Returning this week is THE BOYZ with their new single MAVERICK. This is the group’s first comeback since the release of THRILL RIDE, which just came out in early August and has been a hit for me ever since (even scoring a nomination for Best Song of 2021 in the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards – shameless plug right here). Let’s see if MAVERICK is up there with other great THE BOYZ singles.
As much as I really want to be ‘head over heels’ for MAVERICK, especially since I really enjoyed the likes of THRILL RIDE, I can’t really say I do. It is another song in which I had listened to with a straight face and equally stiff body. It isn’t a terrible song, as I always say. But it just doesn’t have that same level of excitement that THRILL RIDE threw at me. MAVERICK attempts to stand out with a bolder, darker and intense hip-hop sound, contrasting significantly with their brighter and upbeat hip-hop sound in their previous comeback. To a degree, they hit that brief. But instrumentally, I did not find MAVERICK as dynamic or unique as it could have been. Instead, I thought the backing for MAVERICK was pretty ordinary. There were some attempts to be explosive and bombastic, but nothing memorable stuck out at me. I feel like the same can be said with the vocals and rapping. The feeling I got from the members was rather muddled. Some parts I liked, such as bridge and the very epic high note we got in MAVERICK, or the vocal singing parts in the pre-chorus/chorus. Other parts felt dull and dry, such as the monotonous delivery of the song’s main hook (I had high hopes for ‘I’m a Maverick‘ when I first heard it, but the hopeful effect faded as it appeared throughout the other choruses, especially the final chorus). Or just unpleasant, like the squeamish ending to the words in the first rapping sequence that kicked off the song. Overall, MAVERICK doesn’t exceed any standard set by THRILL RIDE or their other past hits. But it was still bearable.
The trailer for this comeback sets up the premise of the music video. The members are part of this game, where the game has one rule – to not follow any rules. The person who wins the game is the Maverick. I am not too sure what the rules were, though I wonder if they are the lyrics featured on their teaser images. I assume the members have to kill one another in order to win. Anyhow, it seems that Eric is the winner and hence the Maverick, as he is the last member to appear on the screen. But there seems to be a plot twist at the end with the word/rule ‘Protect yourself from what you want’ appearing on the screen before the lights are out. We do get to see Eric make a quick glance over his shoulder upon this revelation, wary of what is about to come. I really liked the action in this video, along with the cinematography and acting from the members. It is different, intense and definitely a video to watch.
The performance does not disappoint, and I am not surprised. THE BOYZ have aimed high with their performances, and I did not expect anything otherwise. I really liked the powerful nature of this performance, with the choreography looking quite bold and dynamic. I don’t think it is their best work, but you can definitely tell of the effort and energy put behind this routine.
Song – 6/10
Music Video – 9.5/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 6.2/10