Review

Buried Treasure: ATEEZ – Take Me Home

A K-pop group’s title track isn’t always the best song on their album, even if it’s the one most people will hear. Sometimes, b-sides deserve recognition too. In the singles-oriented world of K-pop, I want to spotlight some of these buried treasures and give them the props they deserve.


Okay, this just makes me mad. How do you record a song this fantastic, this tailor-made for promotions, and not choose to make it your album’s title track?

I’m sure many of you will say: “Nick, you always pick these synthy pop songs for your buried treasures. You’re clearly biased toward this sound.” And yes, that’s true. But even without those elements, I think Take Me Home does what it does so much more successfully than I’m The One.

Take Me Home builds upon so many of ATEEZ’s strengths – from Jongho’s power vocals to Edenary’s ability to build toward a knockout climax – but it doesn’t feel like the group repeating themselves. It will please long-time fans, but offer inroads for those who might not have been convinced by the ATEEZ sound thus far. It’s fully realized, with each segment standing on its own as a highlight. It boasts a whopper of a chorus, but also makes room for those hard-hitting rap breakdowns the group has always done well. It’s got a visual aspect, with those icy synths providing the perfect backdrop for a cool cyberpunk aesthetic. And to top it all off, it has something that very few K-pop tracks do: a blazing saxophone solo that ends the song on an incredible high.

And yes, we can certainly enjoy Take Me Home whether it’s a title track or not. But, great songs become even greater when fleshed-out with a music video, choreo and promotions. Somebody needs to introduce me to KQ Entertainment’s A&R team. I’d clearly like to have a word…

 Hooks 9
 Production 10
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 9.25


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38 thoughts on “Buried Treasure: ATEEZ – Take Me Home

        • I don’t know if this is a good thing but I can barely make out what they’re saying in the English version and I am like 90% sure that the raps (or at least Hongjoong’s) are still in Korean. So if there are cringey English lyrics I can’t tell so it doesn’t bother me.

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          • Its a good thing, its the second best thing.

            The order goes intelligible English good lyrics > unintelligible English of any quality lyrics > mispronounced but decent lyrics > intelligible lousy lyrics

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  1. The synth-pop sounded kind of familiar to me so I looked around and turns out one of the non-Edenary composers of this song is EOMTAEWON and they also composed Poison Love! Both songs are definite highlights for me so I will be on the lookout for their other songs.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is giving me heavy city pop vibes and I am loving it (you can never go wrong with heavy city pop vibes). I think it may be a bit slow for Ateez’s usual performance style so I’d be shocked if they promote it, though they absolutely should because again it’s one hell of a bop

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree! Even though I like Fireworks, I wish this was the title track. I think it sounds very distinctly Ateez and it kinda reminds me of Inception (which I loved). I hope this song gets at least a choreography video.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. They kinda missed a trick by not making this the title track, didn’t they?

    I feel like boygroups have yet to really capitalise on that synthpop/synthwave trend going on right now, and this could have been (still could be!) a great start.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Also: Nick, you always pick these synthy pop songs for your buried treasures. You’re clearly biased toward this sound… and so am I, so you certainly won’t hear me complain haha!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I really love this song. WHY OH WHY?! KQ you should really fix that. They should really promote this. This is just quintessential ATEEZ and if this was the title track, ATEEZ would be in SOTY conversations now. But unfortunately, that is not gonna happen. This is a 9/10 for me. This really grew on me a lot. I just friggin love it.

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  6. I love this track but nothing else in the album stands out for me. I generally always compare Ateez and Dreamcatcher albums together [e.g. Utopia and fever pt.2] and for the first time, I think I prefer Dreamcatcher’s sound over Ateez. Also, while listening to this song i was immediately reminded of Poison Love.

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  7. Listened to “Fireworks” after I heard this and that was…a mistake. After the very high note February ended on, to start March off with that felt a bit lackluster. Well, at least we have “Take Me Home”!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The chorus is just so…satisfying. Just so soothing to listen to. And that bridge and outro…ugh so goooood. 😆

    And the English version of the song is pretty good not gonna lie.

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    • There are a lot of 80’s synth elements in here, so 80’s comparisons come easily. There is the chugging bass, drum machine percussion, a spare instrumental during the verses, the simple synth chord wash added behind in the chorus, the high boop highlight notes that everyone used to use (right at 1:02 at the end of the line), the boop boop individual notes that serve as a hook (1:20) (… not a very good hook), a nice soaring chorus melody sung by a high male tenor, and then that sax solo.

      I think its the sax solo that triggers you to Careless Whisper, because a sax hook is so prominent in Careless Whisper, a quick arpeggio up to a high note wail then drops down in a similar fashion. This one is a high D, that one is a high E, but close enough. And then once you hear it, you can’t unhear it.

      My mind went to a few other favorite sax solo 80’s (eg Corey Hart “Never Surrender”), but there is no wrong answer here, only smiles and giggles.

