Review

Song Review: SF9 – Summer Breeze

SF9’s first full album was a big commercial success back in January, and many readers have recommended its b-sides to me. Rest assured, I listened to the album when it was released and enjoyed almost everything on it. However, no one song stood out as being particularly impactful, which actually describes my feelings around SF9 pretty well. But with the release of Summer Breeze (여름 향기가 날 춤추게 해), that might change. It’s one of the more refreshing tracks I’ve heard this season, and one of the few 2020 boy group efforts that takes a relentlessly uptempo approach.

After a klaxon call of dramatic synths that sound as if they’ve been ripped from an old spaghetti western, Summer Breeze launches into its brisk house beat. It’s so heartening to hear a title track bound out of the gate like this, free of moody posturing or tiresome trap beats. Instead, Breeze’s instrumental pounds with elastic electro percussion, supporting a catchy melody that makes this segment a mini-highlight of its own. I only wish the guys didn’t feel the need to plunge into an unnecessary trap breakdown during the second verse. At least it’s brief, this time.

The pre-chorus does a nice job building excitement, utilizing tried-and-true EDM tricks as the guys’ vocals adopt an airy appeal. As we enter the chorus, we’re greeted by that same old-west synth riff, echoing a simple, repeated hook. Though the energy remains explosive, the melody here is a bit of a disappointment. I wish they had gone with something more fleshed out and unique, even if what we end up getting is undeniably catchy. Its repetition makes the song feel more generic than it could be. Even so, Summer Breeze is an unqualified success for SF9, and one of the more exciting comebacks I’ve heard in a while. Maybe this won’t be such a bummer summer, after all?

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75

Be sure to add your own rating by participating in the poll below!

21 thoughts on “Song Review: SF9 – Summer Breeze

  1. I really like this! I can see myself playing it a lot.

    PD: Nick, keep up with the optimism, GFRIEND are coming back with a FRANTS-produced title track!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It’s nice to see that SF9 are actually doing something consistent two comebacks in a row. Its paying off immensely and I’m liking where they’re heading. This track really goes well with Good Guy, so much so that I thought this comeback was a repackage! I really enjoyed this but it would’ve been nice if some parts had more impact. more impact, 8.5 🙂

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    • So I was on Spotify this morning and found out their new album comes out tomorrow. So I decide to finally listen to their first album, and it was great! To all the people who mentioned it on this site repeatedly, god bless your ears! My fave track has to be Am I The Only One?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love it. I thought it was the bias in my ears messing with my brain, but if even Nick enjoyed it then it must be a real bop.
    Although I also wish it’d a little bit more upbeat chorus, it’s good enough as it is. First and foremost it’s refreshing through and through, a song one’ll enjoy listening during the summer.
    I can’t wait to listen to the rest of the mini album, hopefully it’s as good as their album from January.

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  4. Will you be reviewing SKZ’s “Easy” as well as “Ta” and Go Live” when they come out with the MV’s?

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    • I might get around to Easy tomorrow. More likely, I’ll pick and choose — writing about the songs that are interesting to me. I don’t find Easy to be an album highlight, so I’m a little annoyed that they chose to make a music video for it when there are better songs waiting in the wings.

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  5. It feels surprisingly unexpected to be back to summer… in summer.
    SF9 have always been kinda shadow zone to me: their discography is full of ups and downs; one song is great and the next is nonsense; Rowoon is a showbiz icon but he’s not enough to drive the act one step further and there’s no particular excellence they can promote in a competitive scenario.
    BUT I do love (as a value) their experimental attitude. And this time it works really really good.
    Let’s hope it works that way even in terms of sales, so that more boy groups – which means: their agencies – will leave the generic randomic midtempo trap-soups and embrace the dear, old sound of *Music*.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. When the teasers came out with guns I was like “oh are we really not getting a summer song AGAIN??” I am so glad to be wrong!
    The western-y whistle is really nice. Can’t tell if this will grow even better or if I’ll get tired of it in a week. I think it sits at an 8 because my personal bias expects even better from them.
    I never thought when getting into SF9 that they’d have some of my favorite b-sides so I’m looking forward to the b-sides again with high expectations.
    *Beating a dead horse* I really do think First Collection had three of the best b-sides of the year so they better deliver!!

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  7. This is getting closer to the SF9 I fell in love with when Mamma Mia came out! Let’s hope they keep going in that direction and the next comeback isn’t an “RPM”.

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  8. As someone who liked Good Guy a lot less than you did and who doesn’t really care for SF9 in general, this is pretty exciting, ngl. Probably the post-Now or Never track I like best. The repeated instrumental hook and song structure remind me a bit of End of Spring for some reason.

    (Still bristling at FNC, though, which is tempering my enthusiasm about this. Sorry.)

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    • I just had the two SF9 “Summer Breeze” and OneWe “End of Spring” play back to back on shuffle on my ipod, and I have to say the similarity is striking. The melodies are different, or at least bland enough that there is no obvious comparison. Its the hook which is so close both in the melody of the hook and the whistly effect over the acoustic guitar strumming. And then the chord progressions are close (identical?) or at least close enough that the instrumental sounds very similar. Although to be honest, the chord progression seems pretty bog standard pop progression that a lot of songs use.

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  9. RBW producer Kim Do Hoon is listed in the composition credits for both of these songs so I guess we know why it sounds the same to some extent

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  10. I am digging it. I like how relentless it is. SF9 is hit or miss for me, and this one is Hit. The combo Indian motif with the whistling western theme is really clever, and then add on the acoustic guitar a la Pentagon “Cosmo”. Yep, I am clicking buy on this one.

    RIP Ennio Morricone, 91 years, scored over 400 films + TV shows. I suppose I will put on my favorite Yo Yo Ma plays Morricone CD on repeat today. The whistle sampled in this song sounds straight out of the Good Bad & the Ugly theme song. ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFa1-kciCb4

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I don’t mean to hijack this post, but I was wondering whether you were considering reviewing the zhoumi + ryeowook single starry night that came out recently?

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