Album Commentary: Seventeen – Heng:garæ

Another comeback era of Seventeen has come and gone, but surprisingly, I haven’t posted anything about it. Not when the teaser came out, or when the highlight medley came out, or even when the MV and album dropped! In fact, they have just released the MV for their next Japanese release. Where was I? What the heck?

Well, yes. That is on me. It’s why this post cannot be under my First Listen series (which I’m thinking of revamping to be honest), because, even though I was quite annoyingly mum throughout the comeback season, I have listened to this mini album. Multiple times. Anyway, let me explain first why I wasn’t able to post in the first place.

Ok, let’s start with the excuses. Hahaha I’m kidding. I won’t feel too guilty about not being able to post when in the first place, this is something of a hobby for me. However, that time I really was not in the headspace for posting anything, Kpop / Seventeen- related or otherwise. With everything that went down in the past few months, keeping my blog running has definitely been put to the side.

Still, even though I did not post, I am happy to report that I did support Seventeen during their recent comeback! I should probably talk about it some more in a separate post but the sum of it is I have been streaming the album repeatedly to support the boys, and also because, spoiler alert, I really like this album. And having said that, let me segue into my commentary about the tracks. This will be the same format in my First Listen series, where I just jot down notes as I listen to the songs. Anyway, enough rambling, let’s get on with the songs!

Track 01: Fearless

Since we’re all aware this is not a First Listen, I can get straight to the point: I am pretty sure this is my favorite B-side track in this album. This is in large part due to the performance they did of this during their comeback showcase, but even just listening to the song has really had a great impact on me. I love how powerful, and how empowering, it is to me. It feels like such an anthem, something I can sing out loud when I feel at my weakest. It was something I was really needing at the time. Also love all the details they put in that connected it to their previous title track Fear. And, a pretty awesome way to open this mini album while at the same time connecting it to the previous album! So, so love this song.

Track 02: Left and Right [Title Track]

I listened to this track so many times during their comeback. I love the message they were trying to convey with this song, and it’s another “right song at the right time” for me, considering how much I was struggling when they released this. The music video was a perfect complement in pushing that message which was another plus for me. Here are some notes I made while listening to the song again:

  • I love the energy of this song.
  • Love the different beats they used in the song.
  • Seungkwan’s part, where he kind of rapped but he was still singing, was really awesome too.
  • The way Hoshi introduced the chorus from the second verse had so much character, and was really great. I am really amazed at how he pulled that off, that seemed like a high note that could easily go bad if not executed properly.
  • I also love how Wonwoo’s voice sounded when he counted off right before the last chorus.
  • In case I don’t get to write about the music video of the song, I just want to point out S.Coups dancing at the outro of the music video, that was quite touching for me because this was his official return as well in a way, and that was such a nice addition to the video. It was quite silly, too.
Track 03: I Wish

I’ll have to admit, I don’t think I listened to this song as much as the first two tracks, but I do still like this. I think my favorite part in this song is when it transitioned to the part that was featured in the highlight medley, right near the end. I also like the vibe of the song, which seems to be a bit of a throwback vibe? I could be wrong, but those are the vibes I get from the style of this song, which I did like. But oh my gosh, I just checked the lyrics, and if the site I checked was correct, the lyrics are quite sad, which is quite misleading based on how slightly upbeat, even though more on the melodious and groovy side, the sound of the song was. My feels~

Track 04: My My

This was a strong contender for my favorite B-side track, especially considering that they also released a music video for this song. Fearless really just spoke to me more, if that makes sense. However, the message of this song also resonates with me well, and something I think I needed, it’s just that I needed the empowering force of Fearless more. This song, on the other hand, gives me the positive, “it’s okay”, boost that I need, similar to Left and Right, but in a sweeter way. They were also so cute in the music video! This song, and honestly this whole mini album, was something that is really welcome in the environment we currently have right now, and I am so thankful to Seventeen for releasing this.

Track 05: Kidult

This is a track I need to listen to more, as it’s such a perfect track for me, and for all the adults who do not feel like they are “adult enough”. I think a lot of us feel that way, and this perfectly encapsulates this theme and all the emotions that come with it. This is the power ballad of the mini album, with almost everyone singing, maybe there’s a slight rap by Vernon but even that is pretty melodic, and definitely showcases the vocal prowess of DK, and Seungkwan as well, but I really have to give it to DK on this one. I remember seeing S.Coups, who was one of the composers/lyricists of the song, say that he wanted to give the vocalists a difficult time, and while that made me crack up, this whole song makes my heart crack, if you get what I mean. It’s been a while since I last listened to it, and I have to be honest, I got a bit teary-eyed, and I wasn’t even paying attention to the lyrics. That’s just how good they are at conveying emotions, and I definitely felt that. A lot of Carats jokingly (not really) talk about how heartbreaking Kidult is, with all those dramatic memes and gifs that you can imagine, but they really do have a point.

Track 06: Together

This is the anime ost track of this mini album, and I’m not the only one who noticed that from the highlight medley; it was basically the consensus of the fandom. I was going to write my notes as I listened to the song but I got so into it, dancing in my seat and all, so I’m playing it again right now ahahaha. I think this is the perfect way to end the mini album, it’s a very uplifting and energetic call to action, and seems to be the perfect conclusion to the whole theme of Heng-garæ. It could have been a contender for my favorite B-side track, but Fearless was just too impactful. I really love how they made this the final song, though. It’s like after everything, the emotional rollercoaster of the mini album, I can now face the world, and everything feels brighter. I just love this group so much, can you tell? This is why. This is why I stan.

I do give points to an album based on how cohesive it is and how it flows, which is why when I do my First Listen, I listen to an album based on how they listed the songs in order. Given this, I really do like this album. I think all the tracks tied together with their theme with Heng:garæ, which is a Korean word that refers to that move where they throw people up in the air, kind of what you see after sports teams win, and they throw up a player or coach into the air? That’s what it is, based on what I understood from their explanation. All of these tracks do contribute to that, and starting with the theme of Fearless, where we break away from the clutches of Fear, letting ourselves be free with Left and Right, getting more sentimental and delving a bit back into our pain with I Wish, we get back our positive mindset with My My, exploring and accepting being a Kidult in this world, and finally accepting all of these, culminating with Together, which is the mindset we end up with moving forward. And we do move forward. That’s the journey of this mini album. With everything we’ve been through, we move forward, together. It’s so beautiful, this mini album. I’m going to admit that this mini album is not the best, when it comes to the physical copies they put out, as it looks quite flimsier than its predecessors, but I don’t regret buying this album, and I don’t regret streaming away the whole comeback season. This mini album deserved it, Seventeen deserves it. For putting a much needed message in music form during these times, I am forever grateful. And amazed. And a fan.

And that’s where I end my rambling. Have you listened to the album, or to Left and Right? What do you think? Have you already listened to Seventeen’s latest Japanese release? I’ll try to get on that ASAP, so here’s to hoping I can do a timely post on that, and see you in my next post!

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