Album: Flight Log: Arrival, 2017
Why it’s on repeat:
With GOT7’s next comeback on the horizon, I decided to take a long listen to their most recent album: Arrival. This album marks the conclusion of the “Flight Log” series; a three album endeavour including Departure, Turbulence, and of course Arrival. The members of GOT7 all played a major part in the creation of Arrival. Aside from the single “Never Ever”, GOT7 assisted with both the lyrics and composition for each song on this EP; receiving main credits the majority of the time.
GOT7 are a fantastically talented group that have suffered from not knowing the sound and direction they wanted to go in. Flight Log: Departure showed this, with unquestionably great songs, but also a lot of different directions for many of the songs. Arrival makes me think that GOT7 know their sound and know the direction they want to go. This is easily my favourite GOT7 album so far. It’s cohesive as an album, which is important to me. You don’t have to keep the same sound from album to album (artists should be able to change and grow), but every album is like a story. There’s no point in picking those particular songs if they don’t work together. You can change from the beginning to the end, but I always feel there should be something in the middle that takes you to the new sound at the end. Arrival does this, and there’s something in each song to remind you which album it’s from.
Lyrics: J.Y. Park, earattack, zomay, Yugeun
Composed: J.Y. Park, earattack, 5$, zomay, Yugeun
Arranged: earattck, 5$
As the title track, “Never Ever” is the only song on the album where the members of GOT7 do not have any writing credits. I always feel this song has a slightly different feel to it than the rest of the songs on the album because of this. Although, we do find a lot of the same producers who generally work with GOT7 on this track. Because these producers also worked on the majority of the album they were able to bring similar beats that are seen throughout the rest of the album and keep the musical cohesiveness that I enjoy. Even though the feeling isn’t in line with the rest of the album. This song is upbeat enough that I will catch myself dancing to it, but not so intense I feel like I have to be in the club to enjoy it.
My only aversion with “Never Ever” is the synthesized vibraslap (a percussion instrument that sounds similar to a rattlesnake) in the chorus. The chorus comes across a little too busy, and it would be perfect without this one instrumental. I find it can be a little distracting, and that it takes away from the vocals. I also feel it makes the chorus jump out too much, and takes away from the flow of the song. But even with this instrumental, I still really enjoy “Never Ever”. Especially BamBam’s “Brrrrat”. I will admit, the first time I heard it I laughed, but now I don’t think I could listen to the song without it. It really does add something, even if that something is simply a little Double B flair.
The lyrics are nothing special, although it’s not exactly your standard love song. I do enjoy that the writers attempted, and somewhat succeeded, to give a new twist to the standard love song. Instead of the boys pining over lost love, or being regretful for losing their love, they’ve realized their mistakes and that they were wrong. They do indeed love and want to be with her. It’s not specified if there was a breakup or if they were not mentally present for a long time. Either way, it’s a different side to a love song that we don’t often get to hear.
The song starts with an apology and an admittance of learning from their mistakes after leaving her. GOT7 promise to be a much better man and to “never ever, ever let [her] go”. There are a couple great lines in this song that always stand out to me:
“Let’s make a contract in our hearts, let’s sign it.
Get the ink, get the pen.
I’m not hesitating now.”
“I was confused every night.
I didn’t think I could take care of you,
But as time passed by
Surely more clearly,
I missed you girl.”
Unfortunately, the majority of the song is repetitive, and a little random with lyrics like:
“Each time you called me, I wasn’t there, silence
But don’t worry, I’ve arrived, shall we dance.
Let’s raise our glasses, now hold my hand.”
A good chunk of the lyrics are all over the place and mish-mashy like these, although I’ve seen much worse reaches for a rhyme. Of course, not every song is going to be a masterpiece, and some can be good simply because you enjoy them, but I’ve come to expect a little more from GOT7 over the years. I feel like this fall in lyrics just shows that they really had nothing to do with this song. But of course if JYP gives you a song, you do it. Hopefully next time they have a chance to collaborate a little more and create something really fantastic and memorable.
