Seventeen Blaze Up a New Path and Dance in Their Own Ashes in 4th Full Album “Face The Sun” — In Depth Review

Maxine Thao
22 min readJun 28, 2022

For the past few years in the Kpop industry, there has been a collective pitted fear from third generation group fans that has slowly been brewing and now has no choice but to come to surface. After seeing how the second generation is mostly wiped out from the dubbed ‘7-year curse’ with a few reunions, a few faintly intact lucky ones, and ever-spreading ex-idol turned actress critical symptoms…contract renewal time is not for the faint of heart. When the (average) 7 years is up, the fear must be faced; it either dissipates with peace or makes their heart drop.

Luckily for SEVENTEEN and CARATs (their fans), miracles do exist. It was well granted — the recurring rejoicing of all 13 members of the group renewing a year early came after some questionable and wearisome times; their company (Pledis Entertainment) was acquired by mega-corporation HYBE, of course the pandemic, and the contract renewals lingered in their minds along with the future of their personal career and the group. It’s not easy to have your mind balance your past, present, and future all at once with the topic of sudden change so currently prevalent in every part of their life — whether it’s for the worse or better. Despite all this, SEVENTEEN beat the odds and set a new precedent for having a multinational group this large survive in this brutal industry. Now, with their 4th full album “Face the Sun,” they came back swinging with the strength to prove their fortified spot.

SEVENTEEN have never been the prime example of lore-heavy releases that have become so popular amongst the Kpop scene, but this album does have a pretty well thought out story that not only is prevalent in their music videos from this era, but also throughout the lyrics of the album. Since it’s very relevant to the album, let’s do a rundown of the lore presented through the music videos of pre-released “Darl+ing” and title track “HOT.” This universe they have created, which I will refer to as the ‘light’ world and ‘shadow’ world, are parallel worlds of SEVENTEEN. The ‘light’ world is child-like innocence and happiness while there is also the ‘shadow’ world full of fears and sorrow.

In “Darl+ing,” we meet the members in this ‘light’ world where it seems all smiles and laughter, until they slowly unravel the mystery of their shadows. There are three distinct members that have significant roles to this lore: Vernon who realizes the members have no shadow which is unlike everything else in this ‘light’ world, Jun who uncovers the future of the members’ fate from a mural on the wall, and Wonwoo who is somehow deeply connected to this burning sun that is crucial to their fate.

The more they collectively learn about their shadows, we see that this ‘light’ world that was built on blissful ignorance starts to deteriorate. Their illusions become fully exposed as we see scenes of leader S.Coups wearing a blindfold, playing with all the members until he takes it off and there is no one to be seen, and main vocalist Seungkwan strolling onto a stage only to turn around and see empty chairs. These fears clearly translate to the members’ real life fears of losing the other members and the more realized loneliness of the loss of live audiences. As everyone agrees to fully face their shadow, they’re suddenly plunged into the opposite of the ‘light’ world, which is the unknown ‘shadow’ world.

The “HOT” music video is a lot more visual and less storytelling than “Darl+ing,” but is still a clear continuation of that universe. The video takes place right at the glorious conclusion of their rebirth. In my opinion, it still takes place in the ‘shadow’ world where we left off, but this “Mad-Max” inspired post-apocalyptic desert they’re thriving in symbolizes how they completely addressed their shadow and have started over from scratch. They are now taking this time to show off their flashy clothes, set design, and choreography that exude the power of a phoenix risen from the ashes. While this confidence from overcoming their obstacles and becoming their truest, most assured version of themselves is the point of the video, there are some direct callbacks to the “Darl+ing” lore that give more insight as to what happened.

Wonwoo lives up to his role during his rap verse, where we see glimpses of the lore. We first see him surrounded in a circle of 12 poles; this is more of a personal observation and connection to the overall lore, as it reminds me of the design for the tarot card called the ‘8 of swords’.

