Song Review: Golden Child – Feel Me

In a K-pop year that’s been less than stellar, Golden Child arrive like a deus ex machina just weeks before we turn the page to 2024. It’s been an agonizing fifteen month wait for new music, but no other group of their generation has such a solid batting average on this blog. Since their debut, they’ve placed eight (!) songs in my year-end top ten, hitting number one just last year. New single Feel Me is likely to extend that streak.

Whatever gripes I may have with Woollim Entertainment (and there are many!), when it comes to song selection their A&R team continues to be the best in the business. While Feel Me is unlike anything they’ve released so far, its propulsive rock energy fits Golden Child like a glove. It draws upon the natural emotion in their voices and places melody right at the forefront. That’s a rare approach to find in 2023’s K-pop, making Feel Me all the more refreshing and vital.

The song’s first seconds remind me of NCT U’s 2016 standout Without You, pulsing with atmospheric synth before the percussion comes in. The first verse is strong, immediately developing a sense of tension before the chorus crashes in. This hook is the song’s bread and butter, driven by an instantly memorable melody as the production amps to full force. We pull back for verse two, but rather than shove a requisite rap breakdown into the mix, Feel Me continues develop its core elements. This approach turns rappers Tag and Jangjun into vocalists, twisting their talents to fit the song rather than the other way around.

If anything, I wish Feel Me lasted about thirty seconds longer. At three and a half minutes, it’s still on the longer side of K-pop title tracks, but extra space for its dynamic finale might have given the guys more opportunity to let their vocals rip. Even so, Feel Me is a taut, emotive comeback with classic melodic appeal. That alone is a minor miracle, and should be celebrated as such.






Grade: A

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