumpets in the back livening everything up! 8/10

향수 (Perfume) – Such a strong opening to this track, led in with Wooyoung’s gentle vocals. This song is a surprise from the get-go. You think you’re getting punchy, then you hear the change of tempo from the first verse, and then all of a sudden, as you’re adjusting for a calm ride, the chorus comes and knocks you off your feet. A big production on this track with huge contribution from percussion. 8/10

My Last – One of the few true downtempo songs on the album – a classic R&B hit delivered with such passion and gentle caress. You kind of feel like 2PM are here, in your room (or wherever you are) serenading you. Can Junho sing to me for the rest of my life? Another opportunity for all members to show off their vocal ranges, its nice to hear Chansung utilise his voice more. 10/10

Can’t Stop Feeling – A jazzy, soulful way to end the album with bold backing instrumentals from the trumpets, piano and electric and bass guitars. A very 80s soul sound has influenced a lot of songs on this album and this is probably the clearest example of this. This feels like the perfect close to the album as it feels like one of those end of the night anthems – something you will be chanting along to at 3am. Get ready to dance and sway and feel like you have just stepped into another era. 6/10

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My verdict: Definitely give this a listen. If you are into R&B with hints of electro you will adore most of this album. As you can probably see from my ratings, I find the R&B tracks to be the best of the bunch and I feel that those tracks that deviate from the style of 2PM music that I favour are less well-loved, but this is my own personal opinion. Don’t get me wrong, I listen to this album, on average, five times a day, and I adore every track, I just prefer some more than others. 2PM get their line distributions right, time and time again and you will hear the abilities and potentials of each and every member. If you’re looking for an album to get you ready for fall and all the sensual winter nights ahead (get it!) then this is what you are looking for!

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