ATEEZ - Say My Name

 
 

 

ATEEZ is a group that debuted last year, gaining at least some moderate traction with the international K-pop fandom initially. I wasn’t too big of a fan of either of the title tracks they released, but I saw some promise in other aspects, and one of the sidetracks on their EP even managed to worm its way into my Top 100 Songs of 2018 list. That said, I didn’t really have the opportunity to dip into any teasers before today, so I just went into this review with the hopes that they would release something more to my liking than their debut titles.

The Song

From the get go, I was already thinking that I wasn’t going to dig this title track, either. However, as the song progressed I thought it came together in a neat way, and by the end I was definitely excited to hit the replay button. I think this was a much stronger piece than their debut, though I know plenty of people were fans of that song, too. To me, this one just has a much more distinct and unique feel to it, and I appreciate that a lot more than other aspects.

I really love how this song very slowly creeps from being happy and upbeat into a much heavier theme by the end. I wouldn’t say that it’s a full genre shift, but the mood of the song changes in a cool way. Instrumentally I thought that this was definitely an interesting composition. The combination of acoustic guitar and shimmering high-pitched synths, the pairing of deep bass bumps and even deeper hums beneath that, and the throbbing piano chords? It was just a great combination of ideas, and that’s before you even get to the fantastic vocal presentations.

I don’t know that this song would have been the same without the level of swagger and style that the members put into the vocals, and it’s such a powerful performance overall. I think that if ATEEZ debuted with this, I would have been much more interested in them from the get go, but I’m happy to say that I’m looking forward to listening and reviewing the full EP now, as well as their future releases.

The Video

I’ve gotta admit that I really didn’t feel like the music matched the video this time around. The color palettes and general imagery was much darker than the song, and while that’s definitely an interesting and uncommon approach, I’ve gotta dock points off for it. It almost felt like I was watching a music video incorrectly tied to another song as a parody.

That aside, there was some nice play with the lighting that I really enjoyed. The colors were more on the washed out side than the oversaturated side,a trend that I’m starting to think is coming back for K-pop videos this year. There was a good balance of choreography mixed in with the individual member shots, and with the bits of story.

Speaking of the story, this is a lot more of a contained concept than most K-pop videos. There’s definitely hints of more grandiose ideas tossed in, but for the most part it’s mostly imagery of the members being paired off with half being these darker, masked persons that somehow seemed villainous, and the other half portraying more of a regular appearance. Well, normal for K-pop. It was a take on duality, and while it’s not the most original theme to take, I enjoyed the imagery.

All in all, I enjoyed the video. There was a great sinister and lurking vibe throughout it, and I think it really carried well throughout. If it matched the tone of the song itself a bit more, I think it would have been a lot stronger, but it’s still solid as is.

Conclusion

“Say My Name” is an incredibly well-crafted track, and one that tells a sensational story from start to finish. It’s got elements of hip-hop blended perfectly with more pop-centric attributes, and the harmony of the two is palpable in the song. While the video was a bit of a misnomer in terms of pairing up with the song, it doesn’t manage to detract too much away from this solid comeback. If you’re a fan of some of the older songs from BTS or even Block B, I think, that this is might just be a revival of that style.