After eight months without a comeback, SF9 have returned as SF6. Such is the reality for K-pop’s boy groups, who must juggle military enlistments as their career matures. But, that’s beside the point because the guys have finally stepped out of their moody, sensual style and embraced sunny summertime pop! They’ve delivered an entire album indebted to upbeat, seasonal grooves and title track Scream kicks off the party.
Judging from the teasers, I had high hopes for this one. It’s so refreshing to hear a boy group tackle something bright and bubbly and fun. Scream doesn’t disappoint, even if it falls short of being a legendary masterpiece. The percolating beat kicks up right from the start, driven by an insistent thump that keeps the tempo high. Electronic accents add a great sense of tension. Scream’s instrumental is suitable for a party, but hides a sliver of pathos that makes it feel a bit dangerous as well.
The song’s hooks are anything but dangerous. From the propulsive, rap-heavy verses to the soft pre-chorus with its breezy bed of harmonies, Scream is aimed straight at the dancefloor. Its chorus is simple but effective, playing with ascending and descending notes that feel like waves coming at the listener. It’s a bit repetitive, but not in an annoying way. “Cream cream cream” is an… interesting centerpiece, but musically this is right in my wheelhouse. Now, I have to figure out if the song is really strong enough to warrant a “9” or if I’m just super desperate for upbeat summer fare. Time will tell, but I’m feeling pretty generous today. This is going to sound fantastic in the car.