Song Review: ATEEZ – Turbulence

ATEEZ - TurbulenceDecember seems to have become the month when K-pop groups take their victory lap. Similar to their Treasure series, ATEEZ are tying a bow on their Fever project with one final epilogue release. Our first taste comes in the form of rock ballad Turbulence (야간비행), again produced by the group’s team of frequent collaborators.

An ATEEZ ballad is an enticing prospect, especially with Jongho’s powerful vocal at the helm. Turbulence borrows many familiar melodies from the group’s arsenal, even concluding with a chanted outro that echoes much of their Treasure material. The song itself is sturdy and satisfying, drawing upon the strengths of this format without reinventing the wheel. Its through-line is straightforward. Both verse and chorus establish the same sentimental energy. I’m most impressed by the chorus, which draws upon a pleasant melody to create strong moments of climax.

The unfussy production mostly stays out of the way, but I appreciate the emphasis on guitar. ATEEZ have always had a strong rock edge, and it makes sense that this would carry into their more subdued output. Turbulence has a gritty texture, helping prevent the song from becoming too cheesy. I think it could do with a stronger finale, but I’ll always be a proponent of theatrical bombast (so make of that what you will!). In the end, Turbulence isn’t going to compete with ATEEZ’s very best material, but as end-of-the-year ballads go this is quite enjoyable.

 Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25

22 thoughts on “Song Review: ATEEZ – Turbulence

  1. This popped up first thing today and reminded me why I didn’t get into ATEEZ until watching them on KINGDOM, and why I don’t go back to their b-sides terribly often. It’s a fine song and I’m sure ATINY will be happy with it as a year-ending cherry-on-top. It’s just a little too shmoopy and generic for me.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Like the song but I still wait for apocalyptic treasure era ATEEZ..that era was fantastic.
    These guys will forever be one of my favorites but I know their potential, hope they soon find it again.

    Luckily, there might be a new title too..because the promotional map makes no sense.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I enjoy this. I was afraid it was going to be too mushy and teen-drama brooding sequence anthemic, but there was some good belting on here. A few pirate-y harmony vocals didn’t hurt, either. I too would like it more operatic and OTT, but this is quite pleasant, and I’ll take it.


  4. This song does not feel like Ateez to me… but I have a feeling this is actually a really great song!

    I really enjoyed Mingi’s rap here and my favorite parts would be Yeosang (he’s been having a great year for me) and San (who is someone I haven’t really been drawn to before – but with Deja Vu, Eternal Sunshine and now this – I am really enjoying his style of vocals!)

    I’m curious to see their execution on stage because it doesn’t have a very “danceable” vibe and personally I find Ateez standing and singing in a line utterly boring 😅

    Liked by 1 person

    • I liked Yeosang and San’s parts in this too – I always enjoy Mingi’s raps – kpop occasionally forgets the lower register exists so that was a welcome surprise. At some point I’ll remember that San is actually a pretty good singer but I keep getting distracted by the rest of him.

      I’m allergic to watching almost any idol group standing in a line singing, and when it comes to ATEEZ that says a lot because I’m endlessly entertained watching San do nothing but squirm whenever he’s stuck in the back row during a group vlive, not to mention the hours of entertainment I’ve gained from Seonghwa silently judging everyone around him. A.C.E and Mamamoo are the only exceptions that are coming to mind at the moment. I guess BTOB did some pretty good standing-in-a-line-and-singing in KINDGOM.


      • I completely relate to this! It felt really nice to hear the deeper register! And yes A.C.E just standing and singing is a whole new mood! Their Higher performance on Mdromeda is one of my favourites! And vocal groups like Mamamoo and BTOB definitely do it well too!

        Liked by 1 person

        • As a SKZ fan, it is an ongoing point of irritation that Felix insists he’s not a good singer because he struggles in the higher registers. It’s like JYPE have never heard of vocal coaches who know how to work with anyone but tenors.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Re: deeper registers.

          My issue with deeper registers in most of kpop is the tendency to be mush mouth singing, which impedes their natural range. It was refreshing to hear the two tenor guys in Ghost9 in “Reborn” hit low notes that were resonant and clear, and actually lower than what the Ateez and Stray Kids baritones hit. It doesn’t sound like it, but they are hitting lower down to A2. The notes are in the chorus, right after the 1:00 mark and again when the lines come around.

          And I know this very well because I am a low mezzo-soprano, the kind that gets called contralto but is really mezzo (a la kd lang and Karen Carpenter). My low low note on good days is that note, that A2. On ordinary days its more like a B2. And I can sing the low notes in all my Stray Kids and Ateez any day of the week. But that low A2 in “Reborn” (also in Gaho “Stay Here” and “Beautiful”) fades to a whisper for me some days.

          There is one song someone shared here with me some time ago by V who is also a baritone which showed off his baritone-ness, also going down to an A2 possibly a G2. Usually V is way too mush mouth for me, but that song was nice.

          Roy Kim is also a baritone, but of his recorded songs the lowest note I can remember is a C3. (qv “The Hardest Part”)

          Liked by 1 person

          • I don’t disagree with anything there – my standards for kpop vocalists are pretty dang low across the board, so the mushy mouth effect doesn’t bug me that much. I don’t recall what my range was when I was actually in practice because I’ve always been garbage at music theory (i.e. anything more complicated than reading music) but in college I always got tossed between first alto and second soprano parts depending on which we were low on, so I’m sympathetic towards people struggling outside of their range. If I could sing along to kpop it would defeat the purpose of listening to music without comprehensible lyrics anyhow. “Du du du du du du” is very satisfying while driving though.


      • Oh, yeah the standing in a line singing thing. Or worse, the sitting on chairs in a line singing thing.

        As far as I am concerned, the only ones who can stand in a line are my men Forestella, and always in the same line because when Cho Mingyu and Bae Doo Hoon swap spots, it really messes with my sense of balance in the world. Unless they gift us with a rare dance, in which case, they can break the line.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Yeah, I didn’t expect any of that except the part when he collapsed into that tiny ball that appears to be Korean body-language for “what did I just do?” That part I was expecting from the first three seconds. I used to struggle with second-hand embarrassment but the K-entertainment industry has raised embarrassing oneself to such an art form that all I can do is nod in appreciation of a job well done.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. “”
    This performance was quite honestly mindblowing. Makes a great case on why ATEEZ should try their hand on this style and concept.


    • Sorry, should’ve mentioned this was unrelated…but still, I hope their next series resembles something KAT-TUN would do. Especially a song like Triangle.


  6. This is BEAUTIFUL. It made my heart clench. Their voices express the lyrics so well. It’s a song full of yearning and it’s perfect for a group that experienced so much success with a very particular sound. Everyone seems to want more of the same. They must feel a lot of pressure creatively.


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