The card represents being trapped by your own fears, as the image displays how the person could easily escape between the swords, but is too trapped in their inner thoughts/blinded by themselves to be free. The specificity of 12 poles could also signify the 12 other members surrounding Wonwoo, but it’s now a protection instead of entrapment. It’s also of note that the poles are reminiscent of the wands in tarot, which represent fire energy and passion, linking to SEVENTEEN’s message of burning passion and ‘facing the sun’. There are a couple direct references here as well, including stepping on his glasses worn in the “Darl+ing” music video representing the destruction of his former naive ‘light’ world self and the flock of crows that fly away from him that signal that they have completed their ‘death & rebirth’ process, along with Wonwoo’s left eye showing the full orange sun instead of just partial, as seen in “Darl+ing.” Woozi’s part after Wonwoo’s goes back to the shadow concept, as there’s a brief scene of his shadow on the ground and he points a gun at it to show he’s not afraid of it anymore. This even bleeds into the performance of the song, as the lyrics “Shadow cast with my back to the sun turns to light again” sync with the choreo of Jun on the floor acting as his shadow by mimicking Woozi’s dance moves; there’s even a small but meaningful detail of Woozi helping Jun up from the floor, which of course is a practicality for the choreo, but I also see it as him acknowledging and taking care of his shadow. The sun plays a big part in the overall “Face the Sun’’ message, as towards the end of the video, Mingyu takes the sun in his hand before it sits high in the backdrop of the final choreography scene.

Now, finally, let’s dig into this juicy album.

The first track, “Darl+ing,” is the (complete) group’s debut all-English-language single. They’ve described it as a gift to international Carats who have supported the group all these years despite not knowing the Korean language. Now, as the group’s debut English single, I think it’s kind of a…peculiar choice. The lyrics are very sweet and cheesy, but that’s not a problem to me as honestly it’s classic SEVENTEEN; they’re like this in every language. However, I don’t know if I totally agree with having such a subdued song as something as significant as a debut song to a new audience. While the song does fall into the fresh sound/image they’re recognized for, they’re also known for their energy (which is not mutually exclusive). Their releases as rookies (“Adore U,” “Mansae,” “Pretty U,” and “Very Nice”) to “Oh My!” to “My My,” etc., are all fresh concepts that bring this active energy. I think that energy is such a huge, arguably the main draw in for new fans, so it does feel like a bit of a missed opportunity.

With all that said, I actually do enjoy the song for what it is as an easy going breezy and cute song. The intro of Vernon singing the main chorus line with the vocoder harmony and piano line that follows the cute melody is a great opening. For such a relaxed song, the bass goes hard for no reason? Not in a bad way, but it’s an intriguing route to take to add space. It’s a deep and kind of warpy bass that is a slightly more subtle version of the bass in “Ready to Love” (from their 2021 mini album release “Your Choice”). I love the sporadic use of the vocoder against the natural/acoustic sounding hollow and light percussion, rhythmic guitar picking, spacious deep bass, and piano. The pre-chorus could easily be the best part of the song as it’s practically as catchy as the chorus, but the instrumental compliments it so well and is a real treat. Here it shifts into classic feel good pop with piano chords at the beginning of each measure and a subtle driving, arpeggiated beat, along with a few hits of a bass drum, and gorgeous harmonies to fill the space. It’s a lush build up, as the bass drum goes on to amp up along with the vocals, adding a fitting electric guitar in the lead up to the chorus before the acapella vocoder moment which almost acts as a reverse drop (that Woozi loves to do). I am, however, not the biggest fan of how the transition before the chorus is just a few solid seconds of pure silence. The song is too subdued in tone overall to have warranted a ‘dramatic pause for effect’. In turn, it just makes the song sound slightly more flat. The chorus is definitely a mellow yet enjoyable earworm, but it does fall a little dull as the instrumental is virtually the same as the verse (besides the fine-detailed background palpitating high notes). Most people are probably expecting a bigger drop that feels more musically resolving to eventually come, but it just doesn’t. However, I found the more you listen to the song, the more you realize it’s meant to be a casual listen and this shifted expectation softens the anticlimax. The bridge brings back the vibes of the pre-chorus with the solid chords and arpeggiated bass. I love how as the bridge goes on, the arpeggiated bass gets brought more forward in the mix and clear sounding. I also adore how the background vocals pull off a less obvious call and response with Jun and The8’s lines, by just repeating the last word of the line, which you can hear at for example: “I care for you (you), you care for me (me) / We can be (be) all we need (need).” This along with the delicate electric guitar picking complimenting the vocals, this whole part is extremely satisfying. I think this bridge is a great example of how particular details can make a significant difference for the better. That leads to the clearer call and response from Mingyu and Dino, into Joshua’s longer line that ends with “kiss me baby” which Vernon mirrors (to act as a warm but cheesy fanservice highlight, that I can’t say I don’t enjoy at least a little…). The final chorus starts off with an interesting build up of the percussion into a new transition of a loud electric guitar, but then it disappointingly just goes back into the regular previously-heard chorus with that electric guitar only coming back to vaguely close the song. When listening to the song on its own, it does feel somewhat unresolved, especially with the ending. Although in the context of the album where “HOT” comes directly after, the thirst for more electric guitar is quenched with the title track.

