Nov 2, 2015

Seventeen's "Boys Be" Confirms That They're One Of This Year's Best Rookie Groups

Seventeen's debut earlier this year remains one of my favorites this year so far, as they entered the scene with one hell of a song, amazing stage performances and a talent in overflow. You could tell these boys had been practicing for years because they felt nothing like rookies. As I loved "Adore You" so much I had to give their first mini album "17 Carat" a try, and I definitely liked it but not much more. With this second mini album of theirs I'm happy to say I like it much, much better because every single song on it is a jam in its own way.  "Boys Be" awesome indeed. 

"Fronting" opens the album, and starts it off with quite a bang. As most fans probably know this group is separated into three units; vocal, performance and rap. "Fronting" is the rap team's song, so naturally it contains a lot of rapping. Idols doing rap is a pretty controversial subject on its own and it can vary tremendously from case to case, but all of Seventeen's rappers are well above average. 

What I mean by that is that this song is more than durable, in fact their rapping is quite enjoyable too. Hoshi, who's not a unit member, features on the song too by providing vocals in the chorus. His voice sounds great with the chill, old-school hip hop sound that the song has, and blends in perfectly with the laid-back rapping. Overall it's a great, relaxed hip hop track that sets the album off to a wonderful start. 

SEVENTEEN BOYS BE 3Up next is the title track itself; "Mansae". I mentioned it briefly in my MV review, but there's definitely more to add about the song. It's natural to draw comparisons to their debut single, mostly because they do share a very similar sound. That particular sound is very pop-ish, but with rockier influences. There's definitely more use of classic rock instruments such as electric guitars, drums and bass, but the general sound is still more pop than anything. 

Structurally there are a lot of similarities as well, as it doesn't follow a typical structure in terms of line distribution when it comes to vocal parts and rap parts. Both in "Mansae" and "Adore You" those two elements seem to effortlessly mix together and switch from one to another without causing a harsh transition. Now combining both the instrumental sound with the perfectly blended structure does make a specific sound that do set them apart musically from other groups. With that out of the way I still have to confess that "Mansae" isn't as catchy as their debut single, despite the countless similarities. 

I don't think it has anything to do with the production of the song, because I can't really complain too much about that, but more about the melody and overall flow. I can see why they might have wanted to create somewhat of a replica of their debut track as their second single, to kind of solidify their sound, but this one just isn't as catchy as "Adore You". Sometimes it's hard to make out what makes one song better than the other, but the chorus and hook of "Mansae" simply wasn't as memorable for whatever reason. In the beginning I kind of thought it sounded a bit generic almost, which isn't what you want to think, but it has grown on me since. Still I certainly prefer the other one though.

Next up is the vocal unit's own song "When I Grow Up", and this one is a grower indeed. It has more of a chill, acoustic sound and is of course written to showcase and enhance the team's vocal abilities. It's not one of those songs you'd want to dance to or bop your head along to the rhythm to, but that's actually a good thing on this otherwise upbeat mini album. It serves a needed change of pace and acts as a middle ground as it's literally in the middle of the tracklist. Apart from that I also really appreciate the beautiful melody and the flawless vocals, especially DK's voice stands out to me as being really enjoyable and calming to listen to. I can definitely see this song being a fan favorite at their concerts, as I feel it would all eventually become on big sing-along.

Following the vocal unit is the performance team's track "OMG". You might wonder what kind of song this unit may have considering their specialties lie neither in singing or rapping but in dancing, but the answer is quite obvious. "OMG" is a song that's made to perform to, which means it has more instrumental parts than the other songs do and that it sounds much more EDM-esque. Unlike some of their other tracks this one is pretty much built only on computer-made beats, riffs and effects. Part of the reason I didn't enjoy their last mini as much was that it contained a couple of songs that sounded like this one, and it's typically not a genre I enjoy. "OMG" however is ridiculously catchy and although it is a bit corny at parts the majority of it is just really fun and upbeat.

The very last song on the album is "Rock", and here all the units come back together again and perform as one whole group. This one is definitely more steamy and has lyrics whom are also more suggestive than the other songs'. In the lyrics they sing about this one person who completely rocks their world, and they cannot hide their feelings at all; quite the opposite even. Is it about sexual attraction? Most probably, but I don't see much wrong with that apart from some of the members being quite young but then again physical attraction isn't exclusive to one age group only. Musically the song is more similar to "Mansae", but it does have more EDM influences too which makes quite an interesting result. I personally really like the song, but it's not my favorite on the album.

I know this review has been a long time coming and I apologize for the delay (I'm so bad at keeping deadlines I kid you not), but I genuinely have enjoyed this mini album. I listened to it quite shortly after it came out and it has been on repeat since, because although none of the songs are amazing in that kind of revelational way where I wonder where the song has been my entire life all of them are definite jams. It's a solid, high-quality album with good performances in all aspects, and I do appreciate the different units because it gives everyone of them a genuine chance to shine. With both their debut and this follow up I can definitely say they're one of this year's best rookie groups, despite tough competition. They are talented, good-looking and have great songs. What more can you ask for?

Highlights: "Fronting", "When I Grow Up", "OMG"
Total Score: 3,8/5

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