Nearly a year after covering Turbo’s 90’s hit Black Cat Nero, ATEEZ have teamed with the group’s frontman, Kim Jong Kook, for an old-school summer song. This project includes an online variety series and a fun, fan service music video. It also marks the return of ATEEZ member Mingi, who has been absent from the group’s videos and performances since late-2020.
Though Be My Lover (바다 보러 갈래?) is composed by ATEEZ’s usual collaborators Edenary, the song attempts to replicate a sound very different from their usual output. This is a 90’s summer pastiche through and through, and that’s totally fine. Summer is a perfect season for nostalgia. But the trick with pastiches is that they must stand on their own to stand out. Otherwise, I’d rather go back to the original inspirations. Be My Lover is fun and energetic, but there isn’t much that sets it apart from the tracks it seeks to mimic. The song is little more than an excuse to play and pose by the pool, and given those meager ambitions I guess you can call Lover a success.
The thing is, SSAK3 harnessed this same energy much more effectively last summer. I appreciate the insistent sax running through Be My Lover, and both ATEEZ and Jong Kook seem totally game to play the track’s clichés to the hilt. We even build toward a great Jongho high note as the song explodes in a robust climax. But, the omnipresent haziness of the synths flattens most of Lover’s dynamics, and the melody is so featherlight that the final product threatens to evaporate like so much summer dew.