Song Review: The Boyz – Breaking Dawn

Never trust Google translate, at least out of context (and especially when trying to translate from Japanese). I don’t know how I misconstrued whatever article I “read,” but I had it in my mind that The Boyz’ new Japanese single was going to fall within the future funk genre. Maybe they were talking about a b-side? Whatever the case, I’d set my expectations accordingly, imagining how awesome this sound could be when reflected through The Boyz’ performance-heavy prism and given a cyberpunk makeover.

Or, maybe Google was right, and genres have become so fluid that the brisk percussion underlining Breaking Dawn’s verse counts as a future funk influence? Whatever the case, this track sounds more like an extension of the group’s K-pop work. And once I got over my initial disappointment, it’s not bad. The group has been moving closer to EXO territory of late, and Breaking Dawn has moments straight out of the SM playbook. I mean, that power note during the climax? Pure Yoo Young-Jin drama.

I’m not so impressed by Breaking Dawn’s inert, spoken-word chorus. Subsequent listens smooth out the transition, but this still feels like a missed opportunity to go big and melodic. The song’s verses are better, creeping along a tense instrumental. The pre-chorus brings a shot of vocal firepower that’s lacking in most other parts of the track, and acts as a welcome mediator between the hip-hop heavy verses. And speaking of those verses, I appreciate the intensity of the rap in that second one. It’s tied strongly to the existing instrumental, but brings a new texture to the track. With that said, I can’t help but long for that future funk workout that (for now) only exists in my imagination.

 Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8


13 thoughts on “Song Review: The Boyz – Breaking Dawn

  1. This song has a lot of potential with those persistent eighth notes, but it completely squanders that by layering a conventional kpop song on top. I’m hearing in my mind Stray Kids “District 9” as reinterpreted by SuperM.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The chorus (except that one sung line) really kills the mood for me, which is a shame cause I like the verses and the pre-chorus sounds really good. Sunwoo’s rap sections are great, too. But why that chorus, God?!


  3. I think you got the future funk from ONF’s Beautiful Beautiful cause I saw an album description that called it future funk so you probably got the two mixed up? Cause no way Breaking Dawn is future funk. Maybe if the future is a dystopian hellscape? Not that it’s a bad song, it’s just long gone are the days of Giddy Up and I am mourning.


  4. I really like this song EXCEPT for that chorus. My one friend compared this song to tattoo. They said:

    “If tattoo’s chorus was all of their voices singing chorus together, lord of synthetic drum/bass but missing a sense of harmony at times, breaking Dawn is the opposite. While tattoo had too much in the chorus, breaking Dawn has not enough.”

    I feel that exact way. While tattoo chorus didn’t have a ton of dimension, I still felt like it propelled the song forward. Breaking dawn’s chorus is just…barren. Now it will probably grow on me, but it will take some time.

    On the bright side, the VOCALS is where this song is at. I was amazed at how crisp and clear the vocals sounded. The bridge was enhancing as well. 8/10 for me. It’s a good song, just not a great one.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Since I heard the audio yesterday, I was looking forward to Nick’s review, knowing how frustrated he’d be about the whole future funk think.

    I think google translate’s big issue is it cannot translate phrases or culture. For instance, in Mandarin the phrase 江湖 (Jiang Hu) translates to “Lakes and Rivers” literally, but actually it means roughly “The community of the martial world”, a concept in Chinese culture, which is pretty hard to translate. Something like that may have happened.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ah yes, the SM Playbook. I am familiar with and weak for that style.

    The rolling, echoing drums (especially in the beginning with the ringing sounds) are so awesome! I was immediately excited to hear them, probably because they reminded me a little of Drum Tao (a Japanese ensemble).

    I like a lot of the song, but the chorus is… not great. It sounds like they’re saying “breaking down” instead of “breaking dawn” (not sure which they intended?) and the dragging, lowering effect of the line just pulls the momentum of the song down with them. It would be better if that was used sparingly at the end of a more melodic chorus, to signify the end of a section and prepare us for verse 2.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I keep wondering why their label is releasing original Korean songs for their Japanese releases. Seems like a lazy move, but if you’re selling it to people who already like Kpop, why not?

    I don’t remember if Tattoo did it, but at least this one has a little Japanese near the end.

    Don’t have any thoughts on the song itself. Maybe I’ll warm up to it listening to the actual album.


  8. I love the prechorus. The chorus is a disappointment after that. Who knows, it might grow on me after a few listens. It definitely sounds unique, I like that percussion.


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