HYBE’s first Japanese boy group releases their debut album this week. I wasn’t very impressed with &TEAM’s Under The Skin, though in hindsight I was probably a little hard on it. To me, the song felt too much like reheated leftovers from the agency’s other acts. But, the groovier teasers for Scent Of You seemed to point in a more thrilling direction.

During my first listen to Scent Of You, I nearly stood up and exclaimed “EXO’s Growl!”. I don’t know if the song was designed as a tribute, but the groove and dance video certainly nod to that classic. This is no bad thing, as Growl-style tracks are relatively rare nowadays. &TEAM have chosen their inspiration well. Even better, they pull off the sound with flair. Gone are the angsty cries of Under The Skin, replaced by a light-on-its feet rhythm and fun performance that feels fresh and exciting. The melodies wrap around each other in a consistent rollout that matches the loping groove. The chorus isn’t particularly flashy, but it’s well-matched to the instrumental. This synergy allows Scent Of You luxuriate in its own energy.

Similarly, &TEAM’s light vocal performance gives the track a smooth, enjoyable texture. I love the use of layering, especially given the higher pitch that characterizes many of the vocal lines. Scent Of You‘s rap verse is smartly placed during the bridge where it can have maximum impact without forcing a tempo change during that all-important verse two. Choices like these given the song a timeless appeal. If the guys keep dishing out material like this, I may have to jump aboard the &TEAM train.

Hooks 8
Production 9
Longevity 9
Bias 8

Grade: B


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Publisher: Nick