The Boyz delivered one of my favorite sets of summer songs with the first part of their new album this August. This was somewhat unexpected — not because the group isn’t talented, but because I never know what I’m going to get with them. Of all the groups in their standing, I can’t pinpoint a definitive sound or style. They’re expert performers, but the music has been all over the place — a sampler platter of boy group fare. Some of it matches my taste. Much of it doesn’t.
New single Watch It hits many of the stylistic points I like for The Boyz, at times recalling career highlight Prism. It’s not as melodically addictive as that track, but the slinky funk of its groove ignites similar sparks. The song is at its best when it builds to dramatic moments of showmanship during the pre-choruses and explosive bridge. These segments point toward how The Boyz might sound if they took their sonic inspirations all the way. Instead, Watch It‘s chorus retreats to a mumbly sing-talk centerpiece. This refrain grows more addictive as the song goes on and matches the muted percussion of the track, but I still think it could have gone bigger.
Fortunately, Watch It is buoyed by a great sense of dynamics. Its more subdued moments are countered by the occasional spike of aggression, lending the song an exciting sense of tension. It uses this tension to craft a structure that grows more bombastic as the track goes on. This aural storytelling is bound to give Watch It plenty of longevity. Its final thirty seconds are a real knockout, and I can’t wait to replay the song in anticipation of that payoff.