Seventeen Your Choice

Taking a romantic turn, Seventeen is finally back with a full comeback after 8 months. Having been graced only with Japanese and solo singles this year, Carats are overjoyed at the 13-member group’s return. The 6-year-old K-Pop group quite recently announced their newest project,Power Of ‘Love,’ which also happens to include their 8th mini-album, ‘Your Choice.’ With 6 tracks, ‘Ready to love’ was selected as the lead single that was released on 18th June 2021.

The EP is divided into 2 parts with the 2nd half consisting of sub-unit songs. Also, as self-producing idols, we can clearly see their contributions in the music-making process from Woozi to Vernon. With Seventeen’s label, PLEDIS merging with HYBE, it is no surprise that HYBE’s CEO’s Bang PD would be involved in the comeback. Along with him, PLEDIS’ producer, BUMZU is also involved in the making of the title track with Woozi taking the reins. Not only that, Woozi happens to be the youngest idol as of date with over 100 songs to his name according to KOMCA. He has taken part in making 5 out of 6 tracks of ‘Your Choice’ while writing some of the lyrics for all 6 of them. Well, without any delay, let’s get into this delightful EP that shows us the different types of love.

“The key point of Power of Love’ is love and empathy. There are different forms of love in our daily lives, and that’s what the project is about.” – Mingyu

Source: @pledis_17 on Twitter

 

Heaven’s Cloud

The album starts with the exciting ‘Heaven’s Cloud.’ While many believed it to be dreamy and a ballad, it is an upbeat pop song that could even stand alone as the title track. Heavily layered with experimental sounds, ‘Heaven’s Cloud‘ is actually pretty light and chirpy, like an audio version of a slice of life Studio Ghibli film. The song describes heaven’s cloud as a place and that floaty-cocoon-like warmth is what it feels like when one is in love and everything else just disappears. The lyrics feel poetic too especially when Dino effortlessly raps, “The heart’s winter in shades/Is covered by colorful watercolor/Everyday miracle repeats forever.”
But if you think it’s going to be your usual repetitive, peppy song, you’re wrong as the music stops suddenly before the chorus, allowing us to clearly hear the nuanced vibratos and the hint of pitch-shift in Joshua’s chorus as he sings, “Give me your, give me your/Give me your give me your/Love, love cloud.” ‘Heaven’s Cloud’ is hence an escapist fantasy packed with intricate instrumentals and hidden vocals.

 

Ready to love

As the title track, ‘Ready to love‘ is more dynamic than the softer ‘Heaven’s Cloud‘ that was chosen as the intro. It’s arranged with tons of synth drums and samplers but it’s more cheerful than the usual dance-pop title tracks of the group. The 8-bit gravelly texture during the pre-chorus and chorus feels like the last missing piece that adds the intensity we are so used to from Seventeen’s energetic summer bops. DK harmonizing with the backing vocals during the bridge right before the boys’ dance in the rain, also emboldens the overt romantic confession that this R&B song happens to be.
The music video makes pronounced use of pastel themes and rose quartz particularly, which is Seventeen’s official color. So, it’s not too far-fetched to believe that the healing pink color symbolizes love and maybe the group’s love for Carats at that. Even if we don’t go that deep, the friends-turned-lovers trope is pretty prominent. Fans also noticed the callback to their recent sub-unit single ‘Bittersweet‘ with Wonwoo and Mingyu in opposing phone booths labeled as friends and lovers while they sing, “My feelings grew after I met you/Just friends that’s not enough for me.”

 

Anyone

Seventeen doesn’t shy from grand arrangements as ‘Anyone‘ is full of piercing electric riffs and alt-rock vibes. With underlying synth drums, this is an intense tropical-house track worthy of being the third title track. It doesn’t help that the layered instrumentals following the beat drop leave you captivated and breathless with Seungkwan, in the end, singing, “I love you cause I can’t give up.
Similarly, the concept behind the song is powerful with mature choreography and costumes. The boys compare love to an unchanging rule which doesn’t let anyone else have a say, thus making their love eternal. S.coups’ verse slows it down even more for us, letting us enjoy the accompanying electric percussion. However, the studio-autotuned version seems to not do adequate justice to his baritone rap after hearing him sing live for the music show performances.

 

GAM3 BO1

With Vernon taking part in the composition of this track, it has that energy that is quintessential Vernon, which is why anyone can clearly guess that this fun track belongs to the Hip-Hop unit. With heavy and effective use of autotune and glitchy midi effects, it’s tracks like ‘GAM3 BO1‘ that always make Seventeen’s albums so versatile. Similar to ‘Chilli,’ another Hip-Hop unit track, we can’t help but jam to the otherwise TikTok-esque hyper-pop sound.
However, we might have to reach a bit to unpack the theme of love going on in this album. The love here seems to be pretty platonic as the gamer states that he doesn’t need anyone other than his gamer friend. This rebellious track further cracks us up with gen-z references like “8-bit coins, I was chasing/Now there are bitcoins,” making us wonder whether ‘GAM3 BO1’ will replace ‘Very Nice’ for Seventeen’s concert encores.

 

Wave

As expected by the Performance team, ‘Wave’ shows us a sexier and mature version of Seventeen with this disco-pop track. With mysterious tones to the hooks’ echoing effect, ‘Wave‘ is soothing yet bold with an underlying bassline that makes it the perfect clubbing song. The key change from falsetto to a reverberating voice is similar to the contrasting delicate arrangement during the bridge. This pattern makes us ready for the last chorus whose abrupt ending doesn’t feel so abrupt due to the way the mesmerizing chorus itself is punctuated with The8’s sudden deep voice, “You can find freedom, wave.”
While the track is new and experimental, the song is still about the age-old enemy of love, i.e., time. Wishing for time to stop so that one gets to spend more time with their lover, Hoshi and Jun outline this struggle in charming raspy voices, “Your every cell wants more freedom.”

 

Same dream, same mind, same night

The EP comes to a close with the Vocal team’s track, ‘Same dream, same mind, same night.’ Very reminiscent of the 90s boyband, brass instruments and retro samplers are used here. However, these don’t overpower the vocals, thus keeping the spotlight on the Vocal team’s strengths. This is evident especially after the chorus when the tempo changes and the instruments take a backseat. Woozi lays the path for the next verse as he sings, “No matter what happens/ Don’t worry, I’m by your side.”
Same dream, same mind, same night‘ might be laid-back but it’s more of a ballad than R&B, as the song happens to be that point in a relationship where both the people realize that they want to be with the other forever. The theme of eternal love from ‘Anyone‘ is repeated again as Jeonghan sings, “Promise me eternity if you feel the same way as I do.”

 

Seventeen weaves a story of love and courage as they emphasize staying true to our emotions with songs that all feel like the title track. ‘Your Choicefocuses on “various moments of love that can be encountered in life, expressing honest and colorful feelings of love.” So, looks like the album succeeded since it allows the listener to feel the love that the group poured into it. With such a romantic outlook, the EP was an absolute joy to listen to. Carats and Indian Carats especially feel the same way as they showed their appreciation by charting all of the songs as well as the album on iTunes.

 

What did you think about the bright turn that Seventeen has taken with ‘Your Choice?’ Which track was your favorite? Let us know.