I have a major soft spot for INFINITE because they’re the first Korean boy band outside of the big three that I really stanned for. Each time they make a comeback I can’t help but feel a certain nostalgia as my mind flashes back to the first time I saw the scorpion dance or when the boys finally won No. 1 with “Be Mine.”
With that said, I’m no longer the INFINITE fan boy that I used to be. After peaking with one of the most perfect K-pop songs of all time, “The Chaser,” I had no choice but to jump ship when “Man In Love” failed to deliver and “Destiny” (while good) ditched their Sweetune sound. My weakness for all things Sweetune was enough to rekindle my interest in INFINITE when “Last Romeo” dropped, and then I even considered re-stanning after being blown away by the blistering “Back.”
Their next single was always going to be make or break between me being an Inspirit or a casual fan. Well, it’s out now, it’s called “Bad,” and it’s just not doing it for me.
Having produced both “Back” and “Destiny,” production duo Rphabet clearly has a flair for the dramatic, and they bring that over to “Bad.” It’s filled with urgent orchestral strings along with the usual trap snares and whizzing electropop common in most boy band songs, while INFINITE wail about being addicted to a femme fatale over the top of it all.
“Bad” plays like an unconventional ballad until the chorus, where INFINITE then repeat the song’s title ad nauseam over the aforementioned electropop. I can’t help but compare it to BTS’ explosive ode to raging teenage hormones, “I Need U.” That’s a song with real drama, with a real hook, where you can feel every beat and thrust like you’re right there on stage with the Bangtan Boys. Then you’ve got “Bad,” which is just one big cock tease. For a song that promises so much grandeur from the verses, the chorus is remarkably generic and outdated. It kills the vibe, man, and K-pop is nothing without a killer hook.
Ultimately, “Bad” feels more like a good b-side or one of INFINITE’s many orchestral remixes than a massive hit worthy of one of the Korea’s biggest male acts.