Before the official release of the album, the title track “HOT’’ was described as “a hiphop genre song where the harmony of western guitar sounds stand out.” The song opens with a little solo western-cowboy sounding electric guitar riff with a resounding tremolo effect that sets up the western guitar musical motif for the rest of the song. The western guitar sets up this suave expectation, before the verse hits you with the addition of the integral sirens and in-your-face hip hop 808 beats, with a healthy dose of auto tuned vocals that introduce the real hype, sexy confidence the song exudes. Now, the transition of the music completely cutting out for The8 to briefly solo beatbox for barely 2 seconds before the following energetic section is one of the best moments in any song of theirs ever and maybe in my life. That moment contrasted to Woozi then coming in right after with the heavy autotune rap and adlibs saying “Turn up the music” and a heightened instrumental with just an addition of a high toned synth is a combination that is so punchy. This part is one of many throughout the whole song where it makes sure the high energy doesn’t wear the listeners’ ears down by showing off their coolness in more toned down ways. The fun autotuned call and response phrases from Wonwoo and Jun keep the energy going. It smoothly transitions into a synth pad and trap snare to set the backdrop of DK’s glorious vocals for the pre-chorus. Things speed up a bit before the chorus drops into the simple but addicting “We drop it like hot, hot, hot…This song is burning like hot, hot, hot, hot.” The first half of the chorus highlights this club-ready bouncing synth bass, complete with trap percussion and sirens; the second half turns it up a notch into full energy with aggressive shouting, harder hitting percussion, and brings back that western guitar riff. The middle verses finds that guitar line, sirens, and percussion sliding underneath the toss of gritty raps and glossy vocals from the members. A strong first place contender for the killing part of the song is Hoshi’s falsetto moment, coming off of S.Coups’ rap that drops out the instrumental at the last few words to introduce the still intense, driven instrumental but this time with Hoshi’s smooth falsetto; it shines so brightly considering all of the other aggressive vocals throughout. Jeonghan’s velvety vocals are perfect for the bridge and the main vocals Seungkwan and DK are perfect for leading into the final chorus. I have to mention that although the harmonies are wonderful throughout the song, it is so stunning in the bridge. The song closes out with the final chorus, and while it does do the job, it’s such a shame that Seungkwan delivers some luscious adlibs but it’s so quiet in the mix that it’s barely heard. Along with the music video, the lyrics perfectly tie in and further the story created in the “Darl+ing” music video. The overall ‘shadow’ concept is directly addressed and answered with this message of facing the sun with pure fearless passion. As someone who did not expect to like this ‘darker’ kind of concept, I was thoroughly and greatly surprised at how much I genuinely enjoy it. It’s just infectious with hype and excitement that is guaranteed to rally anybody up when played.

Directly inspired by the novel “Don Quixote” by Miguel de Cervantes, the same-titled song matches up with the literary story quite well. Some pretty obvious references include the lyrics, “…and I got back on my horse without fear,” and even directly reference the specific detail, “What do you mean La Mancha’s windmill, yeah” (referencing Don Quixote mistakenly trying to fight the windmills which he believed were giants). SEVENTEEN take this classic story and create their own perspective, using it to elaborate on their journey of inner freedom and self-confidence. They spend the song relating to the self-righteous character with the connection of fearlessness and societal outer judgment. The main appeal of the track, along with the lyrical theme, is the feeling of a fascinating structure while listening. I think the chorus would be almost too repetitive/reoccurring, but the verses switch up the rhythm every time, so it feels sporadic and unpredictable in the best way possible. The various rap break verses keep the listener on their feet, as it feels like an unexpected direction. In reality, it’s not too far off from a typical pop song structure. The song starts by establishing a clapping rhythm with some vox sampling into the smooth vocals of the key chorus lines. The instrumental hits you with the arpeggiated synth and that sneaking synth bass that gives the song its identity. It fills out this encapsulating soundscape, as the chorus goes on and builds with thumping percussion and builds up anticipation and further frustration of the narrated lyrics: “People point their fingers, it ain’t real, it ain’t real / I’m not afraid, it’s real, it’s real.” I love the bass fade out into the drum fill combo and the transition into the contrasting heavier bass, rhythmic-focused first rap verse. The latter half of the first verse (or expected pre-chorus) changes to a slightly more melodic section with a bass synth pad and prominent background vocals, before going back to that pleasing drawn out melody of the chorus; it feels really nice and comforting to go back to after the change of pace. I do love the drum fill from the earlier transition added to the chorus to better dramatize the build up. Into the second verse is where SEVENTEEN continues to challenge listeners’ expectations by having the verse instrumental be practically the same as before, with only the addition of the vox sample from the intro, but it feels completely different as a whole new section because of Wonwoo’s rap here. It’s a completely distinguished new chant-like melody that brings surprise and excitement that only continues when his brief section goes right into an entirely new part of a more simplistic bass and snare rhythm with a new rapped rhythm to match from Mingyu. This whole section between the choruses is so fun and makes the chorus feel extra sweet and familiar. But of course, this song being the way it is, they add a fully instrumental post-chorus interlude with a dash of adlibs to play with the energy before the final chorus (which unlike the earlier choruses, withhold the bass in the first half to add it back in for a resolving, satisfying drop for the second half and outro). This is such an excellent song through and through and is a MUST listen to b-side for fans and non-fans alike.

