Review

Song Review: Seventeen – Ready To Love

Seventeen - Ready To LoveThough it’s been eight months since a proper Seventeen comeback, the group kept fans busy with solo releases and a Japanese single throughout this spring. It feels as if they’ve been building momentum leading up to new mini album Your Choice. Now a part of the HYBE umbrella, title track Ready To Love takes full advantage of the company’s resources. It’s their first song with a co-write from prolific producer (and Big Hit CEO) Bang “Hitman” Si-hyuk.

Despite this, Ready To Love comes across as definitive Seventeen, and I think it’s their strongest Korean single since 2019’s Hit. Much of this strength derives from the song’s focus. As idol groups grow, and roles within those groups become more specialized, K-pop tracks often bend over backwards to cater to a variety of performance styles. This can result in music that lurches from one extreme to another, highlighting strong moments but struggling to tie them into a cohesive whole. Ready To Love may not be the most exciting showcase for every skill set within Seventeen’s roster, but its single-mindedness packs a punch.

Though the track is underpinned by a chugged, rock-influenced beat, its melody feels more like a ballad or mid-tempo. Even the rap segments take a more sentimental approach. The chorus tackles two distinct refrains, ending in an exclamatory chant that will certainly go down well in live settings. Ready To Love doesn’t feel as monumental or epic as some of the group’s title tracks, and never builds to one definitive climax. But, I think it’s going to have incredible staying power as its charms gradually unveil themselves. As usual, the guys sound fantastic, lending the song plenty of power without going overboard. And though we’ve never heard a song quite like this from Seventeen, they make the transformation sound effortless.

 Hooks 9
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 9

74 thoughts on “Song Review: Seventeen – Ready To Love

  1. This comeback is a 10 for me I’m sorry, but I just love these boys so much, they’re my bias group. I agree with you, I haven’t felt this satisfied since HIT, even though I still liked their 2020 releases. I love the album too, all of the songs are good. That being said, the chorus is probably my most favorite this year, I was tearing up listening to it

    Liked by 6 people

  2. I feel like this will grow on me a lot but I’m not sure I like it right now.

    There are so many element I like in kpop songs in here but it somehow didn’t leave any impression on me or make me want to listen to it right away again. Can’t figure out why.

    Liked by 5 people

    • I thought so too. The song is garnering a lot of praise but the moment the beat set in I was like yeah this isn’t going to work for me. The song is layered and opens itself up over multiple listens but personally, I enjoyed Heaven’s Cloud and Gam3 Bo1 a lot more than I expected to, given that upon first listen I found the album to be far from impressive when compared to the stuff Heng:garae had.

      Heaven’s cloud has the dreamy refined seventeen sound but it’s a generic easy listen that doesn’t stand a chance against some of seventeen’s stronger dreamy mid-tempo compositions. And I’m saying this as someone who really likes the song. Surprisingly, though, Gam3 Bo1 might become my favorite hip hop unit song of all time.

      I was hoping for something really full-bodied from the vocal team track, even the song title looked appealing, but it doesn’t fill the room the way Hug does nor does it feel expansive and ambient like Pinwheel does. I was a bit let down, seventeen has some of my favorite vocalists in k-pop.

      Like

  3. I admit I was looking forward to the title track the least after the highlight medley and while it has really exceeded my expectations on so many levels, the B-sides are just top-tier. Freshteen, hypeteen, summerteen, emoteen is out in full force today. Such a solid comeback.!

    P.S: Terrible MV quality bordering on Adore U level. Not a fan of vocal processing at all.. I hope this doesn’t become a pattern. They are decent vocalists as it is.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Just a note, I think you were using the Not Alone photo and not the Ready to Love/Your Choice photo. Appreciate the review though 🙏

    Like

  5. It is so nice to have a straight ahead pop song that lays itself out without over thinking what posturing posing point its trying to make. It’s a solid pop song, solidly delivered. Their experience is readily evident.

    The staging is also classic Seventeen level of polish. They have a nice way of having so many people on the stage, and yet it doesn’t feel crowded. Its not just the movements, it’s the staging of the smaller groups and formations coming on and off. Its refreshing and enjoyable to watch. No panting at the end, no super set up trick jumps, no super props and multicamera long stages, just well-crafted movement in space and time. Boys, casual off the rack clothes, and an abundance of flowers for “Ready to love”, simple black for “Anyone”. This is Seventeen showing the Kingdom producers how its done.

    ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKiI2MHjMQY
    ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wthdu2V0Xg

    You know how most of the time when kpop goes on the American tv shows, and the choreo looks all off, its actually because of the cameras and how the typical kpop choreo has an expectation on the cameras. The well-timed wink and nod and coo at the camera. (nb – Not in the past year, when the appearances were pre-taped in Korea due to Covid – I am thinking when they are ON the show.) American morning camera people have a style, three camera shoot, and they just stick with it because they do a show every morning 365 days a year and they don’t change for 1 or 2 of those 365. In Korean, on the music shows, the cameras and the quick cuts and zip line and zooms make the choreo so exciting, almost visually too much. Here, this staging right here would translate to American TV immediately, drop in ready.

    Liked by 9 people

      • ah, I have been found out.

        They have become a lot more egalitarian in recent years with line distribution, so I usually think that DK and also SK don’t get enough lines lately. But this distribution has its uses though, because as they start to wave through their military enlistments, the song parts can be more easily redistributed. This song here as well as “Anyone” don’t have any special parts that require only one or two of them, its all about the same range. This is exactly how SuJu survived ten years of missing one or more members. Its hard to remember, and sometimes one needs a reference card, like how Yesung is not in the original Mamacita, and how Yesung had to cover Kyu’s and Ryeowook’s parts when they were gone.

        That said
        Let’s take a walk down memory lane, get a hit of nostalgia of Nice Very Nice, which will be hard to do without the DK-SK duo. They boom for that first verse to start the song with a blast of energy with solid full out belts, and then during the break hit those crazy Sammy Hagar school high F5 screams. Yasssss.
        ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgbyvKeZJek

        Liked by 3 people

        • O_o In all my years of being a carat, no one has put out this theory(atleast from what I have seen). Which is really unobservant of us but it makes complete sense to me? I guess we are still in denial about the inevitable changes that’ll come up in recent years.
          Ah… Aju Nice! The reputation of which surpasses Seventeen itself.
          From the previous albums, main vocals (and Woozi) get highlighted more in the B-sides. KidUlt won’t be the same without that gorgeous Dk’s part and same is the case with Together.

          Liked by 3 people

      • As a DK, I am constant being impressed by this dude and feel like I could never get enough of him. It’s rough dude, real rough.

        Also *arms*

        Liked by 2 people

    • I think it was missing that creative mix of hooks Seventeen usually delves in. I think 2020’s Left & Right’s first verse was an incredible return-to-form, but then…that chorus happened.

      Liked by 2 people

    • yep. I already love the song as it is but it would’ve been even better with DK and Seungkwan’s power notes in the final chorus. their harmony in the bridge was divine.

      Liked by 1 person

    • It was missing any sort of highs and lows in my opinion – a nice high note would have helped, but I don’t think it would’ve solved the overal ‘flat’ energy of the song completely.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. When it comes to K-pop Single Runs, Seventeen have created one of the best in K-pop. From their early years of Irresistible funk pop to later years of Emotional EDM, They have not only performed the hell out of each and every one of their singles but also prioritize a certain sense of creativity and uniqueness which makes them stand-out in this oversaturated market. And after the group’s (very) excellent Home;Run from last year, I was hoping I would like this song just as much. Surprise, Surprise! Not only is Ready To Love better than Home;Run but it might as well just be my favorite single from them ever since 2017’s Stomper Single Clap.

    Like Nick Said, The song makes use of a sentimental melody much like that of ballads. But it’s driving upbeat instrumental acts as a good counter to the hook and it’s quite an attack. I absolutely love the brisk rock guitar underpinning the track, It has a satisfying sense of drive and sounds as if it could soundtrack big arena and concerts. Seventeen also sound great here, imbuing the performance which much emotion as possible. The chorus in particular, sounds great and cathartic. This is once again another Show Stopper from the guys! Now, can we please let them craft another Healing or Very Nice?

    Liked by 2 people

      • Yep, waiting for A.C.E……..Down was good, but I want a rock (or hardstyle!) song to top Goblin, which was my favourite song of last year.

