SEVENTEEN – Face The Sun | Album Review

Track List

Darl+ing
HOT
DON QUIXOTE
March
Domino
Shadow
’bout you
IF you leave me
Ash

 

When K-pop boy group SEVENTEEN announced the release of their 4th studio album Face The Sun, my expectations were off the roof, and that is probably where it all went downhill. I should have kept my expectations low, as all I was doing was setting myself up for disappointment.

In 2021, SEVENTEEN released two strong and distinctive mini albums, Your Choice and Attacca, both characterized by having firm individual personalities and sounds, so I was pretty confident that Face The Sun was gonna go down the same path. Boy, was I wrong…

HOT – a lukewarm title track 

The title track HOT is a hard-hitting hip-hop-esque track, which… is not exactly something new or unheard of in Kpop, but as you’ll see that’s sort of the theme with this album. 

With its energetic feel, a TikTok-ready chorus, and a surprisingly fun electro-chirp encompassing the entire song (that sounds like the most annoying car alarm), the track is definitely catchy. But I mean that in a boring and uneventful kind of way. It simply lacks a certain je ne sais quoi that sets it apart from the usual cling-clang fests we’ve been getting from every boy group lately. 

Yes. It’s fun. Yes, it’s catchy. But the genericness of it all is what’s sort of disappointing, since SEVENTEEN were characterized by their ability to take the most recycled beats and make them their own. HOT is a decent boy group track, but fails as a SEVENTEEN song, and that is the problem.

And of course, we have to address the elephant in the room – the blatant overuse of autotune in the track, which is pointless at best and unnerving at worst. Yes, it settles in at some point, but I must admit that it did take me aback at first.

With vocalists as strong as SEVENTEEN’s, too much autotune can ruin a song rather than elevate it, distracting listeners to the point they aren’t even able to pay attention. And I fear that might be the case here. 

The B-sides we can forget about

Of the B-sides, there’s both too much and not much to say. 

The album opens with ‘Darl+ing’, which was released prior to the record as a pre-release single. The thing with this song is that it is fun, it is fresh, it is enjoyable… but it just feels so vanilla. The hook is so bland it borders on cliché and the verses are just plain forgettable. It’s good, but we all know SEVENTEEN can easily make songs that are more fun, more fresh and more enjoyable. 

Tracks DON QUIXOTE and March are also decent (at least individually), albeit not exactly the peak of excitement either, but as we’ve seen that is a recurring element in this record. 

The seventh song on the track list is ‘bout you, which painfully flirts with the line between being cute and resembling KIDZ BOP music. Whereas, the album closer – Ash – is so bland, it sounds like something straight out of a Drake record (and no, that’s not a compliment in my book). 

As custom, we have an emotional moment on the track list with IF you leave me, a ballad built around a stripped piano melody, showcasing the sweetness and softness of the member’s vocals. But just like the other songs Domino and Shadow, it is simply business as usual.

Now, the track list… 

Although Face The Sun is rather flat as a whole, the songs themselves are anything but homogenous. In fact, they are so different, the album ends up sounding like a dissonant mess most of the time. There’s no theme or string connecting all the songs together, so listeners just end up getting lost in the proverbial jungle. And if I’m being honest, SEVENTEEN seem to be just as lost, given the state of the track list. 

If you ask me, the track list is the biggest shortcoming and the main head scratcher of the entire album – it just does not make any sense. The record opens with the singles (Darl+ing and HOT) which are basically polar opposites – already a bad start. Then we go from hip-hop, to rock, to electronic dance music, to a synth-infused song, to a ballad, and close with a Drake sound-alike. What

This nonsensical nature is one of the most self-detrimental aspects of the album, as it makes it seem like every single song is out of place in the context of the record. It makes it come off as messy and jarring, and chaotic in the bad way. 

Not facing the sun

But despite all this variety of sounds and musical atmospheres, Face The Sun fails in one very important aspect – creating its own identity. In the overall mess, each track loses its own characters, blending together in the beige canvas of the album. 

All in all, it falls under the category of derivative within the context of SEVENTEEN’s discography, and generic within Kpop as a whole. It’s fun and enjoyable, but it just feels so anonymous. That’s why its title is so ironic – for an album titled Face The Sun, it sure is faceless


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  • Verdict - 7/10
    7/10
7/10

5 thoughts on “SEVENTEEN – Face The Sun | Album Review”

  1. This author definitely got paid by sm. Nct couldn’t sing live, and dive into you was rank within top 10 by this author in 2021, and they lipsync the whole performance. The song was plain and too boring.

  2. The author clearly doesnt understand the concept. Just bursting his opinions without research of the story behind it. Doesnt even know why Darl+ing was prereleased before the album, its a bridge to the new concept, to a new era. Have you thought of versatility though? The whole album screams it out and you dont even care. Clearly, the message of each song in relation to the whole album is on your face and you blindly did not notice it. Do your research dude.

  3. firstly, this album screams ‘SEVENTEEN’ they’ve always made music akin this album. the most basic explanation is that this is Seventeen they are Seventeen and this album is an unadulterated representation of what Seventeen is. now its ok to have an opinion such as urs, understandable, however, calling the songs like don Quixote” bland” and darling “cliché” wouldn’t affect their impact whatsoever. The album as a whole is a success hun, not only in figures but emotionally too.

  4. This just an insult disguised as an opinion. The album is amazing, The title track is HOT, like literally HOT, The B-sides DID NOT disappoint at all. The choreography for their tracks is amazing too, and in short, SEVENTEEN NEVER DISAPPOINTS. PERIODT

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