Review

Buried Treasure: ATEEZ – Cyberpunk

ATEEZ - CyberpunkA 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.


If I’m posting a “buried treasure” mere hours after an album release, you know I’ve got something good! ATEEZ’s Guerrilla is a solid, shouty boy group track. But in 2022, I’ve become so tired of this sound. Given the group’s massive potential, it’s hard not to feel a tinge of “what might have been…?”. To put it another way, I hold ATEEZ up as “song of the year” candidates. Anything less has the potential for disappointment. It’s my fault, I know. But the thing is, the new album actually has a SOTY candidate. Imagine a world where the guys promote Cyberpunk and usher in a whole new era of K-pop trends!

The Edenary production team have a history of composing these awesome techno songs, only to bury them on an album promoted by a more typical title track (just ask Dreamcatcher). I keep waiting for these groups to finally take the leap and break the mold. Cyberpunk would have been the track to do it. It sounds like an obvious single, fully formed in its own right, yet perfectly suited to dynamic visuals and choreo. Best of all, it has an actual chorus melody that takes advantage of the guys’ strong vocals.

Cyberpunk feels like last year’s Take Me Home on steroids. It lacks that song’s epic climax, but makes up for it with a breakneck pace and thrilling electro crunch. It’s catchy and memorable from the start, but not in a way that relies on cheap gimmicks or catchphrasey chants. We’ve got all the expected ATEEZ elements, co-existing in a taut arrangement that never loses momentum. It just works.

So hear me out, KQ… there’s still time! With your million+ album preorders, I’m sure you’ve got the funds for a second music video. Let’s not make this a Take Me Home situation all over again!

 Hooks 9
 Production 10
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 9.25

29 thoughts on “Buried Treasure: ATEEZ – Cyberpunk

  1. The missed opportunity 😩😩

    Unfortunately they’re already promoting Sector 1 and performing it on music shows….🥴 I guess we hold out hope for later on?

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Ah, this! I really, really love Guerrilla but Cyberpunk is where its at! It reminds me a lot of Take Me Home but the instrumental takes a more haunting, distorted approach. I hear nuance in vocal, performance and instrumentation and I love how fresh the overall structure is! Those harmonies are gonna be the death of me man. I also absolutely love the deep textures of the voices of Seonghwa, Yunho and Yeosang and the way their vocals are arranged in that immense chorus is BEAUTIFUL. And the way how Jongho just delivers those top-tier vocal moments DAMN. This song is too good.

    I am also very much hoping for a follow-up music video for Cyberpunk, It’s my favorite song of the year and I think they can do loads of cool stuff with this kind of sound in the near future.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. If Cyberpunk became the title, it would’ve easily become my own SOTY. Alas, KQ failed to make things great again like it happened to Take Me Home. I’ll be praying to see the music video being released for this one🥵

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Yes, yes. I am madly in love with this chorus. I was butchering it in the shower earlier. That chromatic hook is sneaky as hell, and Jongho’s power notes. He may be my current favorite boy group main vocal, not gonna lie. Like I said in the other review, this feels like a sibling track to “Poison Love” and I love it.

    This album as a whole is pretty great, and has gotten me back on the ATEEZ train after I fell off during the Fever series. Tentative rankings after having had it on rotation all morning:
    Cyberpunk > Guerrilla > New World > Sector 1 > The Ring > WDIG

    Liked by 2 people

  5. As someone who personally never really thinks much of Ateez’s bsides (except for a rare few) – I gotta say this time I’m really loving them!❤

    Cyberpunk is definitely awesome! And oddly what the start of the chorus reminds me of is the chorus of Pink Fantasy’s certainly unique Tales of the Unusual 😀

    I think this album as a whole is pretty strong!

    Sector 1 was pretty enjoyable as well!

    The Ring – the rap part was wow!! And those instrumentals!! Organs or something? Idk – but I loved that!

    New World : Instrumental and rap!! ❤

    And I already have Guerrilla stuck in my head and I’m loving it!

    Now that I see it… I think the real strengths of this album were the Instrumentals and Raps in each song! This is the kind of bgm I like! I can even just listen to that karaoke alone! It’s that good! And all the raps from Mingi and HJ were fire!

    Yep! Ateez definitely surprised me with this one and I’m really enjoying this album!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I just started listening to them. They’re quite interesting! They kind of have a Sleaford Mods/Suicide/clipping. vibe to them. (These are all old names because I am very, very old and have a musical knowledge like Swiss cheese.) Very relentless, would suit Ateez. Thanks for the name check!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is easily my favorite song I’ve ever heard from them. If this doesn’t get it’s own music video my disappointment will be immeasurable

    Liked by 4 people

    • I have a pet peeve in the song’s chorus. I don’t like the chant-esque chromaticism, it feels unoriginal and jarring. This song is really good but that part just irks me that the song comes to me at a very skewed point. Anyway, good luck to ATEEZ it does seem like I will not like this era, yet again.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Cyberpunk is aiight, but compared to Guerilla it is a more traditional song structure verse-chorus-verse-chorus etc, so we hear that descending line hook four times every chorus for so many chorus repeats.

    And then the English lyrics “I wanna feel alive, don’t want to stay in the dark” would it kill them to rhyme dammit? Lies – Night – Alive – Dark. They got nothing there.

    Or at least make it a contrast like “I wanna feel the light, don’t want to stay in the dark”. or “I wanna see the light”

    Or how about this for the chorus instead
    …. igoseun frozen night
    …. igoseun full of dark
    … I wanna feel the light
    … I wanna reach the spark

    There, I fixed it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ok, your lyrics are awesome!! 🤣 I do agree with this actually! Rhyming has a beauty to it alright! People may call it predictable or whatever but I enjoy a good set of predictable properly rhyming lyrics myself! 🙂 There’s a joy in knowing what comes automatically to your mind when singing!

      Like

      • You must new here and have missed my multiple rants about how songs in English should rhyme, though there are some notable exceptions. But really, these days, lack of rhyming in English is usually laziness and not a deliberate artistic choice.

        Liked by 1 person

        • for me, if i was writing a song and couldn’t come up with a line that rhymes with the last one, i’d either:

          a) erase the line and write a new one
          b) come up with a line that doesn’t rhyme but flows well so nobody will notice

          Liked by 1 person

          • It would be a).
            To quote Stephen Sondheim, he calls lyric-writing, “an occupation consisting chiefly of tedious list-making and frustration”.

            ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6sbAgVV9IE

            Liked by 1 person

  8. What a song, by far my favourite from an album already full of quality tracks. Glad to see a SOTY candidate, finally something to challenge to IVE.

    I swear I’m getting some Carpenter Brut from the beat in the background.

    ATEEZ continues their proud tradition of releasing songs made for tearing it up at the gym!

    Liked by 2 people

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