Seventeen has always been associated with playfulness and quirkiness, but not this time. The 13-piece multinational boy band has returned with its long-awaited single “Fear,” which features the act in a totally new light -- or rather darkness.
“This is a song that will showcase the darkest side of Seventeen. It explores our inner feelings of ‘fear,’ which will be able to draw out new sides of us,” said Woozi, who took part in crafting the song, at the band’s showcase for its new album in Seoul on Monday.
“Fear,” a groovy rhythm and blues-based dance track abundant with thumping bass and soaring vocals, leads Seventeen’s third full-length album, “An Ode.”
The introspective song touches on the feeling of fear and likens its agony to “poison,” also the Korean title of the song. The track’s sleek and sensual choreography features a move where the members pretend to sniff and drink dangerous poison.
The bandmates said they tried to relay the dark emotions they face in their creative process, which has helped them to develop as musicians.
“The gist of our choreography is the part where we drink up our inner fear and darkness. In the beginning of the song, Wonwoo takes poison, and it spreads to other members, after which they start dancing,” said Hoshi.
“We prepared for this album with delicacy and scrutiny. I think this album could be our game changer,” added S. Coups, who is credited as lyricist along with Vernon.
Clad in clean-cut black suits that befitted the album’s dark concept, the members went on to address the drastic shift in the group’s sonic scape, as it was the first time they had tried out a mature style.
Asked whether they feared listeners’ reactions to the change, Woozi said, “We were afraid of it, but it wasn’t about our fans’ preferences. It was about the pressure that we should show more various sides of us now that we have reached this point in our career.”
He continued, “I think that ‘join’ (new music style) came naturally. We’ve done bright, sad and emotional ones, and we all saw eye to eye that it was time to talk about our own fear. In the process of expressing such a feeling, ‘Fear’ came to this world. I think we did a good job in turning that fear into music.”
Regarding the group’s musical path, S. Coups said, “Rather than changing our musical direction, ‘Fear’ depicts our own current situations and sincerity. Our goal is to keep making music that best represents our present.”
The 11-track album also features “Hit,” the group’s August release, “Let Me Hear You Say” as well as “247,” “Second Life,” “Network Love” and “Back it Up,” songs from the group’s units.
After its debut in 2015 with the EP “17 Carat,” Seventeen became one of the most prominent boy bands in K-pop, with hits like “Very Nice,” “A-Teen” and “Pretty U.”
Having kicked off its world tour in Seoul earlier this month, Seventeen is set to visit cities including Osaka, Jakarta, Bangkok, Manila and Kuala Lumpur.
By Hong Dam-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)