2PM has been in the kpop industry for a few years now and amidst all the drama they’ve previously encountered the group still maintained their innovativeness and a musical style that transitions continuously. The beastly boys return with their second full length album “Hands Up“, containing a mixture of pop, dance, hip hop, and a soulful ballad. The members are becoming more involved in the production of their music, and now demonstrate a certain level of maturity as they continue to evolve. Impressive indeed.
“Hands Up” has an ecstatic dance beat and playful synths that work well with the song. The track screams “party” while the members exuberate entertainment in every line. It’s only expected of a song which is about having a good time and letting yourself go. The track starts off the album on a good note with its club concept, which is also depicted in the music video. See for yourselves:
“Electricity” lives out its name quite well. The song opens with an addictive tune and continues to flow until the end with its hip hop influenced beat and smooth vocals. The song definitely sends electric waves to your soul and that’s exactly the kind of message being transmitted in the lyrics. It’s about allowing a strong feeling to take over and no longer fighting or being hesitant in experiencing something new. There’s something so exciting about this song and I can already see it as a second single from the album, if the label senses what I’m sensing right now.
The boys take it down a notch in the beginning of “Give It to Me”, however the hypnotic track speeds up by the hook. I love the repetition of “nan” during the chorus as well, allowing listeners to feel the emotion in their vocals and the depth in the song lyrics. While looking at the credits I spotted a member’s name, and to my surprise it was written by Junho. I never followed up on how much the group truly invested in their music until I discovered that they’ve written for this new album. It’s always a wonderful thing when an artist has some control over their music; it makes it more meaningful.
If ever you had doubts about how passionate this group is when it comes to delivering ballads, “Like a Movie (영화처럼)” should surely be the proof you need. The piano melody by itself is tantalizing and places emphases on the meaning of the song. It’s about a love that no longer exists in reality but remains lost in their memories. The relationship ended but still the past continues to haunt them. I love the drums and the film effects; the amount of emotion in this track is spilling over like an overfilled cup. 2PM made it clear that the group can lock down a club with their dance hits and can still slow things down without sounding off track. This is my favorite track overall.
“I Don’t Know (모르니)” takes listeners out of an ocean of tears and back to a more relaxing state. This song is about finding a new love and building up the confidence to express your feelings to the person. I like the fast paced music and cheerful vocals. The song features a mixture of old school meets modern pop, which is a great collaboration however, it’s not something I’d listen to more than once. The next track continues the dance theme and the concept of finding someone to start something with. “Hot” has a beat that reminds me so much of “Born This Way” and the reason why is because they’re both dance songs. The track is all about eyeing someone very attractive and trying to put the moves on her. It’s a song for the club and I’m sure it will get any party started with a beat that sounds like its high on ecstasy.
Sadly, the group left me in disappointment by including songs from their last two EPs. I really liked the piano in “Without U” but I’m anything but happy in hearing the song on this album. Alongside this previously released track, “I’ll Be Back”, “I Can’t”, and “Don’t Stop Can’t Stop” also reappeared on “Hands Up”. “Thank You”, a promotional single dedicated to their fans, was also included. I love the meaning behind that one especially, however, like I’ve stated before, artists need to spend more time recording new songs instead of comprising an album with 6 new, 2 mixes, and 5 re-recorded. I’m sure it would be even more beneficial if they put in more work.
“Hands Up” has songs that are next to perfection. The beats are off the chain, and the vocals are energetic and captivating. If not for the limited amount of new recordings I would have given the album a perfect score, however, due to its ‘old’ flaws, I gave it a rating of 4.5/5
Track listing:01. Hands Up 02. Electricity 03. Give it to me 04. Like a movie 05. I Don’t Know 06. Hot 07. Without U 08. I’ll be back 09. I Can’t 10. Hands Up (East4A mix) 11. Electricity (220v mix) 12. Thank You 13. Don’t Stop Can’t Stop
(Purchase the album now at yesasia)