Song Review: The Boyz – No Air

With their past few releases, rookie group The Boyz has begun to develop a high-energy, funk pop sound that reminds me of SHINee at their most upbeat. Both Giddy Up and Right Here point towards a style I’m eager to hear more of — especially given 2018’s trend of brooding mid-tempos. For that reason, it’s hard not to see No Air as a disappointment. While the song is solid throughout, its adherence to tropical pop’s most basic tropes is a bit of a buzz kill.

Quite frankly, I thought K-pop would have churned through this specific style over a year ago. I’m beginning to think that “tropical” has become a permanent sub-genre within the industry’s once vast collection of sounds. And, I’m almost at the point of making peace with that. Almost. For now, I’m trying to look past the trendy ornamentation and right into the root of a song.

No Air’s chorus-esque hook is one of those instances where the producers have strung a couple of catchy melodic phrases together like loops in a beat. These fragments aren’t particularly developed or interconnected, but they land well enough on their own. The verses are less memorable, despite being more fleshed out. The vocals mostly just ride the familiar beat without adding much to the overall construction. Oddly, the song’s repetitive post-chorus hook is its most dynamic moment. This is positioned just before the languid bridge, and repeated once more as No Air reaches its conclusion. The instrumental briefly revs up with a chugging electronic beat that could have spawned a much more interesting single. As it stands, the track feels more like style than substance — and it’s a style that’s long since passed the point of over-saturation.

 Hooks 7
 Production 7
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8



9 thoughts on “Song Review: The Boyz – No Air

  1. Actually, I quite like No Air, which surprises me. Empty choruses top the list of biggest song-killers for me. Still, as far as empty chorus songs go, this one isn’t half bad, and I do enjoy the verses well enough. The rap section of the bridge is a complete 180-it’s easily my favorite part of the song and one of my favorite bridges of the year. The bridge alone adds a point or two to my personal rating. I love the build of power as the pitch of the rapping increases. The entire album is much more experimental than I expected, too. It plays with themes of dissonance and the songs fit the season, though I hope they’ll jump back to a more Right Here-esque sound next time around. All in all, No Air isn’t what I hoped or what I expected, but I enjoy it all the same.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. i actually prefer laid-back chill sound/style of the boyz over their overwhelming and sugary pop tracks. the styling is on point, the bridge is wonderful, but i wish there were more space for sunwoo’s killer rap. on top of that, strangely all of their voices sound unfamiliar to me.


  3. I was disappointed on the first listen of No Air. I loved Giddy Up and Right Here so I was looking forward to more of that style of music. But it grows on me more and more every time I listen to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: The Top 10 K-Pop Artists of 2018 | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

  5. Extremely late comment here: I was very disappointed at first. However, like Don’t Wanna Cry, this track has grown on me a ton, completely against my expectations. That said I do hope they will come back with a more energetic, fun sound next time.


  6. Pingback: The Top Ten Best Songs by THE BOYZ | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

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