So… we all agree that VERIVERY should have just released Beautiful-x and called it a day, right? That song harnessed their signature funk appeal without feeling like a step back into more juvenile material. It stood out among all of the darker, more aggressive styles on Road to Kingdom, and felt perfectly suited to the summer season. Instead, the group has unleashed Thunder – a generic “hard” boy group track that learned all the wrong lessons from Kingdom.
To be fair, I’m sure this title track was in the works far before Road to Kingdom‘s finale had aired, but it stands as a serious misstep either way. Thus far, VERIVERY built goodwill around their retro sound – first with New Jack Swing and then with trendier funk elements on early-2020 standout Lay Back. With Thunder, they’ve cast that all aside. This doesn’t sound like the VERIVERY I know. Even the darker Photo from their last album managed to retain some of their rhythmic appeal. In contrast, Thunder just plods forward on tired boy group tropes.
To be fair, I have a particular bias against this kind of energy. Thunder’s tempo isn’t fast enough to dance to. Instead, its noisy trap beat clobbers you into submission with little invention or grace. It’s a joyless slog, which is something I never imagined writing about a VERIVERY track. On the plus side, there are a few nice vocal turns. I like what they’re attempting to do in the chorus, though in this case I don’t think it really works. To its discredit, Thunder is largely hookless. It just feels like the guys shouting melodically for three minutes, puffing up their chests in an attempt to hang with the big boys. I wish I could reassure them that their charm lies elsewhere. This is such a disappointment.
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