This album was my first encounter with BOYNEXTDOOR, and perhaps yours, too! They debuted a few singles on a mini album in May 2023, and are relatively new as a group. ZICO helped produce this group, and the music’s aim is to be relatable to the daily lives of their listeners. I believe they hit the target with WHY… It’s easy listening, and full of fun choruses and memorable hooks. Here’s the album breakdown.
But I Like You: 8/10
“But I Like You” is an excellent opening to the album with an energetic groove, bright vocals, interesting musicality, and a fun guitar riff. It’s easy to catch the happy feelings this tune exudes. “But I Like You” is full of playful musical touches and youthful vocal styles. When looking up the lyrics, I saw that the song is about ups and downs of having a crush–matching the lyrics perfectly with the overall feel of the melody! It’s all about that crazy feeling of falling for someone, which allows BOYNEXTDOOR to immediately connect with fans who have likely felt this way, too!
One and Only: 8.5/10
This song did not go the way I expected it to, as it starts with a darker tone and beat. The rap did not help me accurately predict what was coming next–and this is a good thing! Songs with surprise changes can be quite the standout tracks. This was my favorite on the album! As listeners are led into another upbeat chorus, it helps set the group’s distinct sound. “Listen I’m the one and only” is such a catchy melodic line! Additionally, there are several moments where “BOYNEXTDOOR” is heard, cementing their brand into this track. “One and Only” also does a good job of showing how each element of the group works together. The blending of each member makes for a memorable and enjoyable song!
This song put a smile on my face, as it continued the happy-go-lucky vibe of the two previous tracks. The guitar is the star instrument here and is perfectly complemented with the drums and skilled vocals. The melodic hooks are going to stick in your mind. No doubt I’ll be humming this tune later!
The first chill song on the album, “Crying” is a nice break from all the energy from the last 3 tracks. The sound pairs well with the previous songs but creates something of its own. The vocals really shine in “Crying.” I appreciated moments where the instrumental dialed back, like in the bridge, as it allowed me to hear the singer’s delicate tones.
But Sometimes: 7.5/10
The guitar riff in this track is stellar. It carries the song through a groovy rhythm and sets the tone as a little more mature than the previous pop tracks. The rap section was the perfect addition to the song as well as vocals that are rough around the edges compared to the rest of the album. The punk-rock sound of “But Sometimes” gives listeners a fresh view of the group. This song allows for variety on the album without completely departing from the overall sound and themes.
I absolutely love the chill vibe of this track. The soft vocals make a lovely exit, while keeping up with the youthful vibes of the entire album. I also enjoyed the laid back rap, too. Some might not enjoy the childish-sounding hooks and stylistic choices of ‘ABCDLOVE’…but for others, it will be the fun-loving track they look forward to on the album, WHY…
My overall first impression of BOYNEXTDOOR is positive. They have a distinct enough sound to stand apart from other boy groups, but aren’t so left-field that they won’t appeal to general audiences. It’s a long way up though. With more established groups out there, with sounds that are even more distinct and catchy, BOYNEXTDOOR have their work cut out for them! But with the likes of ZICO fueling their momentum, I believe they’ll be here to stay for a while. This album was polished, with easy-to-follow themes and melodies. I look forward to hearing more music from them!
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