Review

Song Review: Seventeen – Hot

Seventeen - HotSeventeen’s fourth full album was preceded by their first English-language single Darl+ing, released last month. That song felt very much like a placeholder, as many pre-releases tend to be. Now that anticipation has been built, it’s time for the main course. With Hot, the guys are back with a harder-edged hip-hop track (what else is new in K-pop boybandom?) and they make it work despite fighting some polarizing production choices.

We’ve had our share of obnoxious clanger-bangers this year, and most of them play within an identical sonic palette. It’s not the raucousness that does them in. It’s the sheer tediousness that comes from hearing these same sounds regurgitated in the exact same way. Hot recycles plenty from K-pop’s recent past, but the group manages to imbue the track with more character than most. This comes in spite of a seemingly limitless supply of autotune — the likes of which will fuel many fan debates, I’m sure. Surprisingly, it doesn’t bother me too much on this song. But with vocalists as strong as Seventeen’s, these kind of effects tend to distract rather than enhance.

Hot careens through its verses with plenty of madcap energy, powered by spaghetti western guitar and an annoying electro-chirp that feels like a mosquito you just can’t slap away. The pre-chorus offers the sense of heft that characterizes the best Seventeen performances. It’s a shame that the first half of Hot’s TikTok-ready chorus is so underdeveloped. The monotonous repetition brings nothing of note to the track. Yes, it’s catchy – but in the easiest, most uneventful way. Given a stronger centerpiece, Hot could have been a real anthem. But even as it self-sabotages, the song is still quite successful. I wouldn’t call that a glowing review, but I’ll be bopping along with a side-eye and a sigh. That’s more than I can say about many big-name boy group releases this year!

Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25

45 thoughts on “Song Review: Seventeen – Hot

  1. To me, this feels like the second time in a row that Seventeen has chosen to give their full album’s title track a more “mainstream” sound that deviates greatly from their usual sound (on their mini albums) & I’m not sure if that’s intentional or not? Also, in many ways, both this album and their previous full album, An Ode, to me feel like outliers within the rest of their discography over the past few years.

    Personally, I love Seventeen because their music always feels fresh, unique to them & unbeholden to whatever the trend of the moment is, so I’m not a huge fan of this title track because it feels like the antithesis of that. However, despite all of this, when they do mainstream, trends, etc, they usually deliver a better version of it than most other groups are able to, and I think that’s true with HOT as well. The second half of the chorus is quite strong, would’ve loved more of that & less of the tiktok sound section.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Agree 100% about An Ode. I feel like I got so used to them overdelivering great album after great album that when they finally put out a, for lack of a better word, “mid” album I was shocked lol

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Was really excited for a bombastic, killer chorus…and I got something more like if a robot got their hand stuck in an oven instead.

    Nonetheless, the pre-chorus was awesome and I can’t be too mad at my ults can I?

    Liked by 7 people

  3. Honestly, I can’t even understand what’s so great about this comeback. Yes, it doesn’t sound so aggressively obnoxious like the majority of recent boy group songs, which is a good thing, but the concept is still based on the same “fine” hip-hop tracks we’ve already heard a trillion times, and I feel kinda disappointed because of this. Maybe high-7’s for me.

    “March” would be a much better choice for a title track, in my opinion.

    P.s. Nick, what do you think about the P1Harmony comeback released yesterday? I haven’t seen your review of it.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. i think i said in another review that at this point i don’t expect anything from bgs and that i didn’t want seventeen to disappoint but… alas, here we are.
    it’s not noise so that’s a plus! but the chorus feels so underwhelming. it’s catchy, but in that drone-on-and-on-tiktok kind of way. then again it’s seventeen and i’ll always be a teeny tiny bit biased towards them so, rating’s just about right for me!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is like Hit for me, a song that I won’t listen to on its own but I’ll watch the performance ad infinitum.

    I’m not a huge fan of SVT’s recent title tracks but there’s always one sincerely emotional song on the album (Kidult, All My Love, To You) that I love. While this album is solid, I don’t think there’s one this time. From the highlight medley I thought I’d like Don Quixote best but surprisingly Domino is my favorite.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It doesn’t quite fit in the same ballpark as Kidult, All My Love, or To You, but for me Shadow is that track that hits all the emotional beats from this album. It’s not outright emotional or leaning as hard into the same kind of nostalgia as those other songs do, but IMO Shadow has that underlying emotion and feeling that SVT bring to their best songs, in a slightly different way than usual!

      Like

  6. objectively, i’m only gonna listen to this until i get used to it because it’s svt. thank god for dk and hoshi cause they were keeping the melody alive here.

    interested to see if there’s a bside you like! for me it’s probably between don quixote and shadow.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I really didn’t enjoy this one. At all. It’s not the autotune, or the really annoying sirens, or anything, it just…..feels so bland. Usually after listening to a song, I want to go back and listen to it because something caught my interest – I kind of didn’t want to go through this one again. The only thing I honestly liked was that “baku-chiku-uh” that someone does in the middle of the verse, and the pre-chorus that for some reason only repeats once. 6.5 for me.

    On a happier note, Adrenaline is well on its way to being the best single this year……..

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’ll take the clamor of some of the lesser known. This was painful to listen to. The auto tune grated. The sirens were as annoying as that damn flute in Sticka. And it was joyless.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I’m biased and this song proves no different. Because I’m so attuned to seventeen, I thoroughly enjoyed this track. The live stage elevated the energy even more.

    The rest of the album is solid. I have more favourites than I had for Attacca or even An Ode.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. .
    Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
    And then is heard no more. It is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. “an annoying electro-chirp that feels like a mosquito you just can’t slap away”

    I shall not get over that comparison. The true sound of summer indeed, but does it feel wrong.

