K-pop septet GOT7 inject creativity and commit to experimentation on their latest record Breath of Love: Last Piece, which sees them branch out beyond the confines of linear pop sonics, instead offering an amalgamation of their well-developed, diverse musicality.
The EDM-driven title track “Last Piece” is sleek as it comes in with confident vocals that swirl over crunching electric guitar and airy synths. Continuing on the EDM path, “Born Ready,” co-written by member Mark, takes the stylish swagger offered on the title track and turns it up to a hundred with fast-paced, anthemic styling. Despite a seeming influence from futuristic house music and alt-EDM, the album makes good use of softer tones on tracks such the emotive “Wave,” co-written by Jinyoung, which features stunning vocals and rap with a pleasant surprise for listeners as rapper Jackson showcases his versatility by taking on singing. Jackson also lends a hand in song writing with a slice of electro-pop “Special,” which develops as an easy listen with some catchy English rap.
The record is especially impressive as the seven members have taken on a hands-on approach with its production, thus imbuing it from start to finish with their creative energy and musical experience. Flowing smoothly from one track to the next despite different members having a hand in its creation, the album is packaged as diverse yet unified with a seamless overall flow that takes away nothing from the individual touches of the septet. For instance, “Waiting For You,” co-written by BamBam easily takes forward the soft-toned EDM-pop established by Jinyoung, despite the fact that the echoey vocal arrangement is vastly different from the heartfelt presentation of “Wave.”
Though dominated by an EDM soundscape, the album has plenty of musicality packed within it; R&B-inspired “Thank You, Sorry,” being the standout. Co-written by youngest member Yugyeom, the track is full of falsettos and earworm instrumentation making it the most unmissable, must-listen offerings on Breath of Love: Last Piece. Going into its final leg, the album delivers a youthful vibe that feels very much like GOT7 circa 2014, except with spades more experience and knowledge carrying forward into a charming self-confidence.
The carefree feel of “1+1,” gives way into the playful “I Mean It,” both of which remind us that no matter how much they mature as artists, the band still manages to bring in their magnetic, genuine personalities to everything they produce. The album closes with stadium-ready “We Are Young,” which begs for a singalong with on-point vocals and palpable positivity.
Overall, Breath of Love: Last Piece checks every box, whether it be artistic evolution, musical or video production, vocals or song writing. The cohesive collection of tracks is simultaneously intriguing for new listeners and a form of escapist comfort for a returning fan.