It would be an understatement to say that rookie group VERIVERY have very large shoes to fill. Debuting early last year as Jellyfish entertainment’s second boy group after the legendary VIXX, the group quickly established a signature sound with the bright, new jack swing of Ring Ring Ring and From Now. Although both songs theoretically fit right into my wheelhouse, i was never really enamoured with either.. Follow up Tag Tag Tag changed that, providing an addictive brew of hooks over a more sophisticated version of their new jack swing style. This brings us to Lay Back, which completely abandons their bright youthful style for an edgier and more mature vibe.
That’s not to say that Lay Back is a complete 180 shift from their previous material. It still retains much of the funk influence, which is now laced over a trendy deep house beat rather than percussive new jack swing. The result is a combination that bears as much fruit as it loses. For starters, the verses are a little munted for my taste. I understand that the goal here was to build a chic’ atmosphere using minimalistic synths, but it mostly just falls flat. The falsetto led pre-chorus is where the song massively picks up, transforming an otherwise languid build to much more interesting levels. This leads to the first part of the chorus, which hinges on the repetition of the songs title over a more pronounced and groovy electronic beat. This is arguably the catchiest hook in the songs arsenal and acts as the perfect build towards the second part of Lay Back‘s chorus, which slams in with a more developed melody and addictive synths.
Lay Back’s descent into a half time trap breakdown after the first chorus is it’s weakest point by far, and unlike ATEEZ’s Answer, it doesn’t work at all. The momentum completely stalls here, halting and destroying any sparks that the preceding chorus elicited. The warped synths are particularly irritating. Fortunately, the momentum building pre-chorus quickly comes back into the brew to salvage the songs momentum.
The most frustrating thing about this song is that when it’s good; it’s absolutely euphoric. But when it’s bad; it’s horribly bland. However, I think that the megawatt chorus will win me over eventually, regardless of all the other issues I have with the song.
Rating: 8.5 / 10
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