Seventeen released their 5th mini-album “Al1” on May 22nd, and once again, the group was noted to have been heaviliy involved in the album’s making. Their nickname as the “self-producing idols” only becomes further solidified as they release more and more music.
The album “Al1” is a different step from the boys’ trademark style. Instead of the usual funk-pop and background screams by Woozi, “Al1” is mainly composed of smooth EDM mixes, kind of what you would hear in Forever 21 as you dig through the piles of clothes. The mini-album consists of 6 new songs, not including the CD-only songs “WHO” and “Check-In Remastered.” Those two songs are smartly saved for those that are willing to pay, I guess. Let’s dig into the 6 new tracks that showcase Seventeen’s new sound!
“Al1” Track 01. 울고 싶지 않아-Don’t Wanna Cry
Lyrics: WOOZI, BUMZU, S.COUPS, HOSHI, JEONGHAN / Composition: WOOZI, BUMZU / Arrangement: BUMZU
(Before we start, just wanted to add that this is Jeonghan’s official debut as a lyricist!!!) Don’t Wanna Cry is the title track of “Al1,” and it’s a personal favorite. Seventeen took a huge step from their chipper funk-pop, and took a 180-degree turn into the world of EDM. Although I’m sure Woozi will be up and running in a few hours with his rehearsed and forever-memorized script for the new track, I’ll be giving a quick overview of the new style.
Don’t Wanna Cry is described as an “oriental EDM track,” but I honestly don’t see a whole lot of oriental in it. It is EDM focused, with violin and bass accompaniments. It describes the feelings that one goes through as they try to find their loved one from the past, after a breakup.
I think it’s my favorite title track of Seventeen, maybe from all of 2017, but that could just be me being biased. It’s either this or Mansae. EDM isn’t usually something I actively listen to, but after listening to this song, I think I’ll be looking into more of this kind of music. If anyone was wondering, the choreography, by Hoshi, is also great. It’s wonderfully unique from most idol choreographies, and is definetely one of my favorite idol group choreographies. 10/10 would reccomend. Go check out the MV, which has over 1 million views is 13 hours!
“Al1” Track 02. 입버릇- Habit/Abuse
Lyrics: WOOZI / Composition: WOOZI, Simon Petren / Arrangement: Simon Petren
This is the vocal team’s track for the album. Again, I feel like these kinds of ballad songs are Seventeen’s specialty. Seventeen, particularly Woozi, have a talent with their lyrics and melodies. All their albums have a share of experimental music, but cafe and ballads are something that are so comfortable to listen to from them. It starts out as a very soft R&B sound, but it climaxes quickly to the chorus, which almost sound like their song “Love Letter,” only a slightly emo and depressing version.
“Al1” Track 03. IF I
Lyrics: S.COUPS, Mingyu, Vernon / Composition: BUMZU / Arranger: BUMZU
“IF I” is the hip-hop team’s track for “Al1,” and highlights the harmonization of EDM and hip-hop being infused. Like the rest of the album, it rides on the EDM theme, and tones down the feel, with softer sounds and vocals. Wonwoo’s singing is making another comeback in this song, and so are Mingyu’s well-deserved lines. It’s probably the most time Mingyu has gotten in the hip-hop team’s songs, so Mingyu stans can celebrate.
“Al1” Track 04. Swimming Fool
Lyrics: WOOZI, BUMZU, Vernon, Dino / Composition: WOOZI, BUMZU, Hoshi / Arrangement: BUMZU
Swimming Fool is the track taken by the Performance team of Seventeen, and let me start of by saying that it won’t get anymore EDM/Forever 21 than this track. I’m pretty sure Forever 21 has already bought millions of ‘Al1″ albums to play in every single one of their stores, and I’m going to be sorely disappointed if that doesn’t actually happen. There’s literaly nothing to describe this track other than EDM. It’s a perfect summer track, which I’ll be playing all summer long, and you all should be doing the same. I’m curious to see what the choreography for this track will be like!
“Al1” Track 05. MY I
Lyrics: BUMZU, The8, Jun / Composition: WOOZI, BUMZU / Arrangement: BUMZU
CHINA LINE. THE WAIT IS OVER. ITS HERE. ALL THE DAESANGS HAVE BEEN SNATCHED.
Okay, excitement put aside, let’s apprecate how the two Chinese members of Seventeen put the effort in writing lyrics for a Korean song. I’m pretty sure there’s not another Chinese member of any group that’s been able to do that, or not that I know of. Correct me if I’m wrong. I don’t even know if I can write Korean lyrics like that, and I (think and kinda hope) know more Korean than they do.
“MY I” is also an EDM track, although it’s got a little more of the bass and drums showcased in the background as well. The song sounded different from a lot of other songs, since we aren’t usually able to really hear how the Chinese line of Seventeen sound like. Their voices are so nice, and they fit in perfectly with the EDM track.
“Al1” Track 06. Crazy in Love
I have no idea why, but “Crazy in Love” reminds me of some 70s/80s song that I don’t currently remember. Either way, it sounds great. EDM was once again carried out in the song, which is with all 13 of the members, but there was a lot more vocal showcasing in this track, despite it being more of an EDM-focused track. DK and Seungkwan took the lead for the chorus, and the two main vocals, along with Woozi, have a near-falsetto style that I absolutely love.