Lyrics: earattack, Defsoul (JB), Jackson, BamBam, Mark
Composed: earattack, 5$, Jackson
Arranged: earattack, 5$
Speaking of expecting better lyrics and quality from GOT7, let’s talk about “Shopping Mall”. I know a lot of people are less enthusiastic about this song than me, and I get where they’re coming from. But honestly, this is a great song. It is admittedly more of a guilty pleasure, but it’s still fantastically written. And it’s a wonderful example of how to make the synthesized vibraslap instrumental work well in a song. The vibraslap is used for emphasis within the song and is used throughout the song’s entirety instead of just showing up randomly and then running away. “Shopping Mall” has a very simple beat that doesn’t quite commit to R&B or EDM. GOT7 have never been particularly great at picking one genre, but I’m glad to see that they finally seem to be making it work for them. This song is most likely a compromise between the members, and you can hear it a little. There are a few different moments where it sounds like the song wants to change direction, but then at the last moment, it keeps doing what it was already doing. I feel like “Shopping Mall” is holding back. It sounds as if it’s playing it safe. Still an enjoyable song, but I believe it could have been a lot better if it had taken the plunge a little and changed direction.
Lyrically it comes across rather foolish at first, let’s be honest with ourselves. It’s crazy catchy, and the only words in English are essentially “It feels like shopping mall, you’re mine.” Like I said: it’s a guilty pleasure. But when I looked a little further into the lyrics, they’re pretty adorable. It’s a horrible idea for a metaphor, I can admit that, but it’s clearly got some real love behind it.
“When you open the door and come outside
You’re like the shopping bag I’m holding in my hands,
My heart is beating for some reason.
It’s like a gift I was given.
I keep falling for you.”
What impresses me the most is that they managed to keep the metaphor going through the entire song. Because seriously, who compares a girl, or a love, to a mall? Jackson and JB (Defsoul) apparently.
“I’ll keep going from the roof to the basement.
Hey I’m happy now.
I don’t mind sightseeing, I don’t want to go home.
My shopping mall.
I want to go in freely and walk around.”
It completely amazes me how they actually made this work. There are less random words, and rhyme reaches than “Never Ever” had, and this is a song comparing love to a shopping mall. I applaud you GOT7, somehow you managed to gain even more of my respect and it’s for my guilty pleasure song! There are so many references where they compare love to a mall, such as: “When I didn’t realize, you’ve already come into my shopping cart”. If it wasn’t so absurd it would be insanely sweet. It’s still really sweet, it’s just such a ridiculous idea. Part of me has to wonder if this song was a dare between the members to see if anyone could actually compare love to the first thing they saw. It’s unfortunate, because this is definitely one song that is made 100% better by knowing all the lyrics, and it’s something that’s lost on us international fans. Clearly so much more thought and effort went into the creation of this song than “It feels like shopping mall, my, my. It feels like shopping mall.”
Lyrics: Jinyoung, Distract, BamBam
Composed: Jinyoung, Secret Weapon, Distract
Arranged: Secret Weapon
The first thing that strikes me about “Paradise” is how seamless it is. This song transitions beautifully from “Shopping Mall”. The layering of all the different beats are also wonderfully seamless. All of GOT7’s voices blend together harmoniously, but they still have their own personalities and nothing is lost for it. It’s a fantastic song to throw on in the background if you don’t want anything too distracting. At the same time, if you decide to give it the attention it deserves, you’ll notice all the intricacies. It wasn’t until I gave this song a thorough listen that I realized how complex the music was. I had noticed the steady beat that drives the song, but I hadn’t realized how often it changed up; how many different layers of sounds were in this one song before. It’s a testament to Jinyoung’s composition that it can be so relaxing and yet so detailed at the same time. Especially Mark’s part, where he is no longer singing, is beautiful and well placed. It’s different and generally catches my attention, but it isn’t jarring in any way, if anything it’s almost more relaxing.
“Paradise” is possibly one of the best songs to really showcase one of GOT7’s major talents. They all have very different and distinct voices, but somehow manage to harmonize in what comes across as a natural and easy way. It’s difficult to move a song between different members of a group without noticing when a new member is singing, and if you don’t notice it’s generally because the members have similar singing styles/voices. This is not the case with GOT7. Even though there are a few rap breaks in “Paradise”, the rapline does an amazing job at keeping the same tone and flow as the rest of the song. The rap breaks stand out because the members are no longer singing, but they don’t take away from the song at all. Take BamBam’s rap break for instance, there have been many rap breaks (like “Hard Carry”) where he comes off borderline squeaky, but in “Paradise” he’s smooth, and a little sultry. Yet, he still manages to add a little Double B style to his part.
