[Review] The Boyz’s “Right Here” has a lot going on, but its unrelenting energy wins out

I wasn’t as sold on The Boyz’ 2017 debut as most seemed to be, but this spring’s ebullient Giddy Up hinted at incredible promise for the rookie group. They seemed poised to take up SHINee’s 2013-era electro-funk-pop sound, which has been sorely missed over the past few years. And after a bump in the road (July’s laid-back KeePer), they’re delivering on that potential with the exhaustingly uptempo “Right Here“.

For this comeback, The Boyz have enlisted producer Albi Albertsson. It was a smart move, as his sonic touchstones are all over the track. “Right Here” could easily have been taken from a pre-2016 VIXX album, and pulses with unrelenting energy. This is the kind of big sound that large-configuration groups were made for. Every element is bursting at the seams, bandied about by the group’s twelve members with enough speed to render listeners dizzy. From the opening moment, we’re plunged into an aggressive tapestry of rowdy vocals and wall-of-sound electro-funk glory.

In fact, there may be a bit too much going on. It’s hard to keep so many pieces balanced, and “Right Here”’s oddly compressed mixing buries much of the song’s potential. There are some great harmonies and ad-libs at play, but everything seems to be funneled towards the same musical range. With a song this propulsive, a greater sense of dynamics could have really worked wonders. With that said, “Right Here”’s sheer energy is enough to give it an extremely refreshing appeal. It’s been awhile since a track went all out from start to finish — no moody breakdowns or slow-burn builds necessary.

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