[Review] DRAGON – TEMPEST

TEMPEST is nominated for Best New Male Group of 2022, while their last comeback single is nominated for Most Underrated Song of 2022. Support TEMPEST and your other favourite artists, songs and performances in the 2022 KPOPREVIEWED by clicking the link here to vote.

TEMPEST is back after a quick turnaround from their August comeback with Can’t Stop Shining and second mini-album (not yet reviewed, but will be reviewed). This time around, the group is promoting their third mini-album release, ON and ON, and the new lead single Dragon – both of which dropped on Tuesday this week. The single Taste The Feeling, which is also featured on this new mini-album, is also being promoted with a music video release (and I will be reviewing this some time into the future, as well).

Dragon is definitely a 180° change from their more pop centric Can’t Stop Shining, which I really enjoyed (so much so that it is now nominated for Most Underrated Song of 2022 in the 2022 KPOPREVIEWED Awards – sorry about the duplication and shameless plug). While I am not too bothered by the switch-up of style, my biggest concern with Dragon is that it doesn’t offer anything new in terms of output in the KPOP scene. Described as a hybrid trap song, Dragon is a somewhat solid track. It manages to put the members on display with solid display of vocals (i.e. the pre-choruses) and rapping (i.e. the powerful rapping we get in the verses). This is one aspect of Dragon that I really enjoyed. But unfortunately, it doesn’t strike me to be a memorable song. The choruses relied on shouty-like motif that didn’t give Dragon the opportunity to really hook me in. Whilst on the topic of hooks, Dragon was lacking in this department, as well. The instrumental was probably the most riveting aspect of the chorus, but it got repetitive by the time we got to the second chorus if I am being honest. Had the song been memorable by way of a more substantial hook, a less predictable instrumental or maybe a little creativity with the delivery of the chorus, Dragon could have been much more. But unfortunately, that wasn’t the case and we are left with a song that makes me want to relive their debut and previous comeback.

With a title as cool as Dragon, I kind of wished the music video featured more of the mystical beast. The glimpse of it that we did get was definitely serves as awesome peak. But I wished they had teased out the presence of the dragon a bit more. Aside from that, the video feels like your edgy styled music video, which works well with the song. I did quite liked the blue background with the white strips of fabric hanging above. That actually looked quite cool. I found the masks scenes to be a bit scary, but it worked with the edgy style quite well.

The performance for this comeback was just as you would expect. It is intense and has a powerful oomph to it, which complements the hybrid trap that we get in the song. I did like the kicks in the pre-choruses, which worked well in hyping up the performance. But nothing really stood out from this expected routine.

Song – 6.5/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 6.8/10

[Review] Can’t Stop Shining – TEMPEST

Next review from yesterday’s list of comebacks is TEMPEST, who made their first ever comeback with Can’t Stop Shining and the mini-album SHINING UP. This comeback follows their debut with Bad News and It’s Me, It’s We. I am glad that they were able to get over the first hurdle of their careers – making a comeback. It is quite common for groups to debut and then disappear. And I am glad TEMPEST did not succumb to that fate, especially following their debut which grew on me following its review.

The three minutes that Can’t Stop Shining goes for was by far one of the most pleasant three minutes I have heard in KPOP recently. For this comeback, TEMPEST goes down the dance pop route with their track. The instrumentals that start off Can’t Stop Shining were very airy and breezy. There was a beat to it, but it was kept light. The chorus is when Can’t Stop Shining peaks, with a relatively more robust backing. But instead of being ‘noisy’, the refreshing energy and subtle groovy vibes we get in the chorus thanks to the synths and beats keeps in line with the light, airy and breezy descriptions I had already used to describe Can’t Stop Shining. Most of the vocals were smooth and soft to a certain degree, but they manage to also come off as vibrant. Their vocals, especially during the chorus, brought a smile to my face and leaves a positive impression on the song, overall. Even the rapping in the second verse was refined to show intensity but also fit the rest of the song very well. The stripping of the instrumental for the bridge is pretty cliché, but the reveal of the piano was nicely done. The launch back into the final chorus was probably the highlight (as it usually is intended to be) as it was the most dynamic aspect of Can’t Stop Shining. I do think other parts of the song could have been slightly more dynamic (i.e. some of the vocals) but still allow Can’t Stop Shining to stay within the confines of being pleasant. But as it is, Can’t Stop Shining is a successful comeback track in my opinion!

