On September 16, Seventeen released their third studio album, ‘An Ode’. This consists of eleven tracks including ‘Hit‘, which was previously released on August 5, and the newly-released title track, ‘Fear’Seventeen‘s artistic creativity was shown in this album, as they express deep emotions through their lyrics and touch upon a variety of music genres. This album had a darker concept compared to their past albums. However, upon listening to the B-sides, it’s clear that Seventeen hasn’t completely abandoned their signature youthful and bright concept.

This album shows how Seventeen‘s music has evolved overtime. The majority of the members have actively participated in writing the lyrics. The group consists of three sub-units (the ‘Hip Hop Team‘, ‘Performance Team‘, and ‘Vocal Team‘), with each sub-unit effectively presenting their strengths through their own sub-unit songs.

The first track in the album, ‘Hit’, is an electronic dance music (EDM) song that conveys the message of a desire for freedom from life’s traps. You may feel energized while listening to the song. Without watching the MV, ‘Hit‘ gives the impression that it has a strong and powerful choreography, which is expected from Seventeen. This is my least favorite song in the album as I find that there is too much shouting and not enough tunes.

The next track, ‘Lie Again’, is an urban pop song that conveys one’s sorrow when there is no choice but to lie and end the relationship. The persona is still in love but believes that it is best to lie in order to spare their lover. ‘Lie Again‘ has beautiful instrumentals, and the most memorable part of the song lies in the chorus, featuring Woozi and JoshuaVernon‘s part at 1:40 is also very memorable as it sounds similar to his part from 2017’s ‘Don’t Wanna Cry.’ It may seem like ‘Lie Again’ is a continuation of ‘Don’t Wanna Cry‘, however it’s interesting to note that ‘Don’t Wanna Cry‘ conveys the perspective of a person who was left behind by their lover, while ‘Lie Again‘ conveys the perspective of a person who left their lover.

Giving remarkably different vibes to ‘Hit’, ‘Fear’ is the title track. The song conveys a dark message, and suggests that fear can become your own poison. The members of Seventeen express mixed emotions, as they don’t want their poisons to be spread to their loved ones. Their fear seems to be an artistic fear, as every artist, in some way, mentally struggles in producing and writing the perfect song. This song is characterized by heavy beats and Seungkwan‘s high notes.

The following track, ‘Let Me Hear You Say’, is a fast-paced R&B song that presents the message of gratitude for a person who is there for you when everyone else turns their back on you. This song is distinguished by sweet lyrics, laid-back vocals, and appears to be a sweet serenade for the fans. The members of Seventeen are expressing gratitude for the fans who have been there for them through high and low, especially at 0:03-0:08 (‘Someone somewhere, might be hoping for my misfortune‘). My favorite part is the beginning, when DK starts off with a high note. The chorus doesn’t seem as memorable.

Unlike the previous songs, ‘247’ is a track from the Performance Team, which consists of members HoshiJunThe8, and Dino. Notable in ‘247‘ are the harmonious vocals and acoustic guitar sounds. ‘247’ is mellower when compared to past releases from the Performance Team. I was expecting a more upbeat song, such as ‘Highlight‘, but ‘247’ was a pleasant surprise.

‘Second Life’ is a track from the Vocal Team, which consists of WooziJeonghanJoshua, DK, and Seungkwan. The members explore their emotions with this song by asking themselves whether they would love the same person, if they were to have a second life. This song gives off a poetic vibe and therefore perfectly
fits with the album, titled ‘An Ode’.

The song, ‘Network Love, is a Deep House track sung by members from different sub-units; JoshuaJunThe8, and Vernon. This song reminds me of Hallyu+, as we all come together from different parts of the world to interact with one another. The members participating in this song also came from different parts of the world, other than Korea. The8 and Jun have more parts in this song, compared to the title track ‘Fear‘, and their parts building up to the chorus was the most memorable aspect of this song. However, the chorus itself was too dull compared to the vocal and rap parts throughout the song.

The track, ‘Back it Up’, is a track from the Hip Hop Team, which consists of members S.CoupsVernonMingyu, and Wonwoo. Its genre can be described as a mix of EDM and Hip Hop. The lyrics are composed entirely by the Hip Hop Team, and they convey similar messages as ‘Hit‘. Their raps are memorable, but the song seems to be all over the place.

On the other hand, ‘Lucky’ has fresh and youthful concept. The melody is refreshing, and the lyrics tell you not to worry about things in life. This song is perfect to listen to if you need to cheer up. This song seems like an answer to their title track ‘Fear‘, as it says at the beginning of the chorus ‘Don’t be afraid, forget all your worries, if it doesn’t work‘. Towards the end of the chorus, there’s a lot of background sounds similar to video games, and I think that diverts too much attention away from the chorus.

Similarly, ‘Snap Shoot’ gives off a cute and youthful vibe. It sounds like a musical, and expresses happiness from being in love. It has distinctive lyrics as the couple wants to capture every happy moment of them being together, and every moment is a ‘Snap Shoot’ from the camera. This song is distinguished by pleasant piano instrumentals, as well as frequent changes in vocal tones throughout the song.

The eleventh and the last track in the album, ‘Happy Ending’, is the Korean version of Seventeen’s Japanese single which was released in May this year. It’s a mixture of Rock and R&B. Energetic vocals from the members gives off a positive atmosphere to the song. It compares our lives to that of a movie’s and implies that our lives will have happy endings. This song is distinguished by strong bass sounds before the chorus. The chorus itself is catchy but not impressive, with the words ‘Happy Ending‘ being repeated over and over again.

Overall, I would strongly recommend that you to listen to the whole album. In general, artists are mostly known for their title tracks. However, it’s best to listen
to the whole album to truly appreciate their music. I personally enjoyed the B-sides from ‘An Ode’ more than the title track. After listening to the album, I
realized that this album is truly ‘An Ode‘ from Seventeen to the audience. Their lyrics are poetic, and they’re effectively speaking to the audience through
these lyrics.

Artistic Creativity: 9/10
Music: 6.5/10 for title track ‘Fear‘ and 8.5/10 for B-sides
Vocal Quality: 9/10