We can now see ourselves making our way to the “pro” side of the Seventeen fence thanks to the strength of both A1 and this album.
First, lyrically, this is an improvement over the last few releases. While there are still a few hit-or-miss lines, it doesn’t seem to be nearly as prominent as it was in the beginning for them. Even some of the lines that don’t quite make sense to us seem to boil down to cultural differences more than anything else.
The production on this project is top notch, something we noticed with A1 but it truly on display here. Everything sounds distinct and there is so much energy in every moment. You can feel the thrust of the emotion in the tracks and beatwork does its best to project a mood and accomplishes it every time. We have to commend the members and Pledis team who sat down and really took their time to compose all of this. It can be difficult to make so many songs with their own individual vibes work together but they managed to pull it off.
Now for the downside.
In our last review we said the group was lacking some kind of “it” factor and, we thought, they had gotten past it with the pre-release tracks that we had seen. Now, with the full album out, we know what it is; the level of enthusiasm–or lack thereof–in the vocals for a lot of the tracks. Part of the reason that our favorite tracks ended up being so is because they are the ones with the most performance energy. There are other songs (like Lilili Yabbay) that have that energy but just didn’t strike our fancy, but almost every track on here has a moment where you wonder what take they were one and how late it was in the studio because some of it sounds like the singers are going through the motions. This dynamic doesn’t make the songs sound bad, but it can make it hard for some listeners to connect and stay engaged passed initial impressions.
We still think this album is worth checking out, though. It may not make you fall in love with Seventeen, but it will give you an appreciation for them as well as understand why their fans go so hard for them. We just need for them to put as much energy in the audio side of their repertoire as they do the visuals and dancing and they’ll have us.
Our favorite tracks are Change Up, Bring It, Trauma, Rocket, and Flower. The most skippable tracks are Campfire and Without You.