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?
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