Though 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.