As the saying goes, “all good things must come to an end.” In this case, the “good thing” in question is Got7’s Flight Log series. Over the course of a year, listeners joined the group on an aviation-themed journey that began with Departure, was afflicted by Turbulence, and has finally come to a close with Arrival. For some, the era was riddled with frustration at the narrative presented, while others were simply there to enjoy the ride and the music. Regardless of personal feelings, it would be remiss to bid farewell to the Flight Log series without taking a look at the final installment.
The mini-album begins with “Never Ever”, the title track. Much like “Fly” and “Hard Carry”, the song runs in an EDM- and trap-inspired vein. At first, the chorus sounded a little off, but I gradually became inclined to the layering of the vocals over the complex beat. While not as mellow — for lack of a better word — as “Fly”, “Never Ever” is also not as ostentatious as “Hard Carry”. Make of that what you may, but for me, it signaled a nice change of pace for Got7. Lyrically, however, “Never Ever” is much closer to “Fly” with its theme of love:
Never ever, ever gonna let you go
I won’t leave you again, don’t worry
Baby you’re mine, mine, mine
Never ever, ever gonna make you cry
I won’t make you cry again, don’t worry
Baby you’re mine, baby you’re mine
Produced by Park Jin-young and Earattack, “Never Ever” is the only track on Arrival that was not produced with the help of a Got7 member. This has been the situation for all of the Flight Log releases; with the exception of the title track, the members have input on all of the music on the album. It’s definitely not a bad thing, though I do often wonder what the Flight Log series would be like if the Got7 members worked on at least one of the title tracks.
Entering non-title track territory, the first song to highlight is “Shopping Mall”, one of the most carefree songs off of Arrival. “Shopping Mall” is upbeat and has a playful vibe. To be honest, the English translation of “Shopping Mall” did initially warrant a laugh. The lyrics compare the love interest to a trip to a shopping mall, which is quite comedic if you think about it. I can’t really judge “Shopping Mall” on the basis of substance, however, because it’s just so playful. The chorus is quite catchy, and “Shopping Mall” is the type of the song you could play if you’re just looking to relax and have fun. Not to mention, the song makes references to both AOA‘s “Bing Bing” and Twice‘s “Cheer Up”:
Girl you make my heart beat
You’re my beauty, I’m your beast
You’re in my heart bing bing
You’re revolving just like a big building
[…] Your fashion style, your hair style
And your mannequin legs Skinny black pants
One shoulder Bling, Bling CN bag
On it wear however you want
Don’t be shy shy shy
The fourth song on the track list, “Sign”, is one of my favorites. It’s one of the much slower tracks on the album and stands out from the more dynamic and “in-your-face” nature of the Flight Log title tracks. Produced by Chloe, Noday, and Youngjae (under the alias “Ars”), “Sign” has an R&B-ish tempo that fits Got7. There isn’t a lot of material to take in with “Sign”, but sometimes less is more. All of the members’ voices fit the song, making the song sound clean.
Looking at title tracks alone, it’s clear to see that Got7 has experimented with various genres such as pop, hip-hop, and EDM. While this allows Got7 to showcase different aspects of their musicality, it doesn’t fully attest to what the members seek to write themselves. When you look at the music that Got7 writes themselves, a lot of it fits more in the R&B genre. Concerning Flight Log: Arrival, two examples of self-written R&B tracks would be “Sign” and “Don’t Care”, the latter of which was written by Yugyeom. It’ll be interesting to see what musical direction Got7’s future albums take as the members continue to to play more of a role in their album — and perhaps title track — production.
“Q” is another slow song on the album and one of the more notable tracks. Produced with the help of JB (or Def Soul), “Q” has a retro feel to it that is reminiscent of the 1950s. While it doesn’t have an outright cutesy concept, the track is pretty cute in its own way. The lyrics may not be anything exceptional, though they do leave me wondering what the meaning of “Q” is:
I just want a Q
I feel like I’m going crazy, but you laugh
I just want a Q
Cause I’m all ready
Would you be my lady?
Is it a clever play on Korean words? Is there something inherently cute about the letter “Q”? I’m not sure. What I do know, however, is that the song does a really great job at showcasing Got7’s vocals. Similar to “Sign”, “Q” is quite minimalist in composition and easy on the ears. What’s common between the two tracks is the lack of a complex and overlaid beat drop à la “Hard Carry” or “Never Ever”. By having only the soft melody and the members’ vocals to hear, listeners aren’t as intimidated as they take in the music, making for an easier listening experience.
Overall, I really enjoyed listening to Flight Log: Arrival. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that it might be my favorite release of the entire Flight Log series. It seems like all of the members are comfortable with production in one way or another, and it shows in the music. Prior to the Flight Log trilogy, the members didn’t really write any of their own music, so this is a new approach for them. While the album might not be a perfect 10, it is a well-done work. There’s a nice balance between slow and fast songs, which provides a sense of variety in the overall work. As the members continue to write their own, there might come a time where they find their own sound, and I look forward to it.
Even though Got7 just returned with a new comeback, the development that’s shown in Arrival has me excitedly awaiting their next release. Let’s just hope it comes after the group gets a good bout of rest.
(Sources: YouTube, KpopViral   , Images via JYP Entertainment)