FTIsland have been a staple of the K-pop landscape for over ten years now. Having debuted so young, none of the members have yet embarked on their two-year military conscription, making their music a reliably steady presence. This consistency of comebacks threatens to blunt excitement for new material. After all, “absence makes the heart grow fonder” is a cliché for a reason. But throughout their career, the group has maintained a high level of quality while occasionally branching out from their core rock sound.
Summer Night’s Dream’s innocuous effect isn’t going to threaten any of FTIsland’s best material, but it’s a solid feel-good comeback. Its verses push at the edges of the group’s usual style, merging layers of synths with a laidback reggae beat. The chorus brings back the rock, driven by crunchy guitar and a swaggering melody. The playful, shifting arrangement recalls agency-mates N.Flying, offering opportunity for a loose performance style with an emphasis on personality.
Though Dream’s melody lacks a bit of ambition, it’s catchy from the first play and should have wide appeal. At this point in their career, FTIsland don’t need to worry about proving themselves. Instead, the song finds them doing what they do best, with Hongki’s always-welcome performance providing more than enough magnetism to drive the song. With that said, Dream’s versatile construction also gives members Jaejin and Seunghyun a chance to provide vocals, and this diversity of tone definitely works in the song’s favor.