Review

Song Review: VERIVERY – Lay Back

VERIVERY were one of my top three rookies of last year, and much of that had to do with their distinct new jack swing sound. But, like almost every boy group in the history of K-pop, 2020 sees them “maturing” that sound into edgier territory. Not only have they switched styles, but they’ve brought in new producers as well. The result is a hit-and-miss bid to sound like their peers.

Lay Back is mostly solid, and maintains enough of their funky influence to come across as a natural progression. But, the song has trouble maintaining its momentum. In these deep house days, the electro-bass hook feels too derivative. Yet it’s a catchy little chorus, pulling from both VERIVERY’s own charm and the darker textures of agency-mates VIXX. I like how it opens up during its second half, infusing a renewed sense of melody as rhythm guitar adds a sticky groove.

In contrast, Lay Back’s verses are… there. They don’t do much at all, and are difficult to recall even moments after they’ve passed. Worse yet is the song’s awful second-verse rap break. This trope has become so predictable that it’s practically a joke by now, but Lay Back’s swaggy interlude is particularly problematic. It’s unconvincing, lazily phrased, and completely kills the track’s energy. The ascending pre-chorus is much more enjoyable, and salvages some of the momentum. But, Lay Back’s piecemeal quality makes it a frustrating experience. You can feel the tension, as if the song is being pulled between the group’s signature sound and trendier elements meant to capture a wider audience. Let’s hope this ends up being a case of growing pains on their way to a more satisfying middle ground.

 Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25

Be sure to add your own rating by participating in the poll below!

6 thoughts on “Song Review: VERIVERY – Lay Back

  1. I’ve been listening to this song all day, collecting my thoughts. Its my first comeback with VeriVery and the Deep House influences really appeal to me. Its a good song, about 8.5 for me, but just like you I needed better verses. The hook is exactly what I wanted but those verses are just nonexistent. Every single listen the verses would put me to sleep and the only verse I could remember was the rap. And oh boy, if the raps didn’t make me go CRAZY! The rapping in this song is jarring, lazy, inconsistent, and feels like it was pulled out of Exo S/C’s What A Life. When listening to the teaser I was ready to love this song, but some production choices are downright frustrating.

    How can a song be so frustrating yet so satisfying
    Also this song is literally just VeriVery’s version of SF9’s Good Guy

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    • It’s a tricky one, isn’t it? I want to love it, and based on the teasers I thought I would. But, it’s got some real clunky moments that are hard to embrace.

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      • OK so, I listened to metronome and I liked it, I wished it had a little more energy in the second half of the chorus but it goes really well with Lay Back! Thanks so much for the suggestion Ayla I really appreciate it!

        Also Nick, you’re right its really tricky, I was SO ready to give this a high 8 or maybe even a 9. But then it came out, and I was bamboozled, tricked, and betrayed. By the way thanks so much for the review and great job on finishing the EXO A-Z

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  2. The song has some charms. The less than ideal parts frankly just wash over me. Maybe I have learned to instantly tune out rap verses unless they are spot on. Rating is probably about right.

    I never really listened to Veri Very last year despite Nick’s glowing reviews. Listening again to their prior releases, yeah, that beat brings me back to my misspent youth, hah. Also, their vocals are a touch more interesting than their peers – there is a little edge of rawness in them, like they actually practiced the song. I looked up some of the music shows for Ringx3 and Tagx3 . Lordy lordy are they are actually singing live to the backing track? Wha?! Be still my heart! … I may have to start listening more to Veri Very.

    I appreciate the economy in the video – well done. Its like a combo of Exo Growl with the Shinee practice video for Lucifer (with Taemin’s moire’ shirt), with that one clever mirror effect they spent the money on, in readily available school boy costumes, with enough closeups to add just enough touches to make it a real video.

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  3. I really enjoyed VERIVERY’s first three title tracks, but I’m on the fence with this one. As someone mentioned, it does sound like SF9’s Good Guy but not as smoothly executed. The rap is lackluster and the transitions feel rough. I do like it, but I would probably have given it an 8. Unlike Good Guy, it hasn’t grown on me that much. I miss their new-jack-swing style.

    Liked by 1 person

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