Review

Song Review: ATEEZ – Answer

Before I get into my thoughts about Answer, I want to heap praise on ATEEZ’s Treasure series one last time. It’s been an incredible run, meticulously planned and artfully executed. The fact that their last album’s outro ended up being a teaser for Answer blows my mind, and the way that new release Action To Answer’s epilogue acts as a perfect bookend to Treasure‘s 2018 introduction feels so satisfying. This level of detail and continuity can only be achieved by having a consistent group of composers at the helm. That each and every song has been a total knockout is just the icing on the cake. Play these thirty-four tracks back-to-back and you have the closest we’ll get to a modern K-pop opera. That level of ambition is ridiculously appealing to a music nerd like me.

Answer itself is a highlight reel of everything that came before it, yet manages to point forward at the same time. At this point we’re all familiar with ATEEZ’s anthemic sound. Big vocal moments, hard-hitting hip-hop / EDM backbones, and that brilliant last-minute switch-up that gives their tracks a sense of growth and climax. Answer wastes no time in leveraging these strengths, opening with its central refrain before pulling back to the first verse rap. I love the backing vocals during this introduction. They give the song a slightly tribal appeal similar to Wave’s second verse.

Throughout their burgeoning career, ATEEZ have proven masters of the pre-chorus. Answer’s isn’t quite as galvanizing as some of their past work, but changes the song’s dynamic just enough to act as the perfect bridge into that immense chorus. This is followed by the kind of chanted refrain that often characterizes their sound. It’s even more bombastic here, just as any self-respecting finale should be.

Answer’s restrained second verse is its least effective element, and blunts some of the energy the track had been building. Fortunately, the song quickly roars back to life as we approach the mammoth bridge. Jongho’s resounding vocals are on full display here, powering an octave-shifting build to the final chorus. The melody changes here, acting as a cinematic culmination that sends Answer out on a high. This Treasure journey has concluded with a bang, raising expectations for future series. At this point, it feels that ATEEZ’s only limitation is their own ambition. And judging by the past year, ambition doesn’t seem to be a problem.

 Hooks 9
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 9

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5 thoughts on “Song Review: ATEEZ – Answer

  1. It’s at least a 9.25, maybe 9.5, for me. I agree on the second verse criticism, though in any other song it wouldn’t be much of a drawback. The last ninety seconds of the track are a perfect example of the kind of anthemic power I love in K-Pop mixed with the ATEEZ vocal blend that defines and elevates their music. It’s still giving me goosebumps on the tenth listen. ATEEZ have beyond proven themselves this past year, and although this leaves high expectations, it also gives off the impression that they will rise to meet them.

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  2. This one didn’t hit right off the bat for me but I get a feeling it will grow on me quite a bit since by the 2nd play I was digging it a lot more. I gotta commend ATEEZ and their songwriters for sure tho. They managed to create a style of their own even with already popular and tried genres. I can’t imagine anybody else doing this style and pulling it off the way ATEEZ do.

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  3. I like it a lot, but not love it. 8.25 or 8.5 for me. For me, it lacks a unifying theme for the song. Why does this song exist? What propels it forward? Individually the elements are pretty good, but they don’t come together as a whole. Compare this one to the everyone’s favorite hip hop sea shanty “Wonderland” where everything builds to a point, this one doesn’t.

    There are noisy middle to mid-high tones throughout, so better mixing would help to open up space between the vocal and the instrumental. qv Oh My Girl “Fifth Season”, which is also noisy in the prechorus and chorus, but because the girls are singing so much higher in pitch their voices don’t get lost.

    Also, too much mush mouth singing for my taste, at least two of them.

    This reads like I don’t like, but actually I do like it. I don’t love it.

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  4. Oh yeah, its good.
    Classic Ateez. Crafted precisely and performed beautifully. 9.25 (Most likely a grower)
    Buried Treasure: Precious-9
    Nice end to the treasure saga, but would’ve been nice if the Christmas ballad was replaced with an overture or dance track. It just feels weird being told to calm down right after Horizon just roared at you.

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