The lyrics of this song are gorgeous. Yet again, I find myself commending Jinyoung’s work on this song. The song is directed towards a girl who GOT7 refer to as their “paradise” and an “ocean view spread before [their] eyes”. The song talks about how just one glance from this woman can steal their hearts and how dangerous that makes her. I really enjoy the inclusion of “so dangerous” in this song. Every other word is a positive note, and then every so often we hear “so dangerous”. I love how it gives the impression that they’re lost in love, but they’ve found paradise so it’s okay. They’re just going to accept it and go with it, but at the same time there’s a small part of them that is constantly telling them to be wary of falling too hard, too fast. It makes the song seem so much more realistic to me. I think it’s fairly common to have a small voice in your head telling you to be careful a lot of the time, and when you’re falling in love, and starting a new relationship is no exception.
My absolute favourite part of this song though, has to be:
“If it’s you, I’ll give you everything
Hold my hand, let’s walk on a flower path.
I’ve been waiting for you.
I can’t go on if it’s not you, I am you and you are me.
So baby welcome to my zone.
In our own space
Let’s spend time forever.
Let’s go high to the sky
Be the moon above the clouds, shine on me.”
The metaphors and the imagery in this verse are stunning. It’s the perfect balance of sweet, where it still sounds sincere instead of cheesy. The transition between talking about something physical, into something intangible flows beautifully, almost like drifting into a dream. It starts with the idea of holding hands and walking, and then moves onto how GOT7 have “been waiting for [the girl]”. The place in question isn’t a physical place, but a metaphor for their love, a place where it’s only them and time has no meaning. “In our own space let’s spend time forever.” As this metaphor evolves the woman is now “the moon above the clouds” so that she can “shine on [GOT7]” and be their light through all their troubles. “Paradise” is so well written, and so beautiful it always leaves a smile on my face.
Lyrics: Chloe, Noday, Ars (Youngjae)
Composed: Noday, Ars (Youngjae)
Arranged: Noday, Chloe
I always thought “Sign” had a very dreamlike sound to it; it gives the impression of time floating by. Almost as if standing back and watching a movie of your entire life. It starts off with what sounds like a ticking clock, (created by the clicking of a tongue). This ticking sound is integrated into the entire song and reinforces the feeling of time passing by. There are also many subtle beats/ instrumentals used within “Sign” that are used throughout the entire album that give it a nice coherent sound. Because most of these are generally subtle it doesn’t sound repetitive or tiring.
I was rather shocked when I first looked into the lyrics of “Sign” as I had assumed it was a love song. Clearly, I was mistaken! “Sign” is essentially a pre-breakup song. It’s about being in a relationship with someone who has changed. They’re still with you, but it seems like their mind is elsewhere, as if they don’t want to be there anymore. GOT7 are asking for a sign that things are okay, that they’ll go back to the way they were. The ticking and the feeling of time passing created in the song work magnificently with these lyrics, as over time people do change. It seems as if she hasn’t even realized that things are different now. It’s interesting to get the point of view of someone waiting to be broken up with. They still love the girl, and are hoping she’ll change back. They don’t want to be the one to end things, but they seem to know things are over.
“I’m a fool who only thinks about you
I can’t do anything without you
At the end of my long days
You used to be there,
But now I’m all alone
Don’t let me go”
The lyrics give a very heartbreaking feeling to this song. You can hear how in love with the girl GOT7 are by the way they sing, which is why I initially thought it would be a love song. Every syllable drips with love for her, for how things used to be. When you add Youngjae’s lyrics to this, it’s all the more heartbreaking.
“Do you feel the same?
Your red lips flicker before me
The look you gave me
Your eyes were so deep,
Beautiful, what I need.
I’m still like that, I still feel about you
Give me your sign.”
The love and desperation in GOT7’s voices go along almost too perfectly with these lyrics. It’s possibly the most beautifully heartbreaking song I’ve ever heard, and I will definitely be playing it on repeat after my next breakup.
Lyrics: earattack, Defsoul (JB), Mark, BamBam, Jackson
Composed: earattack, Defsoul (JB), 5$
Arranged: earattack, 5$
“Go Higher” is a much-needed pick-me-up after the emotional ride that was “Sign”. Though the transition between songs can be rather jarring, and I wish a little more care had been paid here. Even so, “Go Higher” has an amazing message and has become one of my favourite hype songs. Listening to “Go Higher” always gets me energized, pumped to take over the world, and get everything I need to done. The lyrics are all about pushing yourself just a little further.
