Review by Abigail at SeoulBeats.com. (Lightly edited.)
The group has released their first mini-album consisting of five songs under the premise of “dreams come true.”
1. J.B.J. (Intro)
From the kickoff, the album starts off with the powerful intro “JBJ Intro.” The song’s background instrumental acts as a short spoiler for their title track “Fantasy” and sets up a powerful atmosphere that declares attention to JBJ’s entrance into the K-pop scene. Even though quite short, the track is filled with continued hi-hats and heavy kick drums that complement the members’ quick rapping tones throughout the song’s verses. The intro also announces the theme of the album — dreams come true — which is apparent in its bumptious lyrics that state their fate as a group and their destiny for success.
The album continues with the title track “Fantasy.” The song was co-written by members Sanggyun and Hyunbin with a trap-influenced pop vibe that showcases the members’ ability to harmonize, while simultaneously presenting the dynamic rapping styles of Hyunbin and Sanggyun. The song lyrically prevails and manages to stay on the concept theme. The track acts as an ode to the fans who have been very hopeful and patient about the groups debut. JBJ sings: “The moment you call my name, I’m alive / You’re the one who saved me / from being trapped in this maze.”
The members of JBJ are singing their gratitude for the opportunity their fans have given them to continue on as a group past the conclusion of “Produce 101.” They are asserting that they are a fantasy become reality with strong ambitions and hope for the future.
3. Say My Name
As a personal favorite, “Say My Name” executes in its loud and addicting instrumental. The boys are foregoing any emotions of shyness or hesitation and instead demand the challenge of opponents or doubters to stand up and face them. Knowing that they will never back down, the boys sing: “I’ve longed so much for my own spotlight / And even if someday I forget about it / You know I can’t give up here, I won’t run away.”
With an addicting hook line accompanied by lyrics of persuasiveness and strength, the song reinforces the album’s theme and shows that if one wants their dreams realized, they must fight and never give in to defeat. It is honestly refreshing to see a group debut with sincere confidence in themselves as individual artists and as a newly formed group trying to find their space in such a competitive industry. Even more so since half of the members saw little to no success with their previous groups, but had the talent and the determination to keep moving forward.
4. Ride with Me (오늘부터)
“Ride with Me” is a slow good feel song that has potential and good replay value.
5. As If in a Dream (꿈을 꾼 듯)
The dreams of confidence and strength in the opening tracks are replaced with the longing of love and desire.
6. 예뻐 (CD Only)