Review

Song Review: The Boyz – Echo

The Boyz - EchoI don’t often write about K-pop’s many OST releases, but The Boyz have filmed an entire music video for their new track Echo. The song supports the Solo Leveling webtoon, and encapsulates my general feelings about The Boyz: they’re an immensely talented group with charisma to spare, too often let down by subpar material.

This wasn’t always so. The group’s initial roll out fused their talent with razor-sharp title tracks – infectious and unique. But, 2021 was not kind to their discography. While it may not be a promoted title track, Echo continues this pattern of diminishing returns. As always, the members’ skill is omnipresent. Both the rap and vocals are super solid and I love when they all join together for the chorus. The vocal arrangement gives major EXO vibes, even if the beat leans closer to NCT. But, that’s the problem. As popular as they are, I should be able to use The Boyz’ music as a reference for other groups. Instead, a song like Echo chases the sounds of its peers in an uninspired way.

Though Echo’s “my shot’s on fire” climax elicits major eye rolls, my ears perked up at its inclusion of electric guitar (also peppered throughout the verses). More elements like this might have helped Echo stand out, but the real issue here is a lack of hookiness. The track trudges along with plenty of attitude, neglecting to find a verse or chorus that sticks in any meaningful way. I’m a little surprised, as the song’s producers (1Take and TAK) are responsible for many killer tracks. Unfortunately, this time around everything feels stuck on autopilot.

Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 7
 Bias 7
 RATING 7.25

13 thoughts on “Song Review: The Boyz – Echo

  1. It’s funny that all these aggro Kpop songs have gorgeous pre-choruses that speak to K-pop’s incredible melodic songwriting. Unleash the melodies and make that the whole song!

    That being said, the pre-chorus and bridge are the only standouts for me here. I love that the pre-chorus speeds up the bass to build excitement instead of relying on percussion. It feels fresh.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Re: building excitement.
      Percussion in a prechorus to build to a chorus is so overused these years. Every single damn time. This one still has it, but it is toned down in volume.

      rat tat tat tat
      rat.a.tat rat.a.tat rat.a.tat rat.a.tat
      rat a tatatatatatatatatatatataaa
      TATATATATATATATATATATATABOOM
      (empty beat)
      Chorus!

      There are other ways, people!
      Shinee “Lucifer” is of course the songwriting primer of building and dropping tension.

      Like

      • oh my god it is SO OVERUSED!

        I know the candy floss sound of this song won’t be for everyone, but it’s my favorite transition from verse to chorus in some time. Perfectly sets up the hook without feeling jarring or predictable:

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        • Ha! Bells! This song has bells! There are not too many song outside of Christmas music with bells.

          But seriously, when did a “prechorus” become a required element of pop music? I ponder this thought every night as I sing to my kids at bedtime. The usual evening request list doesn’t even have verses. All classics, no verses, no prechoruses, one bridge. Over the Rainbow, Moon River, Let it Be, Oh Shenandoah, Octopus Garden, Rainbow Connection.

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  2. Yeah, its alright! I heard a lot of Exo styling circa Monster era in it as well, with a splash of The Eve in there, which is fine by me.

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  3. A Solo Leveling OST feels like a pretty big deal given it’s popularity. Good on TBZ for snagging that.

    Song’s cool. I think the chorus is a bit poorly done however. I do agree with Myma in that the verses vaguely remind me of EXO’s Monster.

    Abt ur point on TBZ lacking an identity, heavy agree on that. It feels even weirder given their positioning within the current BG landscape. I’d say they’re right up there with TXT, SKZ, ATEEZ, and Enhypen. And while I have some critiques with those groups as well, they at least an identity or at least a geniune direction for their music. The Boyz did have that at one point but now I feel like they return every comeback sounding like another popular boy group. And with them being so big and being pretty deep in their careers (think they turn 5 later this year) it’s a bit concerning.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Is it that slow of a week to have to review an OST? Rocket punch and cherry bullet have multiple buried treasures worth looking at…

    Like

  5. out of curiosity i havent really seen u write that many buried treasures for tbz so what are some ones u like that u havent written about

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    • According to iTunes, my most-played tbz b-sides (some of which have been buried treasures already) are:

      1. Complete Me
      2. Prism
      3. Clover
      4. Insanity
      5. Water
      6. L.O.U
      7. Text Me Back
      8. Shine Shine
      9. Just U
      10. Summer Time

      Like

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