I nearly selected CRAVITY’s Cloud 9 as a “buried treasure” back when it was first released in April. I’m glad I didn’t, because now it’s been chosen as a summer follow-up single. And while the track isn’t anything revolutionary, its bright, upbeat sound is a welcome salve for all of the edgy, moody boy group muck that’s been forced upon us over the past few months. This is the poppy sound I had hoped CRAVITY would debut with, and the fact that they chose this to promote gives me hope that they’ll steer further in this direction.
Cloud 9 is a basic, cute boy group track. It’s a little too light and fluffy to stand as a seasonal classic, but I appreciate its devotion to a strong pop hook and upbeat, percolating production. The chorus has a welcome breeziness to it, bringing together a hooky melody and rousing chant to satisfying (if expected) effect. Better yet, Cloud 9 maintains this energy throughout its verses. Rather than drop into some awful half-time breakdown, the song forges a consistent groove, powered by tropical synths and hand-clappy beat.
With this said, Cloud 9 still feels more like a strong b-side than a memorable title track. As much as I enjoy its chorus, there’s a risk of over-repetition as we veer toward the climax. This is held in check by additional chanting elements, which bring a sense of bigness to the song’s final moments. But, an additional counter-melody would have been even better. If Cloud 9 had been released two or three years ago, I probably wouldn’t have given it the time of day. But, it has the benefit of emerging within the dark disappointment of 2020, and that makes its sunny disposition all the more attractive.
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