I enjoyed Seventeen’s Hot more than most seemed to, but the song didn’t have much longevity. In fact, it’s been years since a Seventeen title track has stuck around long on my playlist. It seems that, ever since Pledis Entertainment merged with HYBE, Seventeen’s sound has lost some idiosyncratic edge. Repackage track _World is a perfect example of this dilemma. It takes the group back to their funky roots but smooths over the aspects that make them such a force.
_World is a catchy little bop – amiable and light. It’s not trying to be anything earth-shattering, so it’s not fair to heap expectations on it. But when you’ve got a group as dynamic as Seventeen, it’s hard not to be disappointed by music that plays it safe. The group’s songwriters are joined by HYBE’s usual behind-the-scenes production talent, which is likely the problem here. Too many cooks in the kitchen tend to water down the soup, and _World feels like a rehash of things the agency has already done with BTS and TXT. Portions sound almost identical to 2019’s Boy With Luv, for example. In short, _World lacks punch and vision. It wafts by with a pleasant pop sheen, but that same sheen smothers personality. And, mid-tempo funk tracks like this thrive on personality.
However, if you’re in the market for a straightforward, slightly retro summer track you could do worse than _World. Even at their tamest, Seventeen are reliable purveyors of pop. Their vocals here may suffer from the patented HYBE processing, but they don’t miss a beat. _World works as pure fan service — the kind of track that will have audiences bouncing along between more impactful songs on their setlist.