Throughout their career, The Boyz’ music has moved between bright, funky pop and darker material. It should surprise no reader of this site which sound I prefer. Like Seventeen, this group is at their best when they embrace big, shiny hooks and unflagging energy. But with international fame knocking on the door, the temptation to go dark is always there. New single Reveal dips its feet in this direction, retaining some of the group’s signature style but dulling it with generic production and a listless arrangement.
Reveal paints itself with every trendy musical flourish you could imagine, from pitched vocals to lurching synths to touches of trap. It’s a brew that’s very hard to make unique, as it’s been covered ad nauseam by countless other groups. That’s the song’s biggest hurdle. Given a sonic makeover, Reveal might have a more idiosyncratic appeal. The chorus is solid, with an ascending melody line that adds a shot of drama. The Boyz deliver it well, as they always do.
Two years ago, I ranted at length about how K-pop verses had become murky and wasted. Unfortunately, this hasn’t gotten better since that post was published, and Reveal is yet another example of a song whose verses go absolutely nowhere. There’s no discernible structure during these segments – just bits of errant melody and hip-hop that allow the members to posture and emote. This fitfulness makes it hard to fall into the track. The chorus is always there to pull you back, but it’s not strong enough to compensate for the empty space around it. Like too many boy group tracks these days, there’s an overdose of angst and trendy affectations, but very little song to back it up.
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