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18 More than Just Hands Up: 2PM’s Hidden Gems

2PM is one of the first Korean groups I came across to (the others are Super Junior and JYJ). I got in touch with their music through Heartbeat, and it didn’t engage me at first. I used to think it was a weird song, to be honest. Then I listened to Hands Up album, but it didn’t quite grab me as well. I started to pay more attention to 2PM since the release of Wooyoung’s solo album. After that, I looked for the group’s other releases, both Korean and Japanese, and I LOVE them. I kept asking myself, where have I been? How could I miss these precious songs? Oh yeah, I was too busy stanning another group which seems to be in a musical hiatus at the moment …

Grown has shown how in a span of five years 2PM’s music has developed quite significantly. Their involvement in the production of their music is also getting bigger.  Talking about this topic always gets me all excited, and my way to chanel this excitement is through writing. I’ve written about Grown here, yet I want to write more about their music. Actually I’m thinking to write a review on all their albums. However, since that’ll take much time and deeper listening to the albums, I’m gonna start with this simple one first: hidden gems from 2PM’s albums (I decided to include Wooyoung and Junho’s solo albums too).

We know how anthemic Hands Up is or how powerful Heartbeat is. Yet there are so many good songs in their albums and EPs that some people probably overlook or simply forget. The songs come in various genres and might not be for everyone, but they indeed highlight the boys’ potential that might be unnoticed in their singles.

From 01:59

1. All Night Long
All Night Long starts with Taecyeon’s monologue, which makes you soon realize where this song will take you. Sensuality seems to ooze out of every note, and you can’t help thinking that the performance of All Night Long would compete Back to You.

2 Maybe She’ll Come Back (Bossa Nova mix)
The original version is beautiful, but the contrast between the soft, soothing  Bossa Nova atmosphere and the sad lyrics adds more charm to the song. You can also hear their voices even more clearly in this version.

From Still 2PM

3. Dance Tonight
2PM goes unexpectedly groovy in this song. You won’t stop dancing to Dance Tonight because it’s too addictive. Maja and I Know are also enjoyable tracks but Dance Tonight stands out for it presents a fresh side of 2PM.

4. Even If You Leave Me
Just recently found Even If You Leave Me and instantly in love with it. I really love the space-y atmosphere in this song that somehow points out the sadness and the hollowness of the lyrics. This could be the melancholy, male version of fX’s Airplane.

From Hands Up

5. Hot
In my opinion, Hot is the best song from the album for its captivating, energetic beat (what 2PM excels at) . Although Hot is full of effects that distort the members’ voices, it’s forgiven because it intensifies the ambience of the song. Also, Hot sent this confirmation to me that Jun. K is a promising song-writer.

6. Electricity (220 v remix)
The original version of Electricity is too hip-hop for me and I don’t think that genre suits 2PM well. I prefer this version because it’s more, yeah, electrifying.

7. Just Like The Movies
What I really like about Just Like The Movies is how the music and the lyrics are unified to build this old-movie atmosphere. The sound of the film rolling makes the song even more perfect. Not to mention Taecyeon’s emotional rap.

From Republic of 2PM

8. Stay with Me
It’s one of my favourite songs from 2PM. Stay with Me is the warm sweetness in your mouth, the embracing sunlight during the day.

9. 100th Day Anniversary
Besides Stay with Me and Even When We’re Apart, 100th Day Anniversary is another track in Republic of 2PM that proves  these so-called beastly-dols can sound so gentle. 2PM is famous for its up-beat dance tracks but they actually also can handle ballad songs really well.

From 23, Male, Single

10. Falling Down
23, Male, Single
doesn’t fully represent Wooyoung’s talent. We all know he could do better. However, Falling Down is this charming song that exposes Wooyoung’s soft voice. When he desperately sings “Baby I’m so sorry, I’m going crazy,”, you just have to forgive him.

From Legend of 2PM

11. This is Love
Legend of 2PM has so many good songs which have the potential to be singles, and This is Love is one of them. It has this 80’s English pop vibe that has been revived by Hurts. 2PM’s version is much brighter, of course.

12. SOS Man
If This is Love sounds English,  SOS Man is like a song from a New York-based punk funk band. No, The Rapture didnt make this song, it’s JYP.

From Grown

13. Today Marks The First Day
It’s hard to pick my favourite song from Grown besides the two title tracks. Each song has something to be liked, and the fact that they’re more involved in the production makes me love the album even more. In the end I chose Today Marks The First Day. I love the music (the piano and the brass-section sound soooo pleasant) and the boys sing really really well in it.

From Give Me Love

14. Falling in Love
It’s so catchy you just wanna move your body when listening to Falling in Love. Again, Jun K shows us his talent in writing excellent songs. Just abandon the metaphor “You are a scorpion” though.

From Kimi no Koe

15. Close Your Eyes
Overall, Kimi no Koe is an adorable album, perfect for summer days (read my review here). Where is the tease that Junho once offered in Be With You and Give It to Me? You can find it in Close Your Eyes. You know that kind of song is one of Junho’s specialties 😉