This article was initially published on 7 March 2020
Subunits play an important role in K-Pop, and its idea has proven to be effective most of the time. Subunits benefits can be seen as: they give a chance to highlight some of the lesser-known members and show off their talents outside of their group while still being a part of them, creating a completely different image and sound than their and raise awareness of the original group.
These subunits will often gain their own huge fanbases even outside the fandom… Sometimes, their projects are left half explored and wrongly underrated, as it happened with Jus2 and their EP “FOCUS”.
In case you’ve missed it, Jus2 are a subunit of globally-renowned K-pop act GOT7, composed of GOT7 members JAY B (Leader) and Yugyeom (Maknae). The duo made its official debut on the 5th March 2019, with the EP “FOCUS” – which debuted in the Top 10 of the Billboard World Album Chart. In 2020, Jus2 were announced as performer at “Music Bank In Dubai” at Dubai’s Coca-Cola Arena. The show was cancelled in light of the global developments around the COVID-19 virus.
With Jus2, JAY B and Yugyeom have explored music that is closer to their particular tastes and fits the duo’s connections to the senses, emotions, colours and moods. “FOCUS” is an ode to senses and sensations of love. It’s an interesting take on slow but subtle sensuality that keeps you hooked through its entire 21 minutes. Pairing each song to senses, “Focus On Me” would be vision, “Drunk On You” smell, “Touch” touch, “Love Talk” hearing, “Long Black” taste and “Senses” the sixth sense.
The EP starts slowly with “Focus on Me”; it blends the relaxed and sensual vibe of the overall EP. The track is a beautiful mix between R&B and layered synths with a persistent beat, while JAY B and Yugyeom velvety voices consistently ask you “to focus on me, keep your eyes on me” and “just let me love you”. The music video compliments the high-fashion style of the album perfectly.
“Drunk On You” gives off an intimate and cosy feeling since the beginning when the first chords of its melody hit your eardrums. The mellow sound of the guitar and their smooth voices will make you feel intoxicated as they reminisce about the ecstasy of being able to smell someone’s scent and the dangerous attraction a specific scent can cause.
“Touch” and its soft instrumental are so filled with love and emotions, making the song feeling like a warm embrace and being able to distinguish shy traces of fingertips on your skin. This is the beauty of “Touch”.
“Senses” suddenly changes the scenarios, and it sounds like a song that you would hear in a lounge bar. The melody line and the whole mood are quite deep, making the track stand out. The rhythm is constant, maintaining a slow rise and fall of tension that mesh well with JAY B and Yugyeom low, hushed vocal style, whispering in your ears to open up to your senses.
Keeping up with the tempo is “Love Talk”, another deep house track that is more like an auditory experience, with an upbeat tempo and playful melody that will make your body move. The husky voices of JAY B and Yugyeom will make you feel dizzy.
The EP’s closing track is bitter(sweet) as “Long Black” compares a lover to coffee, just like how it can be sweet or sour, clod or hot. Love is like caffeine, and Jus2 are addicted and craving it. The instrumental is minimal, and the vocals are working their magic to make the song unforgettable.
All the tracks on “FOCUS” are composed and written by JAY B and Yugyeom. Showing once again how GOT7 members are versatile and involved in every step of their projects: “Focus On Me” was made by both JAY B and Yugyeom, while “Drunk on You”, “Touch”, and “Senses” were written by JAY B. Yugyeom took part in producing and writing the lyrics for “Love Talk” and “Long Black”.
“FOCUS” is a cohesive and hypnotising album; the minimalist musical styles, repetitive lyrics and beats that drive a point leave you intoxicated and be able to just focus on them.
There are only a few albums each year that are lucky to be recognised as “Best Of”. Thinking of 2019, Jus2’s “FOCUS” didn’t have the rightful recognition it deserved. Truly a masterpiece.