Count the times when K-pop powerhouse SEVENTEEN delivered new music and it was exhilariting. The answer? Every time! The thirteen-member group has made a much-anticipated comeback and also marked their first release of 2023 with the EP FML. The 6-track EP consists of a stunning mix of dance-pop, hip hop and R&B - something for every listener. The main concept of the album is about self-love and one’s success. SEVENTEEN has come a long way since their debut and the group is only getting started with making new music each time. SEVENTEEN’s latest EP FML was released on April 24, 2023. Member Woozi actively participated as a co-composer for all tracks in FML. SEVENTEEN’s long-term collaborator BUMZU also made a comeback as the lyricist and composer for FML.SEVENTEEN are unabashedly upfront and are as hopeful as they’ve ever sounded in FML – Album Review
F*CK MY LIFE
The first track of FML is F*ck My Life. The song carries with it undertones of cynicism, but it ushers in new hope as the song progresses to a chorus. The 2000s-inspired alternate hip hop track speaks about how the protagonist was once lost in their life but they have now found the vigour to move ahead and move on - “From now on, fight for my life / Fight for my life for me / In a world where you're used to getting used to it / Now I want to find myself.”
The second one, and also the title track Super is almost a shade apart from the group’s previous releases for it incorporates traditional Korean music and juxtaposes it brilliantly against the idea of being successful. The song serves as a nice reminder to the Lee Seung Gi – Oh Yeon Seo starrer drama The Korean Odessey where Lee Seung Gi played the role of the mythical Monkey King aka Sonogong (Sun Wu Kong). In the song, SEVENTEEN compare themselves to this mythical creature who is powerful, possesses magical powers and achieves a grand recognition at the end. There are several tales about the Monkey King spread across the Asian landscape, and it won’t be wrong to say that SEVENTEEN have similar popularity across Asia. They are known for different things, like their dance, their music, and their stages, but in the end, it all culminates in a full-blown and unforgettable popularity. Members S.Coups, Woozi and Vernon co-wrote this track – “Hero's true colors like this / A stance of being free of all time and space / If I give it my all and slip up / Don't know how to give up, I'm running riot”. The music video for Super is no less than a visual wonder. The group presents a strong and unified picture celebrating their success and expressing rightful gratitude towards their supporters.
The next track Fire is no less than a fiery proclamation of the success the group has had and the one that they want to achieve in the coming years. Written by Vernon, Wonwoo, S.Coups, Woozi and Mingyu, Fire is a fast-paced hip-hop track which reflects the classic composition styles of Vernon and Wonwoo. The lyrics are unapologetic and unabashed as the hip-hop quartet sings “Passion is a bonus on the main dish, dessert is the goal/Creativity on the plate rises every year, the price tag rises”.
I DON’T UNDERSTAND BUT I LUV U
Next up we have ‘I Don’t Understand But I Luv U’. Now, how many times has it happened that you love a person but sometimes you just cannot come to believe that it could happen to you? Well if you’re still looking for an answer then this track by the performance unit of SEVENTEEN might come in handy. Woozi, Hoshi and Dino co-wrote this soft ballad track, whereas Woozi also co-composed it. The quartet croons in a harmonious melody as they sing “Even though I don't understand, I can know you / The language barrier is just an illusion / You know that I also don't believe myself / But you still believed in me”.
SEVENTEEN is a multilingual group and has its popularity spread across the globe which often brings in language barriers. But when there is love, there is no need for words. One can just express your love in gestures, and despite not believing in yourself initially, the love you receive makes you feel confident over time. After trying to find answers of love, SEVENTEEN saunters to a more somber and endearing approach with ‘April Shower’. Rainfall in April is a rare but delightful phenomenon. In places where the heat has scorched the earth, this spring rain comes as a much-needed respite. Through this cinematic track, the group wants to send across a message that all will be better again and that one can shed their worries and embrace the change and start something new – “When the April shower falls in late spring / Put down your umbrella and walk in the rain / We are like flowers that bloom in May / We go from waiting to beauty / We will go bloom more, more, more.”
No SEVENTEEN album is complete without a sepia-tinged ballad. With FML we have the concluding track Dust which runs a smooth course from start to finish and is no less than a movie soundtrack. The vocal unit brings in their charm in the retro-inspired track as they sing “No matter how much I throw away / The memories along the flower road / They rеturned back like dust/And fills up my heart.”
SEVENTEEN said FML when the album started, but as it progressed, their emotions were all about embracing the change and welcoming success unapologetically. These underlying themes of gratitude and love have become recurring within SEVENTEEN’s songs. Despite the initial hiccups, the group has emerged stronger with each comeback and FML is no different. They shifted their focus from romance and to self-love which is quite endearing to see for you cannot fully give the love you don’t have in yourself. The album is all about finding meaning and purpose when one feels lost. Through the words of encouragement in their songs (looking at you, ‘April Shower’), SEVENTEEN expressed their thoughts with a nuanced approach.
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