Review

Song Review: Tempest – Dragon

Tempest - DragonTempest’s Can’t Stop Shining quickly grew into one of my favorite songs of the year, and after getting to know the group better I’m convinced this fresh, poppy sound is a perfect match for their energy. But, K-pop agencies are obsessed with showcasing versatility over building a cohesive discography, and the guys have already stumbled into their first drastic concept change. Yes, it’s true. Despite their promise, Tempest have stopped shining and started shouting.

To placate us Shiners, the group pre-released a music video for opening track Taste The Feeling on TikTok (no word on when/if it will come to YouTube). That song is nothing special, but I’ll be clutching it with a vice grip because Dragon (飛上) has to be my biggest disappointment of the year. In fact, I’m going to have to pretend it doesn’t exist. Otherwise, it taints the discography of an artist I really like.

To be clear, I think Tempest are super talented. They have some of my favorite vocals of this year’s rookies. But, Dragon is an awful 4th-gen shout-fest with unpleasant production and a downright ugly hook that’s instant headache material. It sticks out like a sore thumb alongside their other music. And on top of all that, it’s totally derivative — the latest in a long line of NCT wannabes. The song’s only oasis arrives during the pre-chorus and bridge, where the group’s vocals shine and the instrumental removes its most cloying elements. Even so, Dragon is a struggle to get through. It’s even worse than I imagined. Yuehua Entertainment, don’t do this again.

Hooks 6
 Production 7
 Longevity 7
 Bias 6
 RATING 6.5

Grade: D

22 thoughts on “Song Review: Tempest – Dragon

  1. This was a truly disgusting listen. Like, WTF happened to Tempest? Why did they stop shining and are shouting now?!?! Yuehua, WHY?!?!?!?!?!…
    Dammit, this obsession with noise music of most agencies has got to the point when it became nothing but a mental illness🤬🤬

    Rating is too high, 4.75 for me.

    #SaveKpopFromNoiseMusic

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Bad News and Can’t Stop The Shining were really slayful.
    I can’t believe this exists.
    I really can’t.
    At least if you want to show versatility please make it just like EVERGLOW who brought us LA DI DA and Pirate

    Liked by 5 people

  3. It sounds like a mashup of Stray Kids x NCT. A bit of this, a bit of that.
    The sad thing is that at this point, so many of them sound like this from groups big and small, that I only remember snippets. As in, this part sounds like … like .. like the one that goes … ah jeez.
    Anyway, I * think * I am here God’s Menu x aw whatever.

    For the record, my shouty song of the year is NCT___ “Fire Alarm”, even if it is too kitschy, because it has a clever hook, any hook that I can grab on to.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. That prechorus – oh my god I ascended to heaven with that – until they yanked me back down and I went splat on the ground with the chorus 💀

    What happened to melody people?! It really felt like they had nothing to go with the chorus and put some random words in there. I felt like everything else was going well – grand prechorus, good verses, cool rap – almost a shame that chorus threw the whole thing to bits.

    Also, the instrumental at the prechorus part sounds so much like the music of Hacking to the Gate – I don’t mind lol, it sounds fantastic!

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  5. Dragon sounds like a demo of a Cravity song influenced by NCT. That is amplified by the fact that the rest of the mini avoids this sound or approach. I’d need to see some live performances for the song to grow on me.

    It also goes without saying that this probably won’t be the only time Tempest takes this turn. From my observation, the young boy groups tend to only go towards one or two sounds for “darker” concepts until they mature and are a few years in the game. This will be amplified if Tempest sees a boost in album sales and/or has some viral performance moments during the comeback. So, we should all buckle up and hope the sound swings back to their strength at some point.

    The only other note I have from the first listen of the mini album is Hyuk. He is singing all OVER this project to the point where no one else’s voice really stood out. I’m not complaining (he sounds good!), but this is definitely a switch from their first two minis where everyone had stand out parts through the albums.

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  6. Another recent example I’m reminded of is when WEi released All or Nothing after the lighter debut with Twilight – all I can hope for is that Tempest have their own return to brighter songs like Bye Bye Bye or Too Bad after this, because this is quite disappointing. I don’t mind them trying out something new, I just wish it sounded new and not like the most basic boy group bluster song that we hear so often. They execute it well but this just doesn’t stand out or offer anything interesting to hold on to for me, and that’s a bit of a shame since their previous two singles really did stand out for me even though they were also straightforward and well-executed.

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  7. I stopped midway. I’m all with “let’s pretend it doesn’t exist” policy.
    On a side note, when the chorus came, some of your signature phrasing to describe shouty generic boy group fare immediately came to my mind (and I don’t speak English to begin with). So thank you for giving me the most satisfying words to complain about that unsatisfying trend haha.

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  8. I don’t like this, like not at all. Tempest probably was my 2nd favorite boy group debut this year (1st is Du Du Du). This was just sad and it’ll probably gain some traction for them which is disappointing. First it was DKZ now Tempest 🥺

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  9. Oh no, Tempest…

    Thankfully Taste the Feeling is pretty cute, like a cross between Cravity’s Party Rock and Twice’s Dance the Night Away.

    I kind of wish someone would do a mashup of Can’t Stop Shining/Can’t Stop the Feeling/Don’t Fight the Feeling/Taste the Feeling.

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  10. This actually sounds like two completely different songs stitched together. You have the pre chorus and bridge which are quite good and showcase some really nice vocals and then you have the “chorus” and the dance break outro? which showcase some unfortunate production choices but don’t really highlight the groups skills or individuality in any way. Its just bizarre.

    Honestly I don’t think this song is the worst offender when it comes to boy group shout a thons but the whiplash from their last title to this, combined with our overall exhaustion with this stye really pins the nail in the coffin.

    I was listening to A.C.E’s Undercover and Goblin earlier today and I was reminded that there are ways for boy groups to deliver a powerful image and a fully realized song that completely soars in its own right, no rehashed shout a thon required. If boy groups insist on tackling a “darker” or more “powerful” style, they can do it without taking the same overwrought route.

    You wanna be angsty, bring the theatrically powered and emotive melody’s Vixx was known for.
    You want powerful, soar like A.C.E with their incessant energy, backed by a cohesive yet relentless instrumental.
    Still insist on sounding a tad like NCT, pull a Don’t Call Me and make an absolutely massive vocally centric chorus your center piece.

    Obviously I am not suggesting any group copy another, every group needs to find there own sound. I am merely pointing out that there is more than one way to go “dark” per say (not that every group should). But if you do there are other (better) ways to do it.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. When they first teased this song, I was so dumbfounded. TEMPEST did well with the cuter concepts, so it shocked me when I first saw it. I was still hoping that it would turn out fine, but then I was even more disappointed… I’m a fan of noisy k-pop songs, but this just doesn’t hit, it feels like a cheap copy and mix of other popular groups (as you mentioned, NCT, this shouty chorus and ear-damaging instrumental sounds like an NCT reject that was even trashed by aespa (re: girls)). It’s a bummer, because TEMPEST could’ve been a really good rookie group with a nearly flawless discography. There was absolutely 0 reason for the concept switch. I can also mention how this track is out of place even in the context of the album. It’s all just a big question mark from me.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Well, that knocks them off the consistent list. Of the new bg 2022 debuts, only Nine-i, Tempest, Road-B, and Villain hadn’t disappointed. And Road-B has 2 songs, and Villain 1. And now Tempest released the most generic song ever. They sing and rap to a top-notch level, but there’s no zip to it. Wish they got the NTX song.

    Like

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