        Like

  7. This was my most anticipated comeback as a carat and while I’m blown away by the album as a whole, I have to say I’m not as sold on the title track yet. I still think it’s great, and I really like the little pop-rock kind of influence it has, and also their vocals keep improving somehow?! But I’m a little underwhelmed because it hasn’t really grabbed me the way a Seventeen title track usually does, yet, mostly because there are some parts of the song that sound a little jarring to me (‘you give me purpose’) and the vocals seem a little more muted/processed than usual (though thankfully not as much as I’d have feared). Hopefully it’ll grow on me even more – it’s already quite there, just that I have a lot of expectations for my all-time favourite group.

    On the other hand though, Heaven’s Cloud is where it’s at for me. Instant love, it’s the shot of sweet serotonin that they do so well. I love all the b-sides here (even Gam3 Bo1 which I did not expect to because it’s so far out of my usual tastes but damn it’s catchy), but Heaven’s Cloud is the instant standout for me though the rest of the album is so solid as well.

    Like

    • Seventeen has really just put the standards so darn high for themselves where I feel like their recent releases are underwhelming even though they are great in their own right. 😭 I agree with just about everything you said

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, this is exactly what I feel! They’re still putting out great stuff, it’s just that they have such an incredibly strong discography overall and with each new release, it’s getting harder to top the previous one because it’s always so good that the new one feels a little underwhelming haha

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s going to be a neck-and-neck race, I can see strong arguments being made for both! If Anyone hadn’t been performed today I might have been even more firmly in the Heaven’s Cloud camp, but as it stands both of them have such strong cases

        Liked by 1 person

      • For me it’s an easy choice. Heaven’s Cloud is much more to my personal taste than Anyone – though I love the rock influences in Anyone a lot.

        However, I feel like international fandoms (can’t speak for K-fans) tend towards ‘harder’ tracks and darker concepts, so I’d predict Anyone would become the general fan favourite.

        Like

        • I agree with every word of this, I personally prefer Heaven’s Cloud a lot more as well but perhaps Anyone will become more popular down the run, especially because they’re promoting it now. I really hope they promote Heaven’s Cloud as well, at least just a little!

          Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m not ready to love this. It just doesn’t seem very catchy and it slips away the moment I’m done listening, except for “Can we stay TO-gether?” which I would rather not hear over and over. I like Seventeen so maybe it will grow on me but for now? Ho-hum.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Meh, I’m really not digging it. Don’t get me wrong, the song is actually great and all, especially the consistent energy it had from start to finish. The arrangement’s fine, albeit a little bit needing more. The melody is the one that captured me and made me stay in the song.

    But what made me not like it to the extent, unlike their previous tracks? Well, it really REALLY does not feel like a Seventeen track. Sure it still had that sound in there, but it feels so buried and the song came out with a new identity. It also didn’t have that memorable hook that most Seventeen tracks possess, the “I’m ready to love” and “you give me purpose” not enough to stuck in my head.

    Also, that lame ending! The Seventeen I know had that climatic end, where all the build up from the start being released with a big boom in your face. This one just felt so flat, and the high notes don’t even help either.

    Maybe I’m just blinded by nostalgia, or that’s what the song is sending me. I’m rating this an 8.25, bummer since the track had potential to be expanded.

    Anyway, Heaven’s Cloud everyone? Anyone (the song)? These two captured me the most in the album.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I did not read your comment before commenting myself, and I see I’ve basically mentioned all the same things! So good to know I’m not the only one who sees it this way. The ending frustrated me with how abrupt and anticlimactic it was!

      Liked by 1 person

      • For real.

        A Seventeen song never ends in a dull tone, with evidence shown in their previous title tracks (even their weakest track Left and Right ended with a neat climax, for me that is). Me and my friend argued that Hitman Bang’s involvement in the track may have influenced it; I don’t want to believe it, but seeing how not-so-Seventeen the sound feels compared to the side tracks, and that weak ending, I can’t help but think otherwise.

