In my opinion, Seventeen have one of the strongest discographies in K-pop. Even though their latest works have remained solid, I still yearn for their music in their earliest years. I genuinely think they never missed, at least title track-wise, during their 2015-2017 era.
While ‘_WORLD’ isn’t peak Seventeen, it finds itself in this realm where it is very easy to appreciate and enjoy. I don’t think anyone can get mad at this release, really.
I get that the song intended to be chill and laid back, but I still wish that some of its hooks were made a bit stronger. When the chorus hit, I didn’t even realize that it was the chorus! It took me a while to determine which parts of the song were intended to be the hooks.
On the other hand, when after the 3rd listen, everything made sense. The strongest hooks are found in the pre-chorus and the post-chorus. Without the pre-chorus and the post-chorus, the chorus wouldn’t be sticky enough and the song as a whole would be much less memorable. However, by sandwiching the chorus (weak by itself) between the strong pre-chorus and post-chorus, the songwriting felt complete, like the missing pieces of the puzzle were found.
The verses were good enough. They do the job. The members’ charisma and execution help quite a bit, displaying their experience as industry veterans.
All in all, the song has good hooks, but it isn’t at a level where I would go crazy for it, or be able to recite every single part of the song. What cannot be denied though, is that the melodies, especially its best ones, are very enjoyable to listen to. I can see it growing on me, and I may need to increase my score in the future. But for now, I think ‘solid, but could be better’, fits with my current thoughts.
I love the very chill vibes of the song’s production, carrying a sense of cohesiveness that many K-pop songs these days are lacking (ahem, O.O, ahem, even though I do like the song). Sometimes, a more straightforward, classic songwriting approach is all a song needs to be good. In _WORLD’s case, I think it worked.
I do appreciate how the song slowly built up from the verses to the last chorus, and there was a clear vision of where the song was intended to end. The sense of fullness, especially towards the final chorus, made the song satisfying to listen to. The vocal arrangement and the incorporation of the harmonies add extra depth to the song which is always a plus.
However, even though the song is intended to be laid-back, I still think it could have been more exciting in its final chorus. It was getting there, yes, but it didn’t completely hit the spot. I think more texture in the song’s instrumentation would have helped alleviate this, and perhaps a few more adlibs.
Additionally, like what I said earlier, I do wish that there was an easier way for the listener to determine when the first chorus starts because the production in a way was almost too cohesive, with barely any difference between the pre-chorus and post-chorus. A mix-up of dynamics would have benefitted the song.
Even so, I appreciate the production for what it does. At the end of the day, it made the song enjoyable to listen to. Is it a win? Yes, it is.
Vocal and Rap Delivery
I don’t fully stan the group, so I won’t bother trying to list out their names of who sang what part to not only avoid offending fans but the group themselves.
Seventeen are a self-producing group, and they write songs that the members themselves can execute. _WORLD is certainly no exception. The members sound great both vocally and rap-wise. Again, given their reputation and experience as a senior group, it shouldn’t come as a surprise at this point. Their voices don’t sound overstretched and strained, and the flow of the rap parts feels natural and almost second nature. What also helps is the tonal qualities of the member’s voices also suit the song.
Vocals – 10/10
Rap – 10/10
Overall – 10/10
While _WORLD isn’t Seventeen’s best, it may be my favorite title track from them in the past year or two. It is also very loopable and again, easy on the ears. I won’t be surprised if it ends up being one of my favorite tracks of the year!