Few groups take advantage of their sub-units as well as Seventeen. Since their inception, many of Seventeen’s album tracks have centered on their unique configuration into vocal, hip-hop and performance units. Over the next few weeks, we’ll get to hear from each individually, but to kick off the group’s promotions for their upcoming second full album, each unit’s leaders have come together for the funky hip-hop of Change Up.
While I’m not sure that the song fully takes advantage of its three performers’ unique talents (it sounds more like a hip-hop unit track than anything), its mellow groove is hard to resist. Driven by a brassy loop, Change Up paints a more laid-back take on Seventeen’s hooky style. Its verses are primarily devoted to hip-hop, divided equally between S.Coups and Hoshi. Their jazzy bounce isn’t anything we haven’t heard a million times within more r&b-focused k-pop, but the guys’ performances are playful and dynamic enough to stick.
Once we hit the pre-chorus, things start to become more interesting. Woozi’s vocal provides a nice build as the track lurches to life, threatening to transform into full-on EDM before dropping back into that potent brass hook. The chorus itself isn’t one of Seventeen’s most memorable — more concerned with its playful sense of light funk than anything grand or melodically complex. But Change Up isn’t billed as a full-on comeback, and as a fun side track it more than accomplishes its task. I can’t wait to hear where the rest of the sub-units take us over the next three weeks.