Why? Why? I can’t stop it now! My heart is still beating…for you.
2PM’s sophomore album is very poignantly called 1:59PM. The Hottests know well that 1:59PM is what the 7-member boy group is referred to as a 6-member group without their leader Jae. It is a play on words that literally refers to a regression. As in, “without Jae, we are not yet 2:00PM.” That producer Park Jin Young used 1:59PM as the name of this album makes it clear that when it comes to 2PM, it is the Hottests that ultimately determine 2PM’s future. You have to feel a little bad for the other members of 2PM as the efforts the Hottests have exerted as a singular entity to restore Jae to his former status as 2PM’s leader after his disgrace in the Korean media seemingly left the rest of 2PM fan-less. From boycotting every 2PM related material, literally wallpapering JYP headquarters with post-it notes and sending a sky plane with the words “Jay. What time is it now?” over his Edmond home in Washington State, the fact that a boy band invokes such a reaction has to have some sort of meaning beyond simple hormonal insanity. Is it that there is something about 2PM that is innately special? Has JYP created a true to life actual group of idols?
My questions withstanding, this album is more than solid. The title song of 1:59PM is Heartbeat, which is a worthy follow up to 2PM’s Again and Again. Each of the members do what they do best with
Wooyoung Chansung even throwing in an unexpected and killer Kanye West-esq stanza. Even Nickhun, who is easily my least favorite member, adds something special with his English stanza. The fact that this song’s underlying bass riff is the actual sound of the boys beating hearts makes this song even more personal. It is intense, powerful and deftly hides the empty place where Jae used to be.
Track 4, I Was Crazy About You is catchy in an underhanded way. The steady bass riff physically causes my heart to race as if my pulse was attempting to catch up with the beat of the song. By the final repetition of the chorus, I started to feel the same desperation that the lyrics sang, “I was crazy about you! But I let you go without telling you…love can’t do this to me.”
Track 6 Back 2U has a smooth groove feeling that introduces a heart melting technique that I like to call “Smooth Chocolate Robot Taec (SCRT).” This old school tactic of having a deep bass voice talk under the melody harkens back to Boys II Men and oh so many more early 90s R&B classics. Junho, Nickhun and Junsu as always, sings the melody beautifully.
Track 7 All Night Long has the loin melting continuation of SCRT and smooth R&B sounds. It’s Fly to the Sky meets 2PM. I honestly can’t listen to it without losing my fangirl mind. I am completely unable to be objective and write about this song. Just, download and listen.
The album ends with three remixes of their older songs. The final song You Might Come Back (Bossa Nova Mix) is an interesting song to end on. The original version was a dark, intense and almost depressing song about desperately waiting for someone you love to come back even though you don’t believe they will. If the fans that downloaded the original version en masse hoped that it would send a message to Jae asking for him to come back, this song may be seen as the reply from JYP. Upbeat and optimistic, is it possible that JYP is saying that Jae will come back?
#4 – I Was Crazy About You
#6 – Back 2U
#7 – All Night Long
#13 – You Might Come Back (Bossa Nova Mix)
Album Score: A- (4 out of 5)