It feels like it’s been ages since Tempest made their early-March debut. The funky Bad News turned out to be a grower, though the group’s sound still existed within generic boy group tropes. But, at least they didn’t succumb to the shouty angst peddled by so many of their peers! That refreshing switch-up continues with new single Can’t Stop Shining, which aims straight for the glossy pop jugular.
We can probably thank BTS’s English-language singles for inspiring this particular brand of bright boy group pop, and that can be both a boon and a hindrance. There’s a razor-thin line between bubbly fun and inconsequential fluff. Sometimes these songs feel too sanitized for their own good. Can’t Stop Shining rides this line all the way through. Its chorus threatens to tip into the jingle-like quality that makes songs like Can’t Stop The Feeling (and Dynamite) so insipid, but it’s anchored by verses that elevate its overall appeal.
It’s nice to hear a rookie boy group tackle such a straightforward, vocal-centric song. Can’t Stop Shining’s bright synths and layered vocals make a potent match and its verses have an early-Astro style that really works. They’re loose and playful, but painted with a pop sheen that makes for a very smooth listen. And though the first and last lines of the chorus are a bit too on the nose for me, the melody makes a nice leap in the middle that gives the track a dynamic kick. I’m hesitant about how Can’t Stop Shining may age, but I could see it growing into a real standout with time.