With over 2,300 songs on my iPhone’s “K-Pop Singles” playlist, I thought it would be fun to add a bit of unpredictability to my song review posts. So as a result, we have the brand new “Random Shuffle Review” feature.
The rules are simple. I fire up my playlist, press “shuffle,” and whatever song plays first gets the full Bias List treatment!
Year Released: 2015
In the spring of 2015, Seventeen debuted strong — launching out of the gate with a fully-realized sound that drew on the members’ skills for composition, choreography and concept. Adore U was a rallying cry for pop fans everywhere, but follow-up Mansae (만세) cemented their place as a leader in k-pop’s modern generation.
The song’s opening verse is a barrage of hooks, encapsulating Seventeen’s unique appeal. The structure effortlessly weaves between hip-hop and pop melody, utilizing the group’s large configuration to craft a playful series of diversions that never feels messy or aimless. A robust funk backbone keeps things on track, dizzying in its use of galloping percussion and rhythm guitar. As we round into the explosive chorus, the vocals take center stage with a punchy, layered performance that culminates in the addictive “mansae” refrain.
This brings us to the second, truncated verse. In what has quickly become a hallmark of Seventeen’s music, this segment veers in a completely different direction than its predecessor, briefly playing around with tempo before we get a repeat of the melodic pre-chorus. In this way, the entire song is a contradiction. It’s freewheeling in structure and sound, yet impeccably tight in execution. This is a difficult feat to pull off, and Mansae does so with confidence. I don’t really believe in giving a perfect “10” rating without a year or two for a song to cement its “legendary” status, but Mansae has only improved with age.