This album has been out for a little while now but believe me when I say that I couldn’t pass up on telling you HOW MUCH I adore this album. Those of you who know me will know I’ve not really been a Seventeen stan. I loved ‘Mansae’ and really admire them as a unit – I also have always had a bias (hi there Jun – China line rise), but I hadn’t really been paying attention to them as much as I should have because they pulled the rug out from under my feet with this repackage!
Seventeen released FIRST Love&Letter earlier this year and it contained 10 songs on the album. This repackage has those same 10 songs but with five extra, one of which is their comeback song ‘아주 NICE’, which might be one of the best comebacks this year! I hope Seventeen know how good this comeback is because it has converted a lot of us dormant appreciators into actual fans and is exactly the kind of song we needed this summer – along with the album, which I feel might be one of the best releases so far this year.
Some people might be wondering why I would think that the repackage is much better than the original release – well, this has everything to do with that fact that three out of four of my favourite songs on the album are actually in the new additions to the compilation!
N.O F.U.N: A strong opening track to the album. The percussion and beat within this song ties the whole piece together with strong rap lines infused throughout. The chorus displays the vocal lines ability to shine over minimal instrumental and it shows us that the vocal line really don’t need much to produce magic. Definitely a song where the performance unit can shine too! Woozi did well producing this one. It was the surprise track for me. 7/10
아주 NICE (VERY NICE): Here’s that comeback of theirs! Woah, you had better hold on to your hats listening to this one – it is uptempo from the first second and will have you on your feet. This is a fun, exciting song for the summer that is completely infused with every single member of Seventeen’s personality. When you listen to this song, I think you will completely understand exactly what Seventeen are all about. I adore the brass band in the backing track, helping to create that big bolshy vibe. Listen out for Seungkwan’s unmistakeable high note. Watch the MV below to see exactly why many people love this comeback – the performance unit is strong here. I would also recommend watching their dance practice video to get the full effect of what they are like when they perform it, because personally, my favourite part is when they all yell during the second chorus whilst Jun is upfront. 10/10
힐링 (Healing): One of my favourite songs on this album is ‘Healing’ – it was the stand out track for me when I first heard the album. I find the entire pre-chorus to be catchy with its uptempo pop vibe, which leads into a punchy and addictive chorus. The vocal line are strong in this track and it is a gentle pop track that grows as the song progresses into a vibrant anthem. Vocal Unit Slay. 9/10
SIMPLE: Another favourite on this album. This is where Woozi makes you fall in love with him. Please, nobody overlook this boy’s talent because let me tell you something, not only does he have a beautiful voice but he writes and produces on almost every track on this album. This mid-tempo pop song is Woozi’s solo – it is packed full of emotion with a huge chorus that will make you want to stop in your tracks. I appeal to you, if there is one song you want to listen to on this album, make it this one! Vocal Leader I applaud you. 10/10
Space: This song opens up with Wonwoo rapping softly over a subtle piano and progresses through the rap line, until you open up to a unexpectedly big chorus sung by DK. [It’s a pretty common theme that Seventeen’s choruses are strong]. This track is a chance for the Hip-Hop unit to show off their skills where they sometimes don’t get a chance to and they do this without fail, with the support of of of the main vocalists to ground the song in the typical Seventeen style of music. 8/10
Chuck: Chuck has always been a personal favourite of mine because of how it tailors well to all units of Seventeen. This is a big performance unit song. Seventeen have performed this in the past and completely nailed it. I’m a big fan of the switch up in genre for Seventeen with this as they infuse a bit of a dubstep vibe into their chorus which was an initial surprise for me, but it works so well for them and shows off a side of Seventeen and their personality that we might have otherwise been ignoring. 7/10