The rock inspired heavy guitars and drum set in “March” is the perfect compliment to the lyrical philosophy of the song: the act of chasing after your burning desires off of pure passionate self-motivation. Following “Don Quixote,’’ the members have emotionally overcome fears and are following their desires, but in this song are physically acting on it now, marching forward. Something I really appreciate about the track is the well done blend of traditional rock elements (guitar and drums) and synth pop. In execution here, it brings a refreshment to the recent resurgence of the 2000s pop-punk sound. There’s a certain riff motif that presents itself through a filtered bass and the guitars, the former being more subtle and the guitar being pretty in your face. A muffled to clear fade in is a strong start as it sets in motion the filtered bass and emphasizes the brash drums. I love how it leads into the loud guitars carrying the riff, with the addition of the synth keys decorating the mix in the back. As the bass and drums take the stage for the verse and pre-chorus, I like how they play with the mix levels to differentiate the verse and pre-chorus, lowering it from the original level to go back up increasingly to gain energy with S.Coups’s raspy, aggressive voice. The chorus is full out, complete with the electric guitars with the riff melody, bass, synth keys pushed in back, and drum set with an added familiar but new bouncy notes of synths scattered in the mix. The second verse throws melody aside for a bit in favor of a punchy bass and punchy phrasing from Wonwoo, before heading back into the familiar bass melody, but of course with a completely new back and forth melody from Dino and Jun. Unlike the lead up to the first chorus where S.Coups leaves a little silence before the chorus drops, here for the second chorus, Mingyu adds a third “burning up” and a “yeah” which is said at the same time as the guitar strikes in for the chorus. It’s definitely a nice but subtle detail to build intensity as the song progresses. The bridge switches to a stadium rock feel with the force of the electric guitars against the unified claps and anthemic rap lines, with the drums taking us into the last chorus. With the way this track constantly entices movement through the sound, it makes for the ideal marching anthem.

A quick break from the intense shadow work journey that runs through this album presents itself in the form of the track “Domino.” It’s an endearing love song that compares falling for someone to dominos falling over; it’s a cool, lighthearted chill funk pop track that stands out in the tracklist as a refresher for the album listening experience after the previous aggressiveness in the aforementioned tracks. I love the use of the piano synth keys throughout, but the piano glissando (a continuous glide) used in the opening and transitions are such a nice touch. Right from the piano, the track establishes the main sound of the bouncy synth pad that comes in and out. Soft snaps guide the minimalist beat along, before the ending phrase swoops in with a hasty drop about two measures long of a full upbeat funky instrumental, complete with a bouncy bass and electric guitar-like high synths. The funk bass is picked up into the rest of the verse and ends with the same satisfying ending drop, which is a fulfilling resolve after the staccato-like melody of the verse lines with the minimalist beat. The pre-chorus takes a lush direction with graceful vocals under a bed of staccato piano chords, soft claps, and a shaker alongside flourishes of delicate, sprinkling synth floating in the air. The urgent high toned siren-like synths that creep up on you that forms a cool see-saw-like effect by slowly bringing up the volume and panning of the synth between ears into the smooth piano glissando is a delightful transition; especially with the simplicity of the memorable “3,2,1, domino” line over it. The chorus plays with the minimalist dynamic by showcasing only the fun funky bass line with the rhythmic melody and some background vocals to anticipate the post-chorus slightly glitchy drop with new vocal chops and that guitar-like gritty synth shining with the absolute set of the energetic bass, claps, synth keys, and flourishing synths. The first familiar half of the second verse gets suddenly but beautifully interrupted by a new laid back rap section from Mingyu. The instrumental carries the bass line and snaps plus introduces some light bouncy droplets of synth that feel like being poolside on a cool, clear blue-skyed summer day. The pre-chorus has more energy than the last with the louder piano and a subtle hint of a rhythmic guitar. The bridge brings back a more lush sound with the opulent sparking synth with a supporting compressed bass drum, before the keyword of the single spoken “domino” launches a brand new full electronic drop with an amalgamation of various textured glitchy synths. The song comes back to a brief acapella moment into the bass line for the final chorus, finishing it with the good ol’ post chorus drop starting in the middle of the chorus this time, until all the way to the end.

