Leaving its powerful and frenzied beats behind, boy group Just B returned with a new batch of songs that shout out equality and the importance of it through its third EP, “= (Neun),” released Wednesday evening.
If the group’s previous three records -- the Rage trilogy -- revealed stories of internal and external anger and overcoming their fury by stepping into a new world, this time, the rookie K-pop act took a seismic shift by singing songs that spelled out “equality.”
Jimin seemed nervous about showcasing a new side of the group that fans might have never seen before, but at the same time looked confident.
“If our past few albums were all about the dynamic and being mighty on stage, we’ve come back with something that we’ve never shown before. I’m excited about our new look, but at the same time, worried. All in all, I hope listeners will know that Just B has many colors on its musical palette,” he said during Wednesday’s offline press conference.
Aptly named “= (Neun),” the equal sign in the album translates into equality, and the word “neun” is the Korean word for equal that is written in English.
Jimin went on to speak about the title, saying that nothing more could describe equality than a math sign. He picked “equality” and “similarity” as the main keywords that made up the album and added that he thinks the equal sign makes the album even more appealing.
Like the equal sign that describes equality between the values, equations, or expressions on both sides, the group also added the math expression to spread its thoughts and creeds about sameness in its title track, “Me=.”
“We say that no matter how people dress up or how they are, everybody in this world is equal. That’s the type of equality we advocate in this song. There’s a part that goes ‘we know we are the same’ in the track, and it’s something that many would be able to resonate with,” Jimin said.
The titular is a song that interweaves rock, hip-hop and reggae. Geonu, JM and Doyum listed themselves are lyricists for the titular to spread the message that everybody on this planet is equal and all the same.
Apart from the song’s message, Bain said the members had honed in a lot of effort to carve out perfection. He said widening the group’s musical horizon was of the utmost importance.
“The songs in the album are diverse, ranging from powerful songs to soft tracks, so it’s going to be worth a listen,” he added.
Other sidetracks that round out the album are “Domino,” “Ready or Not,” “Cherry on Top” and “Night air (unofficial translation).”
Going back to the titular, DY said it’s a piece of music that shows Just B’s “freedom,” which he described as the blend of six members’ musical personalities and styles.
“Geonu, JM and I took part in penning the lyrics, and I’m delighted with that because I think we are able to deliver more of our musical color, and more of our self-composed and self-written tracks are on their way,” he said hinting at the group’s next musical project.
DY highlighted the importance of each member’s versatility, describing it as a crucial element that fans and music listeners can enjoy when they hear and watch the group’s performances.
“We make music that can stand the test of time and is timeless,” he added.
At the end of the event, Bain expressed hopes to hear compliments from listeners that Just B is a group that releases good music.
“I want to hear from others that Just B is Just B and never disappoints.”
The five-track package hits global music platforms Wednesday at 6 p.m.