Again – out of order with the reviews but I didn’t want to miss this one off as its a pretty important release to me. BTOB have been hiding in the male idol group category for a while – everyone knows who they are and even know individual members from their solo activities on variety shows and collaborations, yet their music is lesser known that some other idol groups, despite having been around for a little longer. An avid BTOB supporter here, I leap for JOY when I see them attend KCon and other music performances and a release is absolute gold for me.
BTOB-Blue – WHAT CAN I SAY!!! This has been a subunit that existed already in everything but formality. The subunit consists of Changsub, Eunkwang, Hyunsik and Sungjae – the vocalists of the group, and ‘Stand By Me’ is BTOB-Blue’s debut release. I’m not sure that we could have asked for anything better from them for their first release. This is a gentle, emotive ballad with a captivating chorus (Hyunsik’s vocals in the chorus send pangs through my heart). The timbre remains soft and even throughout and there is no desire to rush ahead, leaving you completely lost in the feathery vocal abilities of all four members. The build in intensity towards the final chorus is only down to crescendo – this song is relatively unembellished which allows you to concentrate completely on the vocal abilities of the four boys. The MV is gentle, and slow-paced, much like the song and is not encumbered with a complicated plot line – it is just a video of the boys singing, and in many ways, I really appreciate the beauty of it.
My verdict: 9/10 – I am completely in love with this song. It is such a fitting ballad for the season and showcases BTOB’s vocalists’ abilities perfectly. It is a strong and memorable debut song, giving us a taste of what is to come. I am upset that there are no/few promotions on this track (I think there have been some stages?) but it sets us up for greater subsequent tracks as well as reminding everyone that BTOB are here, are talented and we should anticipate them more than ever.