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  9. And it ends with a sax solo. Finally a city pop – 80’s revival song with an instrumental solo. That big fat sax sound. Yes. Yes, this one is much better. Also, a nice vocal performance too.

    Well, maybe they will start promoting this one too. Dreamcatcher has been promoting “Wind Blows” on the music shows a lot.

    “I’m the One” is growing on me for no good reason.

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  10. listening to this song on loop for hours made me forget that Fireworks was the title track. I’m very satisfied by this, reminds me a lot of The Weeknd’s In Your Eyes from After Hours, which also has an amazing saxophone in the instrumental

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  11. Well, in order to officially meet an A&R team of an idol agency I guess you have to prove them that songs you ranked the highest are those that sold the most… And we all know that unfortunately it’s happening just the opposite.
    Maybe it’s time to finally resign that synthpop doesn’t drive sales as trap / hip hop / noise do (see, for example, the numbers of last WEi ep compared to last Wonho ep). We must thank God when a good synthpop track like Take Me Home is conceived as a b-side, but to me is quite clear that A&R teams in this moment can say they’re right.

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  12. I think this is my favourite k-pop song of the year so far? That chorus is angelic and I’m gonna need that music video ASAP.

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  13. I don’t know why but this just feels like another The Weekend song, the melody is great and the chorus is amazing but I can’t shake the feeling that the english lyrics doesn’t do it justice. It sounds awkward and doesn’t fit. The only verse I like is from Seonghwa’s part in the chorus. It’s like they translated the Korean lyrics in Google or smthing.

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    • Take Me Home is amazing! I just love it so much! I will list the differences on why this is way much better than “I’m The One”.

      1. An Expansion of ATEEZ’s Sound:

      ATEEZ haven’t done a synth pop sound before, so Take Me Home is really refreshing. Like Nick Pointed out, It has everything which makes ATEEZ such a dynamic idol group but doesn’t sounds like anything they have done so far, It’s absolutely fantastic and so refreshing to see that the group pulled out this sound so well. I’m The One is just (Ateez’s other song) WIN on drugs.

      2. Great Concept:

      It could have such a great concept! I can easily imagine a great music video out of this, I can easily grasp it’s soundscape and the landscape it would try to conjure! It could be so excellent just even imagining a Music video. Hey! Come to think of it…… there were another batch of concept photos way before the ones we got in the music video. They looked like this….
      https://www.youtube.com/post/UgwTs4yweovjY_8h0ZB4AaABCQ

      They never came into the music video. Did they just waste their time? Their listeners time? or….does it call for follow up music video. hmmmm?

      Anyways, Let’s get back on to the differences.

      3. The Instrumental:

      I’m The One’s instrumental was too busy for me, no sense of cohesiveness whatsoever. The way how everything just comes together to make one slob of messiness honestly sucked. Take Me Home forges everything so amazingly! From the sharp Icy Synths to the chugging, atmospheric harmonies taking place. It actually gives ATEEZ the breathing time they want, and this leads to a breath-taking vocal performance from the guys!

      4. Climax:

      I’m The One’s climax is annoying as hell, instead of delivering a knock out conclusion. The members ad-libs are warped into some high-pitched, annoying samples which add a grating effect. Take Me Home uses those ad-libs as an evocative backing which makes use of an otherworldly wisp, the members dynamic vocal performance deliver all the aplomb you expect them to before the sax solo comes and knocks you over.

      5. An Actual Good Chorus:
      The melody here is soaring, complimented by ATEEZ’s strong voices. It’s so smooth and clean, yet so emotional and cathartic. The Vocals here are magnetic, entering with a falsetto and weaving through the throbbing groove and icy synths. It feels like a telling-of-a-story through this melody and it’s all so perfectly realized.

      I just really hope they release Take Me Home as a follow up single!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Man I am so salty about this. I haven’t really enjoyed much of Fever so far (pt. 1 is like a holdover, pt. 2 is just meh) but this song is an absolute highlight and is instantly one of my favorite ATEEZ songs. Why oh why didn’t they go with this one for promotions…

    This reminds me of Loona having the wonderful Voice and even an English version for it but going with… hilichurl fancam music.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cXDE88rj9g”

    maybe, there might be a follow up music video for take me home…because the instrumental sample follows the same touch to the song, doesn’t it?

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  16. Nick, How much has “Take Me Home” grown on you? I have been playing it so many times, and It’s only gotten better. Just downright transcendent. Still waiting for that follow up music video.

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    • I’m not sure I’d say it’s grown on me, but that’s not a bad thing. I loved it when it was released, and still love it. If anything’s going to bump it up another notch, it’ll be a visual/performance component. Fingers crossed!

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        • But it might as well be the closest we get to a music video out of all the b-sides. I just hope They do release Take Me Home as a follow up with promotions, it’s too good to be left in the dark.

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