Review

Song Review: Hoshi (Seventeen) – Spider

Hoshi - Spider
Given their vast array of members and talents, I’m surprising we haven’t seen many solo projects from Seventeen. The  group is approaching its sixth debut anniversary, which seems like the perfect excuse to further explore this possibility. Perhaps the release of Hoshi’s mixtape Spider will be the fuel for that fire.

Before getting into the song, I want to say I’m baffled by K-pop’s definition of “mixtape.” You can’t really have a “mix” with just one track, and the fact that Spider comes paired with a glossy music video, M Countdown performance and is available to purchase on digital shops makes it far from the kind of underground mixtape popular in hip-hop circles. The only explanation I can come up with involves marketing. The K-pop industry clearly thinks this word sounds cool and gives their artists an air of “authenticity.” Or… maybe Spider is only the first in a series of Seventeen songs that will eventually become an actual mixtape? Make it so, Pledis… or Big Hit… or HYBE… or whoever you are today.

Either way, Hoshi is ripe for solo success. As Seventeen’s performance leader, he continually impresses with inventive choreography. Spider showcases this skill, gifting him a sophisticated, slinky dance beat. The song takes obvious influence from K-pop soloists like Taemin, which is both a boon and a drawback. This sound is tried and true, but I wish we could hear something that felt more unique to Hoshi. As satisfying as Spider is, I feel like we’ve experienced its minimalist, bass-driven chorus countless times over the past year or two.

Luckily, Spider brings a ton of polish and charisma, which helps elevate its familiar sound. Hoshi’s performance has a welcome sense of movement, buttressed by well-placed backing vocals that give the track an appealing texture. Similarly, the production ebbs and flows throughout, never staying in one place for too long. A definite standout is the guitar-fueled breakdown that makes up the song’s climax. Moments like this convince me that Hoshi has more adventurous material in his future, but Spider proves his ability to carry a song on his own.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.5

27 thoughts on “Song Review: Hoshi (Seventeen) – Spider

  1. I’m laughing so hard at the mixtape comments. To be fair, your assumption that there will be more releases soon might have some merit. The Prismfilter team hinted as much.
    That aside, considering Hoshi has been one of most vocal Shawols out there, Carats aren’t the least bit surprised to see the Taemin influence. One of his previous solo tracks (for concert only) ‘Touch’ had a very structure and choreography.
    Thankyou for the detailed review. I’m so pleasantly surprised to see someone taking the time to find atleast some basic stuff about the group. A group like Seventeen’s calibre (or any artist for that matter) deserves this much. Kudos to you!
    I absolutely love this release. Been listening to it continuously (unintentionally) and it just keeps on getting better and better. Excited to see the live stage!
    Hoping for more bombastic solo releases! Woozi, I’m eyeing you.

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  2. The song felt meh to me at the start, but on and on the song keeps getting more interesting. The vibe is so addicting and the added guitar definitely means a bonus 0.5 at least haha. I’d rate it the same as you.

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  3. The past year has been daebak for slinky solo male releases. This song doesn’t add much different to this niche, but does it well. Everyone can pick their flavor of singing dancing metrosexual as there is a full set to choose from.

    HYBE is becoming a leviathon, having just acquired today Bieber, Ariana, and Demi, among others. Although I still don’t know how to pronounce it. “Highb(uh)”? “High-bee”? High Bee Bee da loca? Hee-bay? Whatever it is, they didn’t do their homework because hybe.com is owned by some other click bait company. … Is the Y like a capital upsilon so it could be “Hoob”?

    Liked by 2 people

      • We can make all sorts of tongue twisters on this topic. Well at least one, the only one I thought of, and to be honest it isn’t very good, but its what I got.

        “Hybe have a hyphen and Enhypen”

        (There is a hyphen in their trademarked logo)

        A Bee, a Phi, and a Pee
        … is that secret fraternity code? Beta Phi Pi baby.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I have come to the realization that I have actually been pronouncing, or rather intoning, it as three syllables: “HAI-eeeeeee-buh” …. … buh da loca.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I really enjoyed this! I never thought I’d see Hoshi get a solo (not for lack of talent) and I’m so happy he has gotten the opportunity.

    It’s not the most revolutionary track (reminded me of Wonho at first, and your reference to Taemin is apt), but that’s not a bad thing when it’s done really well.