“Going higher, higher
Till I’m satisfied, no
Till I’m perfect, no
My greed stays hungry.”
The steady beat that’s pounding in the background of “Go Higher” is perfect to build up to the chorus where it “goes higher”. It creates an anticipation that manifests with a pause in the vocals before the chorus hits and then the beat gets even more intense, and we hear a chorus of GOT7 singing “Go Higher”. It’s the perfect background for these lyrics and makes me want to dance every time I hear it.
I love that this song isn’t the stereotypical hype song, talking about how great they are just because they exist. This is a song to get you hyped, and possibly themselves.
“breathtakingly, like we’re crazy, more aggressively
So this city will shatter
Don’t hesitate, time’s too precious
Faster, higher, run, run, go higher.”
There are a couple lines that always seem a bit out of place to me though,
“We party every day, but not enough”, and “baby girl come here.”
It’s only these two lines, which seem to be filler. But with everything else talking about pushing yourself further, these lines just seem very out of place and this may be a casualty of having five different people working on the lyrics. With that said, the beat does make it a fantastic party song, and I think that’s where “we party everyday” comes from. But I can’t really see this song simply being another party song. At most I could see it trying to be both a motivational pump up song and a party song. It’s not exactly beyond GOT7 to be indecisive.
Lyrics: Defsoul (JB), GDLO
Composed by: Defsoul (JB), GDLO
This is probably the second most adorable song GOT7 have ever done, and it continues to make my heart feel light. Even after the worst of days, this song will pick me up. The music makes me sway along as if I’m a background character in a musical. It’s an amazing achievement of GOT7’s to be able to pull off such an adorable song so well without it seeming ridiculous, or like the song should be for a group with a different concept. The music has such a light and airy sound, helped by the simple drum beat, the 50’s inspired guitar riffs, and the great horn section. Complete with crackling record sounds at the very beginning of the song, it has a feel of being from the 50’s, from a simpler time. It doesn’t feel dated though; the similar instrumentals that are used in all the other songs on this album, are subtle, but they help to create a new sound for this song.
The lyrics only reinforce the adorable daydream quality of “Q”. It gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling similar to just after the perfect first date with someone you’ve had a crush on for a while. I admit I have no idea what “Q” actually means. I looked into the lyrics, and different translations and I tried to see if the internet in all its wonders had any idea. I couldn’t find anything. The song itself is about liking a girl, and waiting for her to in some way let GOT7 know that she feels the same. My best guess for what “Q” means is kiss. As it sounds slightly similar, and fits in place of “Q” in the lyrics, but unfortunately I can’t be certain. But even if there is no real meaning for the “Q” in this song, it’s still adorable and the lyrics only reinforce this.
“Sometimes I get shocked
At how pretty you are
When you look at your phone, I’m looking at you.
Especially when you bite your lips when you’re concentrating.
Whoa, think I’m in heaven.
My daydreams always have the same routine
Whatever subject it is, it’s always you in the end
Like coffee, you’re the start to my day.
I’m like ice inside, melt me
I’m ready for your fantasy
The star of the movie is me
I’ll do anything, get an audition
I’ll show you my heart.”
The whole song has a similar feel to these lyrics. It’s a song filled entirely with confessions that would make almost anyone swoon, and beautiful metaphors that prove just how often GOT7 are left thinking about her. Another song showcasing GOT7, and more specifically JB’s talents, as this song always makes me feel like I’m in love.
Composed: Yugyeom, mo’l
Arranged: mo’l, heth
Every time I hear “Don’t Care” I’m always reminded that Yugyeom wrote it. If you check out his solo work at all (which I suggest doing here as it’s beautiful), “Don’t Care” would fit perfectly along with these songs. It has the relaxing R&B feel as his solo work, but carries many similar aspects to the other songs on this album. It’s one of my favourite songs off Arrival. GOT7 all sound amazing singing this, and their voices harmonize beautifully.