    (The song is meh, but Seventeen vocals will always save the day)

    Liked by 5 people

  12. speaking of “tiktok-ready,” the amount of damage tiktok has done to the music industry is unbelievable, now you got record labels making their artists fake a viral moment on that app and having them release “tiktok-friendly” music at the expense of musical quality, such as shortening the song for easy streaming points

    labels are now relying on that app for marketing instead of using their money to promote their artists and its upsetting

    Liked by 4 people

    • Worse, the amount of damage that autotune is doing to the music industry. Kids are growing up hearing voices that sound like that tinny sound on their favorite songs, so they are singing along imitating that sound, so now they sound like that tinny sound right out of their mouths without knowing or learning otherwise.

      Liked by 4 people

      • I grew up with Zapp and Soul Sonic Force, but they used vocal processing in a different way. I love a good robotic vocal, but this doesn’t seem like the group or the song for it.

        Liked by 1 person

        • The b-side Ash uses a lot of vocal effects, but it’s more consistent in tone and more dramatic, even though it uses a lot of boy group noise tropes.

          Like

      • Yes, this is a good point. ‘Real’ singing is not pitch perfect, but it should have good technique behind it and if it does, it will still sound good even when its not perfectly on the pitch. I suppose autotune works like editing pictures in the way it shapes people’s expectations and their attempts to recreate it.

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  13. I’m into it. I think it’s gonna be fun to see a group of this stature promote this song on the shows.

    I know we want perfect pop songs, not just performance pieces…but hearing this, I really thought, “these guys are going to kill this on stage.”

    I’m one of those listeners who’s very perplexed when other ppl get turned off by autotune. Autotune – that has to be one of my favorite timbres.

    I think folks are going to find this one a real grower. Everyone was screaming “TikTok pandering” when SVT did “Left, right,” and that song was a real grower.
    Honestly, I don’t think SVT has genuinely released a song worth their weight in a minute, but I believe this is a good, fun, high-energy track.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think people use “autotune” as a blanket term for any vocal effects, and they’re not a good thing or a bad thing. Does the effect used fit the song/group? I don’t think the effect works well here, but sometimes it’s great.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. It’s taken a while to get me used to it, but I think coming around to thinking of this song as a high-energy performance piece more than the throwback gut-punch of bright or nostalgic pop that I was expecting from the anniversary album has helped me come more to terms with this track. It’s not my favorite from them by any means, but the performance today was still extremely enjoyable and I agree with the other comment that this is like Hit – a song that I rarely listen to on its own, but a song that has immense energy that lights up the audience when performed.

    There are a lot of parts to Hot that I don’t really like – I’m all for them experimenting, but I don’t necessarily like the results of that experimentation all the time – especially that siren sound, and of course the vocal layering. But overall, I still think they bring something that makes it stick for me with their standout performance energy and that’s enough for me for now. And as long as they make b-sides that I really love, like Shadow, Don Quixote, ‘Bout You, March – I’m still going to love their music and I’m glad they seem to be happy with where they are.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. This is not the song that turns me into a Carat. Although, I liked the b-sides a lot. Some of them are even Your Choice good (the only Seventeen release I own and listen to regularly). I think the further they get away from retro styles and/or some kind of funk or jazz swing, the more uncomfortable they seem.

    Liked by 2 people

    • This comment is funny to me because after this comeback I like Seventeen more than ever! I had never really been into Seventeen before but I loved the music video and the choreo and the vibe. I was not a fan of the song at first but it grew on me VERY quickly. I agree that the b-sides are decent, though.

      Like

  16. Rating is way too high for me, not only do I dislike a lot of the elements in the song but it also reminds me of a terrible Fifth Harmony song so I gotta dock even more points off for that, really hope the album is significantly better.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. I’m a meh on the pre-release and the title, but was really impressed by the first three b-sides. You asked a question a while ago about whether a good title and weak album was better or worse than a weak title and strong b-sides. I can’t remember exactly what I said, but personally, I’m just happy to get new music that I like. For a while I remember people talking about iTunes bringing the death of the b-side, but I’m finding a lot of gems to tide me over until trends I dislike switch over.

    Like

  18. I’m the only one that feel that hot is like a cheaper, less hot and quirky ( sadly 😭) version of shut up 받고 crazy hot by oneus ?

    Like

  19. I’m the only one that feel that hot is like a cheaper, less hot and quirky ( sadly 😭) version of shut up 받고 crazy hot by oneus ?

    Like

  20. I really agree with the comment that this feels like another HIT. To be fair I like HIT slightly (read: much) more than HOT, but to me they feel similar in the fact that the choreography/charisma svt exude with the song really adds a lot of points.

    And I agree with you that svt seem to do everything at least slightly better – I would generally be way more annoyed at this type of song but I find parts of it really good actually (I feel the verses flow, and the pre-chorus!!! is amazing. DK you are amazing.) and it’s just the repeating chorus I take issue with. Even so, I’m almost rather impressed on that little siren sound – it was in the teasers everywhere and I remember thinking “there’s no way that’s in the title track…it sounds really weird” but…it kind of fits somehow. Maybe it’s my biased carat side talking, but it still feels very Seventeen, if you will. Just experimental.

    I don’t know if someone listening to HOT will become a carat because of it, but I do think the MV/Choreo it’ll make an impression, even if solely for the way svt are really shifting away from their former image, it seems. And I am /really/ enjoying the b-sides of Face the Sun! I’ll look forward to see if you’ll pick one for Buried Treasure!

    Anyway..I hope this comment isn’t too nonsensical. Thank you for always reviewing svt! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Seventeen has so much vocal, musical, and charismatic power that I will always be disappointed when they don’t exploit their strengths.

    Like

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