    I loved the plinking instrumental that kicks off the song (xylophone?), for some reason it’s very spider-y to me, and the guitar breakdown was super satisfying.
    Another moment that stood out to me is his restrained delivery of the first line of the chorus (“Can’t Breathe”). The hushed, low tone and way he breathes out each syllable is captivating.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I sound like a biased fan but that’s what I am, haha. I was blown away by this. I love both SHINee and Seventeen (much like Hoshi, one of the ultimate shawols in the industry, also does) and it’s amazing to see Hoshi take inspiration from that distinct Taemin style while taking steps towards creating his own distinct performance (there are moments here that felt very Taemin-inspired, and some of the vocals Jonghyun-inspired as well, but there are also moments that felt very like Hoshi and the musical taste/performance preferences he’s shown in the past). The guitar breakdown towards the end was my favourite part of the song, too. Also, some of Woozi’s backing vocals in here are such a fun thing to try and pinpoint as a fan!

    I have a theory about the ‘mixtape’ branding – I think it allows for more members to be able to explore more individual activities without an official ‘solo’ push, because the strongest point of Seventeen’s marketing so far has been their OT13 branding even when they’re now (finally) branching out into more individual (and subunit – give me a BSS comeback!) stuff. Even Jun’s solo activity this February was a digital single album, one title track and one b-side. Technically speaking we haven’t had the ‘idol soloist’ full-on shebang for a debut from any of them yet, maybe it’s just a matter of time.

    All the same, there’s rumoured to be some interesting variety of projects planned this year for the members and I’m very excited for them all!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Since you’re outrightly admitting you’re biased, let me join in the squeals too!
      OMG Hoshi’s solo!! I’m so PSYCHED for future solo releases. I want DK and Seungkwan to pick up a rock song for their own. We’ve had too many ballads. For Jeonghan a ‘Purple rose 2.0’ and for Woozi a ‘Simple 2.0’ sounds lit. The rest of the members can ace any genre tbh.

      Liked by 3 people

      • I’ve been begging for a rock song from them for ages as well (the Callx3 influences are greatly appreciated but give me more rockerteen!!!) Your DK x Seungkwan idea sounds amazing. Also, this reminds me – we need a return of the vocal team being a band unit haha

        I can’t wait for more from them too, I’m so very intrigued by what direction they’ll go in and maybe there’ll be some really unexpected surprises!

        Liked by 3 people

        • Yes yes and yes! Not to mention, DK was inspired by a rock singer to actually choose this as profession. And the way, both of them (SK a bit more) have been begging for a duet it would be a great venture of them.
          The vocal team band song, HHU’s pansori song, BSS’s cb.. there are just so many possibilities. If only they were given the liberty to explore more.
          (Flying butterfly is one of my all-time favourite performances)

          Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree with the “mixtape” part! I feel like BTS are the only group to actually put out mixtapes (Suga with Agust D, RM, and J-Hope).

    anyway, I got Taemin vibes from the song too (he is the blueprint after all). it could’ve been better, but I’m satisfied with it.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I too was really thrown off by the word mixtape! I actually spent a couple minutes looking for the entire album before I realized it was just one song 😂😂😅

    I really enjoyed Spider. It’s silky and slinky. Hoshi’s performance really reminded me of an actual spider at some parts! I can’t help feeling that there needed to be a little something extra with the chorus though. Overall, it’s a very enjoyable track and I will definitely listen to it again.

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  8. I am 100% satisfied with this song. Hoshi is one of my favorite members of my all-time favorite group, & this song is SO him. I can see & hear the Taemin influences, but it’s very much Hoshi’s own song. It’s cohesive while still having distinctive sections. The things that set this apart from other releases for me are the “dreamlike pluck sounds” (from Pledis’s description), the different ranges of his voice throughout the song (falsetto, chest voice, & more), and the fact that the choreography, the vocals, the instrumental, and the mv all tie the concept together. I’m a super happy Seventeen fan, & I’m so happy for and proud of Hoshi.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Glad to see Hoshi get a solo! As a former huge fan of Seventeen this is in itself a moment for celebration. I agree, there is so much solo potential for the members. I hope more of them are given the chance in the future.

    Not only the music, but the dancing and even some of the styling in the MV reminded me strongly of Taemin. We know Hoshi to be a big SHINee fan, so this feels more like a tribute than a copy. The vibe suits him and he pulls it off well.

    As for the song.. I’m not sold. Subdued, slinky soloist songs tend to go in one ear and straight out the other for me and this is unfortunately no exception.

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  10. Got to say I agree on the mixtape part, I was very disappointed to click on the album on Spotify and only have it be a single :,) pls give me more, Hoshi. Surprisingly, the song is not my favorite, even though it has a lot of elements I really like on their own. It just doesn’t have that little extra oomph to make it musically stand out to me amongst all the other slinky sexy releases this year, which is definitely unusual for a SVT song (in my experience.) That being said, I cannot wait to see this song promoted – the performance looks incredible and I know that Hoshi will really bring this stage to life.

    Liked by 2 people

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