It’s been nearly five years, but 2PM has finally made their much-anticipated and long-awaited return as a full group. Plus this is the first time a group has been able to make a comeback with a member who changed agencies, which hopefully means it will be possible for others in the same situation. Though I certainly like 2PM, I’ve actually never really considered myself a huge fan. This is mostly because they’ve only had two comebacks in the time that I’ve been into K-pop: this one, and their last one that was way back in 2016. So I’ve watched the majority of their content retroactively, and I haven’t really had many chances to see them “in action” (so to speak). But despite all that, I still found myself pretty antsy and impatient for this post-military comeback… so I can’t even imagine how their longtime fans are feeling right now. Thankfully, it seems like “Make It” is pretty much everything we were all hoping for.
Written and composed by Wooyoung (my bias), “Make It” is nothing but sophisticated and sexy. It’s very minimalistic for a K-pop song, relying on jazzy instruments and the members’ swoon-worthy vocals, but this is definitely a classic example of how less can be more. “Make It” is also an alluring story of attraction at first sight, where the singer finds himself acting completely on impulse and pursuing a romantic interest who suddenly dropped into his life. I normally don’t spend too much time on lyrics, but I find these ones to be really evocative and compelling. I feel like having instant chemistry with someone you saw from afar is the stuff of movies and dramas – aka mostly wishful thinking – but this song is lowkey making me wish it would happen to me at least once.
It’s worth noting that 2PM’s 2015 single “My House” became a trending topic in South Korea last year, and it’s probably now their most recognized title track. So it makes sense that 2PM would go for a similar concept with “Make It,” but I imagine they must have felt a little pressured in doing so because following up on a massively popular song can be tricky. You want to give the public more of what you know they like, but there’s a risk that your new song sounds like a slightly altered version of your older one. In 2PM’s case, I think they were successfully able to avoid that potential pitfall. Both tracks share several appealing elements like laidback guitar strumming and jazzy arrangements, but the melodies ultimately take them in different directions. There’s a contrast in the overall energy and mood, as well: “My House” seems more playful and carefree, while there’s more of a quiet intensity to “Make It.”
While I do see and treat these two releases as their own separate entities, I personally feel like my intense love for “My House” is preventing me from liking “Make It” as much as I could. To be honest, “My House” is one of my all-time favorite K-pop songs. To me, it’s one of the sexiest things I’ve ever heard and seen; I consider it pretty much perfection. So although there are many wonderful things about “Make It” to appreciate, it just doesn’t inspire the same massively enthusiastic reaction in me. I’m kind of on the border between liking and loving it, but my strong attachment to “My House” has turned it into more of a “like” (if that makes sense).
That being said, there are still a lot of aspects of “Make It” that I really enjoy. As always, the dance is my major highlight. I remember watching a video of Wooyoung explaining how JYP choreographies are very focused on expressing the lyrics of the title track, and I can definitely see that in play here. I initially wished there were some more standout moments on my first watch, but I’ve now come to enjoy all of the clever nuances and subtle details. I really enjoy the key point move where they roll up their sleeves and walk forward – it’s so simple, but it truly captures that feeling of just going for it without thinking too much about it. It’s also a power move that radiates quiet confidence, which I find *incredibly* sexy.
I think the music video also helps bring the story of “Make It” to life, with the premise of how the members are so entranced by one woman that they barely notice a literal natural disaster unfolding around them. Seriously, there are meteors falling from the sky and these guys don’t even blink. I guess the whole thing is supposed to be in Wooyoung’s imagination, but still. (Fun fact: the setting for this music video was also a location for an episode of my favorite variety show Busted, which also featured some chaotic moments.) But as cheesy as that all sounds and looks, it does reinforce that idea of instant connection and being irresistibly drawn to someone without quite understanding why. It’s a nice visualization of the song’s major theme, and just one example of how everything about this comeback is so nicely connected.
MY OVERALL INTEREST LEVEL
(NOTE: My options for each category are “Love,” “Like,” “Neutral,” “Not My Style,” or “Dislike.” But I rarely dislike anything, so I’ll mostly be using the other four.)
All in all, 2PM’s first song after their long hiatus is a resounding success. I really love smooth and sophisticated sexy concepts – especially when they’re done by men who are my age and older – so I just find everything about “Make It” highly appealing. And honestly, everything is just really well-done. Though I’m still keeping “My House” as my all-time favorite 2PM song, “Make It” appears to be quickly rising up the ranks. It might even pass “A.D.T.O.Y” and take second place. More importantly, it’s inspired me to take a closer look at 2PM and become much more than a casual listener.
Since “Make It” is a post-military comeback, I can’t help but be reminded of another second generation boy group whom I started to adore in their later years. Yes, I’m talking about Super Junior. I got into K-pop when they were in their military service stage, so I just enjoyed listening to their music but didn’t have any strong feelings about them overall. But once they made their return with “Black Suit,” I felt myself really drawn in by how polished and sophisticated it was. (Definitely a lot flashier than “Make It,” but equally mature and sexy.) That was the moment I fell for them, and I’ve been dedicated to them ever since. Now that I think about it, it seems like a very similar story is happening with 2PM… so don’t be surprised if I suddenly become an ardent fan sometime in the very near future.
(“Knee Jerk Reaction” is a column I created to talk about comebacks or debuts when I don’t have a lot of time to write in-depth reviews. A knee jerk reaction is like an automatic response, so it’s a post about my initial thoughts on the song, the music video, and the performance if it’s available. Compared to my reviews, everything is more stream of consciousness and less analytical. And everything is 100% my own opinion!)
SOURCES: Music video and featured image belong to JYP Entertainment.