Review

Song Review: ATEEZ – The Black Cat Nero

I don’t usually write about song covers, but ATEEZ and Halloween seem like too good a match to pass up. Several months ago, they reinvented Turbo’s 90’s hit Black Cat as part of the series Immortal Songs. Now, they’ve recorded a proper studio version and paired it with a big-budget performance video. The result is quite a lot of fun, and offers a glimpse at how awesome a rock-themed ATEEZ comeback could be.

It’s hard to write about a cover without acknowledging the original source material. So, let’s talk about Turbo’s Black Cat. It’s never been a favorite of mine, but that has little to do with the song itself. I run hot and cold on Kim Jongkook’s reedy voice, and Black Cat’s chorus tends to draw out the tones I’m not so keen on. But, I’ve always enjoyed hearing it covered on K-pop’s year-end music extravaganzas. If nothing else, it’s got a great 90’s dance club energy.

Transpose this onto ATEEZ and you’ve got a real contrast. I’ve always considered their tones to be one of their biggest strengths, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a more bombastic idol vocalist than Jongho. He gets a chance to stretch his range during Black Cat’s daring finale, but that’s just the cherry on top of an ultra-theatrical cake.

The guys have transformed the track into a little K-pop rock opera. It’s brimming with theatricality, and clearly designed with a performance in mind. Taken apart from the visuals, the second verse tempo change feels a little too protracted. I much prefer the first rap verse, which is made more dynamic by the powerful guitar-shredding instrumental. Elsewhere, spooky synths and church organs dot the musical landscape, urged along by stabs of symphonic fury. It all comes together for a truly blistering climax that improves upon the original.

Now I just need a new-gen group to cover My Childhood Dream, which is my personal favorite Turbo single.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75

9 thoughts on “Song Review: ATEEZ – The Black Cat Nero

  1. Yes! It actually got a review! Also on the song I think it’s very well put together! The energy in the chorus is really refreshing and the rock touches are completely welcome. The finale is especially great and Jonho’s high note is such a nice payoff. As far as performance peices go, this is one of my favourites.

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  2. Are Edenary also involved in this production? I mean, given LEEZ/Ollounder’s work with Dreamcatcher, they definitely know their way around a rock song… 😉 In any case, this is awesome! I get that Mingi is like the backbone of their sound, but Jongho is an incredible vocalist and showcasing him always results in good things. (Answer is my favorite ATEEZ single for a reason.)

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    • I would assume so, but there hasn’t been a digital release so I haven’t been able to find any credits. I’d be shocked if they weren’t part of this arrangement, though. It’s so them.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I liked the changeup in the finale of the song, but other than that, I’d take the original Turbo song any day… I like what they tried to do with the rock opera-esque sound, but I miss the driving beat permeating the whole song.

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  4. I Know a Song Like TVXQ’s Rising Sun cannot be remade , because it’s a one in a lifetime song but I feel like there are several groups who can remake an Opera of their own.

    Onf
    Ateez
    and NCT

    and In 2021 , I imagine all 3 of them releasing their own Opera type of song with their signature sound..,..

    This song is awesome!

    I mean this perfectly caught the Halloween vibes and actually when I first saw the Immortal songs performance , I immediately thought of Halloween…

    ATEEZ’s performance elevates this song , Jongho heightening his vocals in the grand finale , HongJoong and Mingi’s charisma at the verses and during the bridge and The amazing tones used throughout this song.

    I desperately want ATEEZ to do a comeback like that…..

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  5. Once again I am a sucker for the spooky. I don’t know much about the source material but enjoyed how intense this was.
    The intro was fantastic as well. And I think I hear accordion in it? haven’t remembered hearing accordions in K-pop since Adore U. More of that please!

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