Back to the main journey, “Shadow” is the most vulnerable song on the album as far as I can tell. I would say it’s the key track that encapsulates the whole story in a nutshell. While the majority of the tracks are packed with unyielding confidence, we finally learn about the unglamourous part of healing that had to take place in order for the members to have reached this new personal peak. Here, they directly speak about the main ‘light and shadow’ concept. The song starts with an 80s reminiscent, scattered arpeggiated synth which feels a little mysterious. That synth fades into the background as the fast pace, shuffled rhythm 2-step (a genre of electronica, subgenre of U.K. Garage) percussion takes the lead. This drum pattern perfectly creates the feeling of frustrating conflict that reflects the lyrics sung. The lyrics of the first verse so clearly relate to the separate ‘light’ and ‘shadow’ worlds about how they detested their shadow selves and stayed in their blissfully ignorant ‘light’ world, as they sing “I hate everything in the shade on the other side of the light.” As they slowly discovered their shadows, we now see how it filled them with guilt for neglecting that part of themselves: “He follows me every step, my eyes are always there.” The beat cools down for a second as the pre-chorus hits with smooth “oohs,” a soft synth pad, and sparkling floating synths to show the moment of alleviating realization of how the shadow isn’t so different from themselves and the desire to face this self. The chorus swaps out the electronic elements for a pretty intense, kind of aggressive rhythmic acoustic guitar strumming where they directly talk to their shadow and admit how poorly they viewed and treated their shadow. I love the use of the acoustic guitar here as it presents it as the vulnerable section it is; it’s common to pour out your rawest emotions over a single, simple stripped down instrument, but the hostility of the strumming represents the difficulty in saying and admitting these things aloud. The post-chorus follows that instrumental pattern but brings back the electronic elements with bouncy drums and sprigs of synth. This very bright and positive sound brings relief to both the listener and narrator as SEVENTEEN so surely accepts their shadow — “I don’t want to hide you, I want to hold your hand…Baby I’m a shadow of you.” The bridge where the members now have no doubts about uniting with their shadow is when they turn the previous instrumentals of the harsh guitar strums and hasty drum pattern from expressing unease to now, determination. The lyrics here are declarations of full acceptance, my favorite lyrics here being “Let’s become the same light, the same shadow / In whatever place, I’ll hold you…Our relationship is unique / Let’s run together, everywhere.” The final chorus now holds a newfound air of confidence, and the ending (same as the intro) synth now has an assured and triumphant feeling attached to it now instead of trepidation.

“‘bout you” is an overt fan song (that SEVENTEEN are no strangers to) directly referencing their debut song “Adore U”. As they have mentioned in a few interviews that this song was originally made years ago, I can see how they thought it was appropriate to release it with this album as a way to celebrate their contract renewal. The lyrics “I’ll sing you, you-hoo (x2)” is from the iconic “Adore U” chorus, and the whole concept of “‘bout you” is built around the idea, as the chorus goes — “A song with my feelings as the melody (Yeah-eh) / I sing you, and from this moment on this song.” The first verse of Jeonghan referencing his lines in “Adore U” is really cute: from “So what I mean is, I want to know all of you” to now “So what I’m saying is, alright
I wanted to know all of you.
” The song is a fun, lighthearted, pretty straight forward song. The cheery piano, modern trap beats, and electric guitar skating through the background are the core of this song, but the appearance of a slap bass which is prominent in the chorus is an appreciated musical reference to the stand out, signature slap bass in “Adore U”. I do love the use of the harmonies being highlighted at certain spots, for example the “(only you)” in the chorus and the “(babe)” in The8’s lines in the second verse. I do thoroughly enjoy the melody of the raps specifically from Dino and Vernon; the rhythm sticks out from the rest of the song and the matches the charming lyrics. They’re probably the parts I most look forward to when listening. However, as a personal preference, this song doesn’t really grab me. The sentiment behind the sweet lyrics and lovely melodies are nice, but besides the debut reference it’s just a tad too cheesy for me. Instrumental wise, there’s not much of something new or unique for me to latch onto. That said, the song is not bad by any means. It’s a cute little number I would still play in full if it came on.

