Seventeen, also known as the self-producing Korean pop idols (and that one group that has a very large amount of members), dropped their third full-length album called “An Ode” on Sept. 16. Of course, I went through and listened to all the songs that were on the album. What is my opinion on it? There’s no doubt about it; the album is an absolute win in my judgment.
The album itself consists of eleven tracks and was produced and written by group member Woozi and producer Bumzu with contributions from other members as well, including S.Coups, Vernon and Mingyu. There are five different versions of the album: Begin, The Poet, Hope, Truth and Real. The only differences between the versions are the photo albums, the designs of the album and photo cards each buyer receives.
Now onto the actual songs. One word to describe the album would be “unique.” There’s definitely a great variety of different moods and tones that each song compasses: dark, bright, laid-back, melancholy or charismatic. Listening to the album is like a rollercoaster (in a good way) because there are so many different vibes. To add on, the lyrics are very raw in emotion and realistic. Even if a song is about love, it’s so vivid, emotional and heartbreaking, which sets it apart from typical, sappy love songs.
The first song on the list is one of the title tracks (the title track is the main song), “HIT,” a song that was previously released as a single on Aug. 5 to foreshadow the upcoming album. It is an incredibly energetic and anthem-like electronic dance music (EDM) track with catchy rhythms and aggressive beats. The lyrics display the desire of Seventeen to write “hit” songs and climb higher as artists. The song is accompanied by a flashy music video and an astonishingly intense choreography.
Even weeks after “HIT” came out, I played the song non-stop. The song is incredible because it’s extremely catchy and upbeat, and it gets me so pumped up every time I hear it. It simply overflows with charisma and power. Hearing the song again on the album was an absolute delight due to its familiarity and ability to excite me no matter what situation I’m in.
I also greatly appreciate how different the lyrics are compared to most K-Pop songs that simply talk about a young girl or boy being in love. Instead, they sing about coming up with ideas for a “hit” song and wanting to climb up to the top of the world and sing for themselves together. The lyrics are so incredibly raw and truly display their desires of reaching the top and beyond in the music world.
The second song is called “Lie Again.” The song overall has a very melancholy mood. It gives vulnerable insight into the mind of a troubled lover who constantly lies about not needing their significant other and pushing them away. I personally love this song because of how vulnerable and raw it is. I can feel the panicked emotions and emotional turmoil. From whoever’s perspective this song is from, I feel as if I can dive straight into their mind and their relationship, and it makes me feel a great sense of sympathy for them.
“Fear” is the third song and the second title track, accompanied by a visually eye-catching music video and artful choreography. The lyrics are about refusing to accept the truth about a love gone wrong. The song has a very dark tone and the melody is very unique. The tune isn’t exactly catchy, and the song didn’t really stick onto me during the first listen. However, it definitely is one of the songs that attach onto you after several listens because I find myself playing it again and again. I find the pre-chorus to be catchy, and the vocals are incredible. When they ask, “Someone tell me what should I do,” I can sympathize with their emotional turbulence.
The fourth song is called “Let me hear you say” and is a happier track that has a catchy chorus and an almost laid-back vibe to it. The lyrics express the feelings of a lover who needs their significant other and wants to hear them say certain words, like “I love you.” I do enjoy listening to this song, and I particularly like the chorus because of its catchy melody. Other than that, the song is a little typical but still sweet.
Track number five is called “247” and is sung by the performance (dance) team of Seventeen (Hoshi, Dino, The8 and Jun). The song is slow and groovy, one that you would slowly snap your fingers and do body rolls to. The lyrics are about things humans do daily, like creating memories and breathing, and a lover thinking of their significant other every day. I think the song is very sweet, especially the lyrics, and pleasant to listen to. The overall theme of things humans do 24 hours a day, 7 hours a week is a very creative and adoring idea. The song actually surprised me at first because performance team songs are usually very upbeat, fast and designed for choreography. However, the change is a very pleasant surprise.
“Second Life,” the next song, is sung by the vocal team (Woozi, DK, Seungkwan, Joshua and Jeonghan). The lighthearted beats of the song make me smile and sucks me into a world of a fairytale animation. The lyrics are about what Seventeen would do if they had a second chance at life and about meeting their soulmate again in their second life. They sing about unknowingly passing their soulmates on the street, and I find that visual to be very adoring. I thought that the lyrics are very dreamy, as if it was a story out of a fairytale.
The sixth track is called “Network Love” and is sung by the foreign Chinese and American members of Seventeen (Joshua, Vernon, Jun and The8). The song has a very vintage and “fashion-show” sounding feel to it. However, the lyrics are a little unclear to me. I believe it’s about how, nowadays, there’s connection through the Internet, and people can socialize with others through it more than ever. I personally liked the beats and sounds of the song, but I am definitely confused with the message the song is trying to send. If the lyrics were more well-crafted and clearer, I think I would enjoy this song more.
“Back it Up” is the next song and is sung by the hip-hop (rappers) team (S.Coups, Vernon, Mingyu and Wonwoo). The song has a lot of siren sound effects and is overall very charismatic and almost arrogant, in a good way. The lyrics have a lot of confidence because they rap about their achievements and advise anyone telling them otherwise to “back it up” and look at all their trophies and awards. I personally like listening to self-confidence-themed songs, so I instantly liked the lyrics. However, I didn’t find the rapping too impressive. It’s a shame because the song would be so much more impressive if the rapping was on par with the lyrics.
Track number eight is called “Lucky” and is very upbeat and optimistic. The lyrics encourage listeners to not worry about life and to surge forward toward their dreams but also to rest and take care of themselves. I think this song is incredibly relatable as it contains lyrics such as “Why do I have so much homework?” and “Where is my salary?” I greatly appreciate how the song was aimed toward a general audience so listeners would be able to relate to the song and be encouraged to live happily. I literally clapped out loud after the line “Why do I have so much homework?” popped up.
“Snap Shoot,” song number nine, is incredibly bright and sounds straight out of a teenage beach movie. The song is about a group of friends going out on a trip and capturing their memories through pictures. I really enjoy this song because the lyrics are very adorable and written so casually as if it were actual friends conversing with each other. I think it’s also a nice touch because the song contains a lot of onomatopoeia and sound effects related to cameras. It’s a track so bright compared to a lot of tracks in the album. The song just reminds me of sunshine and beaches. It definitely makes me smile.
The last song on the list is called “Happy Ending (Korean Version).” The song was previously released as Seventeen’s first Japanese single earlier this year on May 29. The song is upbeat and catchy, especially the chorus. It compares a relationship to a movie and hopes for it to have a happy ending. I think that the lyrics are incredibly clever because the idea of using a song to compare love to shooting and watching a movie is something I’ve never seen before. Overall, other than the lyrics, I enjoy this track. In the end, Seventeen truly went beyond my expectations and amazed me with their unique music and inclusion of a variety of genres and sounds. Some songs are definitely more memorable than others. I particularly like “HIT” and “Snap Shoot”–my favorites–because of their abilities to make me bob my head to the music and smile. I was mostly taken aback by how different their music was for this album, since Seventeen is usually known for bright and energetic songs. However, the K-pop boy band dove into new genres and explored a more dark and mature concept. To add on, I will strongly advocate for the very well-crafted lyrics of all the songs. Simply listening to them really allows me to jump into the perspective of the lyricist and experience their pain, joy, emotions and daydreams with them. I give “An Ode” five out of five stars and would strongly recommend others to give the album a listen.