Based on the start of the video, I was expecting something edgy and urban out of this comeback – either through the video or the music. The abandoned room and the anger on one of the members’ face (i.e. the guy with the skateboard) sold this idea to me. But it turns out, I read too much into it. The whole point of the start was the home video aesthetic, which featured throughout the rest of the video subtly. The pop and pleasant nature of the song comes through, taking the video in a completely different direction. We get colour through the flowery scenes. We get breezy from the shots outdoor on the beach. And we get a whole bunch of smiles from the members. Overall, a neat video that works well with the song.

The chorography for this comeback was nice. Nothing stood out at me as an impressive or mind-blowing moment. But the routine worked well with the song and the pop vibes that I described above.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 8.3/10

[Review] Bad News – TEMPEST

Making their debut yesterday (after a two-week delay due to COVID) was TEMPEST, the latest addition to YUEHUA Entertainment’s family (the home of EVERGLOW, YENA, WOODZ and UNIQ). They kick things off with the single Bad News and their first mini-album, It’s Me, It’s We. The male group consist of seven members – Hanbin, Hyeongseop, Hyuk, Lew, Hwarang, Eunchan and Taerae. You may recognize Hyeongseop and Lew, who promoted as a duo (Hyeongseop & Euiwoong) back in 2017 and we last saw them promoting Love Tint in 2018. They also participated in Produce 101 Season 2. Member Hanbin participated in I-Land, while member Hwarang participated in Under Nineteen.

Bad News was a decent debut track. It isn’t impressive nor hits anything out the park, but it was a good introduction to this new group. I much appreciated the bright and energetic profile of the song, which felt somewhat refreshing in this day and age. The members and producers did a good job of making this a chirpy and funky track, especially with a song title like Bad News. You don’t really expect sunshine and blue skies when experiencing bad news, but that is what the impression I got when I listened to the song initially. But while I did appreciate the bright and energetic atmosphere and colours of the song, the instrumental was pretty standard at best. The glitchy start to the final chorus was pretty decent, refocusing my attention onto the song. It actually took me a while to work out that was part of the song (and not my internet connection playing up again). As for the other aspects of Bad News, the member’s vocals were pretty solid. There was some really smooth vocal deliveries in the pre-chorus which I really enjoyed. Elsewhere, the members were quite satisfying to listen to. I do think the vocals could have gone further, with ad-libs at the end would have been nice. As for the rapping in Bad News, it was all fantastic. I quite liked the whispery raps we got at the start of the bridge. Paired with the music, it was my favourite part of Bad News. So what could have made the song better? For sure, punchier hooks would have been great. We would have gotten more out of the members, and this potentially could have taken Bad News to the next level. The instrumental could also have had some memorable moments as well. Given that Bad News had a funky profile as well, something memorable in the instrumental department could have easily been incorporated, given that is what funky music is known for. There were some decent hooks in the song already, but as I mentioned at the start, nothing felt impressive.

The music video is standard at best, just like the song. While it fits the bill with its bright colours and cheerful and smiley demeanour in the video of the members, it was fairly plain. This is keeping in mind that EVERGLOW’s (their senior labelmate) music videos have always been very cool and aesthetic. And this just felt ordinary. Maybe the whole point of the video was to introduce us to the members, which it did just fine. But I wanted more out of the visual component of this debut.

The performance was pretty good. Nothing that memorable once again, but I have to commend the members for their stage presence. They performed and really portrayed that energetic and bright energy mentioned earlier in a very confident manner. They don’t come off as rookies whatsoever. Maybe those survival shows did pay off as it gave some of the members stage/performance experience.

Song – 7/10
Music Video – 6/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 6.9/10