        Liked by 2 people

  10. I am really into this song – but I do think the ending third could have one more layer of build and expansion.

    But I really like it and it’s such a fitting style for Seventeen. Since the last comebacks from “Left Right” and “;” we got to see the brighter and goofier sides of Seventeen – I personally love when their music is very beautiful aa la “Don’t Wanna Cry” and “Thanks” but I love they balance beautiful with a driving rhythm, here.

    really great stuff! I always love the pomp and circumstance of a Seventeen comeback – they are truly regal.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I was mildly excited for this as someone who once passionately stanned Seventeen as my #1 group (yes, I am going to mention this on every single Svt review, just for context).

    I…do not see where this 9/10 is coming from. I forgot the song even while I was listening to it. The beat is so constant, heavy and unchanging that the track never really lifts off the ground, so to speak. The delivery sounds.. slightly muffled – due to the vocal processing? I thought it might just have been me, but I saw another comment mention this, too. Seventeen is so special to me in part because of the interplay between their distinct vocal tones and styles, so this makes me a little sad.

    Worst of all, this does not feel like Seventeen to me. Songs like Thanks, Fear, or HIT, though I did not personally love them, still had a familiar vibe to them that this track is missing. I’m seeing Seventeen, but I feel like I miss them more than ever.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I might have been a *bit* generous with the “9,” but we’ll see how the song ages.

      And, if it falls (or rises) a few pegs, there’s always my risers/fallers feature to set things straight. It’s only a couple weeks away 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

      • I’ve been wondering about how your thoughts on songs evolve, but I completely missed the fact that you have a Risers/Fallers feature!

        I respect your ratings, by the way. This is just a case where my experience was completely different from a lot of other listeners.

        Like

    • It’s weird, but this just doesn’t seem to have sticking power for me. Like you say, it slips away while I’m listening. There’s also something about the way the different parts of the song fit together that grates on me.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. It’s hard to explain why, but it feels strongly like a very well-executed GOT7 title song. Even the rap at 0:41 sounds exactly like how Jackson would deliver the same bars.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Off-Topic: Hey Nick, did you like the japanese Shinee single that came out about a month ago? It’s a pretty standard funky, summery song but it’s always a mood brightener when it comes up in my playlist.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. The mini album is very strong and emotive. The song has a beautiful bass line and synths very well evident in the prechorus and is all tied up in a package of sentimentality and the entire song hinges on this emotion that you feel satisfied at the end. A cathartic climax would’ve helped more.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Ready to Love felt like a 100m dash to me. It had a lot of power but it just passed me when I did my first album listen. After listening a few more times, some parts distracted me bc of the vocal effects (especially in the first verse) which they’re better without. After watching their music show performance, I stand by that opinion. Not yet sure what to make out of that high hat(?) sound too. I’m no music expert so I’ll leave it at that. As a Carat, I also noticed that the usual Woozi formula was missing but a compromise must’ve been done while working with the other composers for the first time. Quite surprised with your rating but to each their own. Heaven’s Cloud was the first track of the album and it’s THE Seventeen sound that I like. I guess it was a tough act for Ready to Love to follow as my expectations for it got higher after hearing the first track. I can still listen to the song without feeling the need to skip but they’ve set the standard high with numerous title track and b-side hits so it gets more difficult every comeback. It might grow on me later but for now this one’s a 7 for me.

    I wonder if you’ll write about GAM3 BO1. While not my top song for this album, it is unexpectedly charming! Not my usual taste in music but I still had a lot of fun listening to it.

    Like

  16. While I liked this at first, after a few listens I feel like it’s already gotten somewhat stale. I don’t know, maybe it’s because it kind of pales in comparison to the b-sides after having listened to them. Heaven’s Cloud, Wave, and Anyone are the standouts for me, and I’d have preferred any one of those as a title track. Still, this wasn’t bad, even if I think it could’ve been more memorable. The album as a whole is pretty solid!

    This is my first comment btw, I just discovered your blog recently! I’m not sure how you decide which songs to review, but will you be sharing your thoughts on Minimani’s debut? Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. “Despite this, Ready To Love comes across as definitive Seventeen,” — I strongly disagree. As a big fan since 2015, this doesn’t sound at all like a Seventeen song to me; it sounds like a HYBE song. I find it incredibly underwhelming and unremarkable in every way. Even the choreography is uninspiring compared to what they usually deliver, and the MV is just plain terrible (plus it’s not even in 4K like their previous title MVs?). I’m disappointed. At least Bang Sihyuk and his cohort of producers kept their hands off the side tracks.

    Like

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