Though it may not represent their definitive sound, 2019’s Wave is still my favorite ATEEZ single. It’s one of the most uplifting K-pop tracks in recent memory, with a brilliant build that saves all its vocal and instrumental fireworks for one knockout climax. New Japanese single Dreamers feels like a sonic successor, harnessing a tropical pop sound that’s perfect for summer. And while it’s pleasant and palatable, it lacks the punch I had hoped for.
Even so, I much prefer a song like Dreamers over ATEEZ’s most recent Korean comeback track. While Fireworks opted for a cooler, edgier sound, Dreamers is content to unveil its buoyant, sunny pop without interruption. As the ending theme for a Digimon anime, I’m not surprised by the track’s lightweight, amiable sound. The group are still without rapper Mingi, and his boisterous vocal is definitely missed here. Seonghwa does his best to fill in the gap, and offers a surprisingly credible rap. But, Dreamers is not a rap-heavy track. It’s much more concerned with painting a satisfying melody.
In this regard, I think the song succeeds. I’m not knocked over by anything Dreamers dishes out, but it vibes along a swelling energy that feels optimistic and satisfying. The tropical percussion paints an enticing rhythm that matches the group’s solid vocals. The arrangement makes good use of every member, saving the always-impressive Jongho for the chorus where he can make the most impact. The hook here could be stronger, devolving into the kind of chant-along refrain we’ve heard many times before. But, it’s all wrapped up in an engaging, feel-good groove that’s hard to resist.