If you asked K-pop fans who their favourite producers are, chances are many would say Sweetune or Brave Brothers - that’s what my answer would be. Sweetune, for their synthy, eighties influenced pop, and Brave, for his funky, formulaic songs that never fail to get wedged in my head. I’ve often dreamed of a BraveTune (Sweet Brothers?) hybrid, and now it’s unofficially here in the form of ROMEO’s new single, “Without U.”
ROMEO are a criminally-underrated boy band who debuted back in 2015 with the self-titled Sweetune freestyle track, “Romeo.” They then switched to a SHINee-esque sound for their next few singles, but now, like every struggling rookie act, they’ve turned to Brave Brothers for a hit.
“Without U” is so great because it’s the same groovy, melodically-driven pop that defines so many Brave songs, but with all the huge synths and horn blasts you’d find in one of Sweetune’s old INFINITE hits. There’s even an electric guitar towards the end.
Basically, it’s the best of both worlds.
I’m not sure if this was a conscious decision on Brave’s part to combine ROMEO’s sound with his own, or if it just happened to turn out this way, but it works.
It’s also a better fit for ROMEO, who were a little too close to INFINITE and SHINee’s style before. On the downside, it’s also pretty dated (unlike the fresh tropical-house sound Brave just gave his own girl group, Brave Girls). But for longtime fans of Brave Brothers and Sweetune, this one is definitely a winner.
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