The title of new boy group Tempest’s debut proved to be prophetic, as the guys delivered bad Covid news that delayed the release of their first album. Now that all the members have recovered, we can finally sink our teeth into their own Bad News. Tempest score bonus points for debuting with bright, rollicking energy where most of their peers opt for dark and aggressive sounds. But, Bad News struggles to find a hook worth raving over.
Hailing from Yuehua Entertainment, I predict Tempest will follow a similar path to label-mates Everglow. In other words, their title tracks will likely waffle between genres and concepts. I’d love for the guys to stick with Bad New’s funky sound, but the current reality of the K-pop industry makes that an unlikely proposition. This song does a good job proving that brighter fare can still be a nice showcase for engaging rap verses. Bad News is quite intense in places, but it’s never angsty or brooding. Tempest spark plenty of energy, bringing personality to the track. The verses offer the best showcase for this potential.
I wish Bad News would have built itself around a stronger chorus. Like so many melody-averse boy group tracks, the central hook is a series of shouts and exclamations rather than a tightly-structured refrain. It feels a little empty, even if the energy remains spirited throughout. And without a dynamic chorus to look forward to, the track fails to live up to its full potential. Luckily, its swaggering energy still makes for a strong debut.