Buried Treasure: Seventeen – To You

Seventeen - To YouA K-pop act’s title track isn’t always the best song on their album, even if it’s the one most people will hear. Sometimes, b-sides deserve recognition too. In the singles-oriented world of K-pop, I want to spotlight some of these buried treasures and give them the props they deserve.

Seventeen’s new mini album is strong, though I think June’s Your Choice still edges it out in both consistency and highlights. But, the two share at least one thing in common: they each open with great pop tracks. To You (소용돌이) is the trendier of the pair, but in a way that compliments Seventeen’s strengths.

Even though we’ve heard it in so many other tracks, I love the gurgling synth that opens To You. It’s as if the song is bubbling up from some primordial place, ready to unveil itself to the world. This intro soon gives way to a soft verse. Subtle synth and rhythm guitar lend it a bit of funk, while a steady beat places the track somewhere between sentimental mid-tempo and blissful slow dance. I guess this is Seventeen’s own version of the current retro synth-pop trend. It definitely has some elements that would be Weeknd-approved, but also conforms to a more rock-influenced style.

The instrumental continues to grow throughout the song, and this overstuffed backbone really fuels To You. There are stronger melodies on the album, but I appreciate the fullness of sound here. Energy is constantly generated through a series of sonic elements, making To You a total head rush. Like title track Rock With You, the vocal arrangement is a little flat at times. I would have loved to hear the individual voices pop more than they do. But, it’s hard to resist the bright, ethereal texture created by the guys’ performance. I have a feeling this will be one of those songs that benefits from time. It’s not super flashy, but you just want to keep listening to it.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75


17 thoughts on “Buried Treasure: Seventeen – To You

  1. You’re right, the starting gurgling synth sounds really familiar, but I just can’t recall a specific song that has used it before (whether in English pop or Kpop)… what are some of these songs?


  2. Ooh yeah this is my favourite on the album too. I agree though that Your Choice has more highlights; other than To You, the rest of the album is good but nothing else stands out to me at the moment.


  3. If Your Choice had instant hits as B-sides and a grower as a TT, Attacca had quite the opposite. The B-sides are more experimental, even by Seventeen’s standards. 2 MINUS 1 was a blast, HHU’s track was a surprise, VU finally delivered a song with a strong chorus but perhaps the most polarizing was PU’s Pang. To You is a very strong song but I’m also very satisfied with Crush, Crush’s choreo is so classic and polished, I think the song was made for the choreo rather than the opposite. What an year for Seventeen overall!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The best song on a really strong album. I cried to it on the first listen for no reason LOL (along with Rock with you, something’s wrong with me). Also, I understand why Pang! can be polarizing to people, but after listening to it on earphones, it was a lot more enjoyable. It’s silly fun. My ranking would be: To you > Crush > Imperfect love = 2 minus 1 > Rock with you > Pang! > I can’t run away

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is the song that captured my attention the most in the highlight medley and I’m glad it got chosen as the buried treasure in the album 🙂


  6. I am going to pick on this song even though it isn’t a bad song. Its actually quite pleasant, in a good way.

    Someone asked me about this song on the other thread. You know what would have made it better? Actual sung harmonies. Those harmonies are all crafted, and all crafted the same with full fleshed out chords that do nothing interesting.

    I know some of the classic 2nd gen are similar voiced chord structure – Lucifer for example. Lucifer’s tight chords are also mostly constructed. The difference is that the person who did the constructing used them to craft really interesting modulations, and contrasted the chords with whole phrases of unison one note singing, and it all builds a great tension.

    This here, the harmony just fills space and time.

    Another thing: the phrasing. Does any guy get more than two lines at a time? So much passing the mic around.


  7. Well, this is the most I’ve liked a SEVENTEEN album so far! I came to peace with “Rock with you” by assigning it to my euro/future bass/synth dance playlist along with “To You”. I liked the funky synth line in “Crush” – retro dance for that one. I appreciate some of the weird stuff happening in “PANG!”’s instrumental but ultimately didn’t playlist it – it’s a little too reliant on the rap line, who I do not overly care for, and the tempo is in that middle zone where it’s hard to find a place for it. “Imperfect love” almost sounded like my kind of rock at the beginning, but then it went all easy listening 80s rock on me with the synths. As it happens, I have a city & synth playlist for this kind of song, so there we are. Oh wait, is that a real guitar at the beginning of “I can’t run away”? Hmmmmmm… Wait, is that an actual drum kit in “2 MINUS 1”? Probably not, but I guess we’ve got a couple of tracks for the rock/folk/indie playlist after all, yay!


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