Song Review: Seventeen – Not Alone

Seventeen - Not AloneSeventeen have been consistent with their J-pop releases, crafting original material in addition to re-recording existing songs in Japanese. And rather than outsource the creative process, new single Not Alone (ひとりじゃない) is again composed by Woozi and Bumzu. Even so, this doesn’t come across as a leftover K-pop track pitched to the Japanese market. There’s something distinctly J-pop about Not Alone’s surging, lyrical melody.

Not Alone has that “snowballing” effect I often write about, with the song constantly gathering steam as if rolling down a hill. Each element – from the emotive rap verse to the post-chorus instrumental hook – contributes to this sense of velocity. Its various segments blend in and build off each other. That might make the chorus feel less impactful, but the approach works well for this style of song.

Not Alone opens with a catchy, wordless vocal riff. I wish this re-appeared later in the track, because I love the melody. But, it sets the stage for the synth line that’s to come. The instrumental’s rock-meets-EDM sound makes for an excellent backbone to Seventeen’s emotional performance. I especially love the strumming guitar in the chorus, which joins clap-along percussion for a rousing centerpiece that carries a surprising level of tension and texture. This perfectly sets up the instrumental drop, which plays like a welcome exhalation after the breathless build before it. Not Alone closes with a blend of these two pieces, as the chirpy synth joins the group’s vocals and the track ends on a high. Both the build-up and pay-off are executed with polish, making this a highlight in Seventeen’s Japanese discography.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75

10 thoughts on “Song Review: Seventeen – Not Alone

  1. Nick, when you last wrote about wanting a Healing p2 song, I barely contained myself from replying ‘Hitorijanai will be that song for you’ 😉 Granted, it’s a toned-down version but it still hits the right spot in many ways. A really enjoyable track indeed!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is just top tier Seventeen, doing what they do best! The Instrumental is beyond excellent and the build up is breathless. The performance is nothing short of dynamic, though I wish the song offered a rousing melody, but who cares, This is just so good! 9.25/10 for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Seventeen yet again proving that they have cornered the market of healing songs. They have yet to miss with their Japanese releases and this song is no exception (I think I write the same thing every time they drop a Japanese song but it has yet to be wrong). These feel good songs are always relevant. I do also like how this is one of those quarantine songs (the mv makes that clear) but it’s not too obvious and still a quality song on its own. It really didn’t take us long to start incorporating this pandemic into entertainment huh. Definitely going to be on repeat.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel the same way! I really like that this king of healing song has kind of become their hallmark. They execute songs of this style so well – it’s straightforward, sweet, and the simplicity factor doesn’t take away from the fact that the melody just sounds really good and is executed so well and with such confidence.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m surprised this got a higher rating than 24H (which I prefer over this) but then I remembered you like brighter songs more. not mad though, this is what the boys do best!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Unfortunately, it sounds so much like a covid cf song i was put off. definitely a weak seventeen single, but somehow it keeps creeping back to my mind…
    I’d rank seventeen’s jp singles as follows:
    1. 24H (I love 24H so, so much)
    2. callx3
    3. flfl/happy ending
    4. hitori janai


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