Much like Omega X’s Stand Up from earlier this summer, WEi’s new single Maldives reinvents the group as summertime beach boys. I’m not sure why it takes a Japanese release to dabble in this fun, upbeat sound, but I’m glad to hear the guys let down their guard and deliver something fresh and bubbly.
Maldives is quite formulaic, but in a way we don’t hear too often from boy groups these days. It’s at its best when leaning into the piano house beat that weaves in and out of the track, and at its worst when it shifts tempo and energy for no discernable reason. Yes, I’m a broken record when it comes to these momentum-killing production choices, but Maldives has more strengths than detractions. Overall, the song is light and airy and well-suited to the beachy setting spotlighted in its music video.
What I’m missing (and what separates this from the superior Stand Up) is a killer melody. The chorus comes close, delivering a series of wispy hooks that go down easy. But without a memorable calling card, Maldives fades into the bright, summertime boy group ether. On a playlist, it might act as a pleasant bridge between songs, but it’s not the obvious highlight that’ll elicit cheers of excitement as soon as it comes on. Instead, Maldives gets by on the briskness of its energy. You may not recall it once the next song plays, but you’ll certainly be nodding your head for three easy, breezy minutes.