[Review] ATEEZ stay in a satisfying comfort zone with “Thanxx”

ATEEZ often deliver multiple music videos to support their albums, but there’s not usually much space between the two releases. It’s been nearly a month since the group dropped Inception, and this wait makes Thanxx feel like a real single of its own rather than one half of a pair. Like their Wave/Illusion release last year, the guys teased each track and had fans vote for which one should be the title. Based upon the teaser, my vote went for Inception, which eventually won. But after hearing both tracks in full, I actually prefer Thanxx.

I don’t think that this song (or any song from their new album, actually) lives up to their very best material, but Thanxx harnesses that undeniable ATEEZ energy, making the song feel satisfying all the way through. The track quickly establishes its swaggering rhythm, a blend of nimble guitar, trap beats and the occasional vocal flourish. This sound is right within ATEEZ’s wheelhouse, and remains consistent across the entire song. That isn’t to say its groove is entirely lockstep. The instrumental is at its best when the percussion becomes a bit more spontaneous.

Thanxx’s hook is more chant than melody, which works well in this context. It’s arranged with a larger-than-life heft, taking advantage of the “let’s sail the seven seas!” energy that powered much of their Treasure series. The track also builds to a great climax, as electric guitar enters to support the climb toward an exciting Jongho power note. Thanxx is really the sound of ATEEZ in their comfort zone – almost like a victory lap after their 2018-19 ascent. That makes it more comfort food than revelation, but there’s nothing wrong with that.


IATFB says: This isn’t my favorite release from them, and it’s hard to put my finger on what exactly still makes them better than the standard boy group crowd. I think they’re slightly more melodic, slightly more committed, and slightly better, so while it feels like they aren’t a group I’d normally like, they are weirdly alluring.

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