Pretty U: Well we’ve all heard this haven’t we? Seventeen’s previous release from April. Let me paste the video in below in case you had forgotten! This song is such a fun, bubbly, cutesy song that governed much of our Spring. I am grateful for this song because although it drove me mad at first, it makes me immeasurably happy and you will find me clapping incessantly at the “Does she love me, does she love me not” section. I don’t think you can NOT like this song. 7/10
Still Lonely: Hip-Hop vibes similar to those in the 90s are big in this track. This song was such a surprise to me because its not actually just the Hip-Hop line creating these beach style vibes in the song, it is also part of the Performance Unit (go boys go!). Hoshi and Dino rap together and my boy Jun gets his part too. This song is about the relaxed bars of the rap conjuring images of summer cruising and Woozi’s smooth controlled vocals tying it all in together. This is a MUST listen on this album for me. 10/10
Hit Song: This song begins mostly on a Vocal Unit trip and builds slowly throughout the track, adding elements here and there from every Unit and developing from a down-tempo song to a mid-tempo track worthy of filling your dancefloor. I would be surprised if you made it out onto the other side alive because the Vocal Unit are pretty much perfect in this track 7/10
Say Yes: I sometimes feel like I can’t talk to you about this song. This is one of my favourite songs in KPop at the moment. It has to be one of the most beautiful things I have heard in a long time and the lyrics are just an extra added knife in the heart. I am particularly in love with Seungkwan and DK’s voices as I think they have a particular kind of vocal strength that is undeniable. Their voices play off each other well in this ballad and it is one that will stay with you for a long long time. 10/10
Drift Away: The song for some of my favourite boys to shine in. The track opens with Joshua’s gentle vocals filling the sound and then switches to S.Coups’ soft measured bars as he raps. This happens in the next verse too with Jeonghan’s vocals switching to Mingyu’s rap. The interplay between the two units is so subtle and doesn’t feel divided at all as some groups draw a distinction. It is a natural co-existence in this soft R&B style song. Minghao gets to sing in this too (Performance Unit rise!) 9/10
Adore U (Vocal Unit Version): Don’t talk to me. Seventeen’s Vocal Unit all have really beautiful distinctive voices. It was a smart move to open up the track with Seungkwan followed by DK because it clutches you at the heart strings as soon as you even hear the chorus and then that’s it – you’re drawn in. This is a beautiful mid/down-tempo R&B version of the original and I might actually prefer it. Listen to this and you will have been blessed by Seventeen’s vocal line. 10/10
Mansae (Hip-Hop Unit Version): ‘Mansae’ is one of my favourite Seventeen songs and this re-working is gladly completely different to the original. It is almost a completely different song. I really like how they managed to maintain the fun vibe of ‘Mansae’ even whilst rapping the entirety of the track. I think this is the Hip-Hop Unit at their best and I applaud them for this. 8/10
Shining Diamond (Performance Unit Version): I ADORE ‘Shining Diamond’ as an original song. This Performance Unit version lends a very SHINee vibe but this is not necessarily a bad thing. For me, this just intensifies their talent as performers because this is the kind of music that SHINee would perform effortlessly to and that Seventeen have such a strong Performance Unit to keep up with this kind of track is serious credit to them. This isn’t a vocal heavy track at all as they have stripped back the vocals from the original and replaced it with instrumental to pick up the tempo – thank you to the writing team for this version. 8/10
Love Letter: The perfect way to end the album. That synonymous boy-ish Seventeen sound. ‘Love Letter’ is an adorable whole team performance that showcases aspects of the entire groups’ talent. It is a down-tempo love song with a cute and fun chorus. This song will age well and has longevity written all over it. It is just such a typical crowd pleaser. Check out the MV below! 6/10
My verdict: You might think that you are not a Seventeen fan, and you might even be thinking ‘There are far too many members, I could never like them,’ or even, ‘They’re far too young, I can’t like them.’ Please just give their album a go. I listened to it in its entirety the day that it came out and I haven’t looked back. Seventeen are a group of thirteen exceptionally talented boys in many different ways and they deserve the recognition for their hard work and talent. This album is so far one of two of my favourite albums released this year!