As with most songs, there are many different ways these lyrics could be interpreted. I went back and forth looking into different translations before being able to fully piece together what I believe to be the story behind Yugyeom’s words. The conclusion I came to is that the song is the story of a failed relationship. At first, I thought it was a story of GOT7 breaking up with a woman, and then later regretting their choice and trying to get the woman back, much like “Never Ever”. But upon reading it multiple times, it’s more likely GOT7 were left behind by said woman. GOT7 tried to get over her, but just weren’t able to because they “can’t forget [her] even just for a moment”. So this is them trying to get her attention again, and her trying to ignore them.
“When I walk in front of you, when our eyes meet
Don’t avoid my eyes, where are you looking”
The title of “Don’t Care” pertains to not caring anymore about what other people think of their actions; they’ve made up their mind and she’s all GOT7 want now.
“Foolishly I hope for more.
I want more without feeling guilty
I can’t help it anymore now.
Shall I go further with what my heart wants?”
I really enjoy the overall tone of “Don’t Care” and I’m glad they decided not to include any rap breaks in this particular song. I feel like the omission of rapping helps add to the desperation. Plus it helps showcase how great all of GOT7’s vocals are. The lyrics themselves are fairly short. Every note is held for the perfect amount of time, with just the right amount of force that it creates a mixture of sadness and anger that is only describable as desperation. It’s gorgeously done, and really helps make this song as amazing as it is.
Lyrics: Jackson, BOYTOY, Wizil
Composed: Jackson, BOYTOY
This is an upbeat song that is kind of adorable for IGOT7’s. GOT7 have always had an inside joke where they yell “out”. They play it in a lot of their videos and I’m still not sure if anyone actually knows what’s happening aside from GOT7. So when “Out” came along, I think all IGOT7’s first thought was this inside joke.
In actuality “Out” is about letting everything out. About being horribly frustrated with the world, life, your homework, whatever it is; it’s just gotten to the point where it’s too much and you need to get out. Without looking at the lyrics and even with a few of the translations it comes across as a party song. But the chorus shows the truth:
“I feel suffocated, I hate this feeling
Let it all out, whatever,
Till you lose your mind, out
I can’t hear anything
Wait a minute I’m out”
Overall I think this song was intended to be viewed as a bombastic party song. The verses allude to many different ways people will deal with stress: getting dressed up, driving, and partying. A lot of people tend to go towards flashy distractions from when they’re really stressed out. I found in “Go Higher” the driving beat worked really well with the message of the song, whereas I find it’s a little too forceful in “Out”. Although this may be intentional to showcase the stresses. I find even though Jackson is my GOT7 bias, his parts of “Out” are actually my least favourite. With the music being as intense as it is, it’s a little too much for me when Jackson also comes in with a forceful voice for the verses; whereas Mark and BamBam’s raps are still intense, they seem less forceful. The smooth vocals in the bridge create a beautiful contrast with the rest of the song as if you’ve found a moment of clarity within all the stress.
Something I really love about this song is that it’s saying it’s okay to just get out when life becomes too much.
“Mess it all up
Don’t be picky about what’s what
When the fireworks go off
It’ll be a beautiful night.”
Sometimes you just need to really let it all out and then you feel so much better. This is a topic I find is rarely touched on in music, and when it is it’s generally to the extreme. Someone has bottled everything up, and now they’ve let it all out and are left to regret their decisions. But in “Out”, GOT7 are letting you know that it’s okay to let it out and blow off steam, and that you should actually do it before it becomes too much for you to handle.
I love how well this album showcases not only GOT7’s different talents, but their different mindsets and styles as well. Having that many varied personalities and influences was most likely an extremely difficult project to take on, but I think GOT7 seriously delivered. They managed to tie it all together into a cohesive album and I find that exceedingly impressive. I love every song on this album! Some are more guilty pleasures than others, but every song on this album clearly had a lot of thought and love put into them, and I believe it completely paid off. I can’t wait to see what their upcoming album has to offer.
JB solo work: https://soundcloud.com/def_xxx/tracks
Yugyeom solo work: https://soundcloud.com/yugyeom17
Youngjae solo work: https://soundcloud.com/ars333ars
Jackson solo work: https://youtu.be/BBVLj_PSsZ8
Credit for lyrical translations goes to:
Never Ever: “Never Ever” official MV
Shopping Mall: https://popgasa.com/2017/03/24/got7-shopping-mall/
Go Higher: https://popgasa.com/2017/03/24/got7-go-higher/
Don’t Care: https://popgasa.com/2017/03/24/got7-dont-care/ & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2fF5YQZ3BY