Is it really a Kpop album without a soft, sentimental ballad about longing, fans, or both? Well, SEVENTEEN are also no strangers to this. As the only ballad on this album, “IF you leave me” that is sung by all members takes the ‘less is more’ approach with only a spacious piano and vocals, and of course, stunning harmonies. The main delicate piano riff in this song reminds me of water droplets falling, either rain or tears (maybe inspired by the lyrics “My tears turn into rain and fall down” in the pre-chorus?). I love a good call and response, so the chorus really hits the spot and does it excellently. I love how the call phrase (ex: “If you leave me”) is sung softly, and the response (ex: “What can I do?”) is sung passionately. I noticed the call phrases reflect the numb reality of the situation and and the response phrases reflect the unignorable aching pain. I also love how the second half of the chorus (or post-chorus) has someone singing background vocals of a completely separate line overlapping the current main vocal line. It doesn’t disrupt the main vocal entirely, but it can persuade the listener to pay more attention to these lines. It’s really interesting, as if the feelings from the words sung are creeping up from the back of the narrator’s mind. The play of two different members singing together continues in the second verse with a more rhythmic piano instrumental to switch the tone slightly brighter, as the lyrics talk about the sincere love they have for the person here, rather than before where they were sadly catastrophizing. The whole song from the gorgeous vocal tones, piano, and tight harmonies first reminded me of a ballad from Kpop veterans SHINee (an extremely high complement). If I had to compare this to the other fan songs on the album, this one does it best for me as it just feels so raw, lyrics wise. It’s not hard to imagine the toll it took as artists and performers to not be able to directly feel fans’ energy in person for years — from arenas filled with screaming fans to a void in just a flash. It’s hard not to catastrophize even further about having people leave for a long time, or permanently as this song expresses.

“Ash” is an unexpected but intoxicating finale to this journey and album. Now that SEVENTEEN have faced the sun, they’re now throwing a party in their fallen ashes. They express the thrill of burning up, leaving the old and creating a new world for themselves with an industrial hip hop inspired sound with gritty synth beats, hi-hat focused trap percussion, and vocals completely dripped in autotune. While the verses talk about relishing in the ashes and bathing in the sun upon them, I love how the pre-chorus establishes the opening of a new world while the abrasive sound switches to one of a cryptic atmosphere of a creeping dark sound effect that lingers in the air; the new world holds endless mysteries but SEVENTEEN are still entering it with confidence anyway, as they yell “Make a choice, do or die.” Vernon taking up the whole second verse is a front runner for the best rap verse of the album. While I didn’t click with the song right away, Vernon’s verse was a real catching point for me that kept me wanting to come back. Vernon’s rapping is always smooth, but here among the heavy hip hop and autotune that is familiar for him and the prominent other ‘in your face’ lines, it feels kind of refreshing? The whole song demonstrates unwavering confidence, but Vernon here comes in with such natural, nonchalant coolness and confidence. His flow and the way he so nimbly incorporates Korean and English lyrics is extremely satisfying. I also think his verse is just a perfect capsule of the whole idea of the song. The thumping percussion and high enigmatic synths in the bridge before the vocal line comes back was a great way of adding to lingering tension before the song closes on the chorus.

While SEVENTEEN have undergone several ego deaths over the years in terms of concept, style, and lyrical content — their highly anticipated 4th full album “Face the Sun” is one where they truly fought against a dark ending and are burning hotter than ever. With a growing deterioration where the world seems to have a filter that grows darker everyday threatening to divide us against who we love, SEVENTEEN gives us room to dance in the shower of blessings and assurance in the fact that strength and hope will always burn the brightest.

“Darl+ing” — 7/10

“HOT” — 9.5/10

“Don Quixote” — 10/10

“March” — 9/10

“Domino” — 8.5/10

“Shadow” — 10/10

“‘bout you” — 6/10

“IF you leave me” — 7.5/10

“Ash” — 8.5/10