SF9 - Now or Never
It's been a little under half a year since we last heard from SF9 when they released "MAMMA MIA" back in February. That song really turned me around on the group as a whole, and I still think that it's among my top songs released from this year in general. That being said, SF9 announcing a comeback had me ecstatic to check out what they would do to follow up on such an amazing release. Even just from the teasers, I was already expecting to have this release be one of my favorites of the summer.
Let me just start off by saying that the song absolute did not disappoint my expectations from the teaser. This song was like an energetic blast from the past, pulling back to a seemingly forgotten style of K-pop that I dearly miss. The buoyant, floaty synths of the verse played opposite of the more rubbery bassier synths presented in the chorus provide nice, neat, crunchy bites to the song without it ever being too much to digest altogether. I absolutely loved the way that the escalating percussion in the pre-chorus slides the song into the instrumentally-heavy refrain before our hook. The funky guitar riffs overtop work unbelievably well with the pulsing bass and vocal progression. Everything about this track is beautifully cohesive and synergetic.
SF9 absolutely nailed what they were going for in this track, and I hope that this will be the breakout that they deserve. There were some incredibly nitpicky things that I thought were odd, but honestly they somehow managed not to break me out of the song, so I don't think they're even worth mentioning. I'll just end this by saying that I'm absolutely sold on SF9 as of this release. While "MAMMA MIA" may have been what pulled me in initially, "Now or Never" has chained me for the long haul.
There are visually-pleasing aesthetics abound all over the place in this video. From bold color palettes to smooth choreography, even down to just the general sets and objects in them, there are so many delightful things for your eyes to take in alongside the song. I'm a fairly big Michael Jackson fan, so seeing the inspiration from his work going on here, I couldn't help but feel even more enamored. Both in terms of the dance and the visuals in the music video, his influence was undeniable. (Notably the suit coupled with the hat, as well as the single glove, and of course the classic moonwalk.)
I need to just take a moment and talk about the choreography for this comeback, though. This is likely the sharpest, slickest dance that we've seen out of the group yet. There are some interesting formations shown in the video, but more than that I found myself in love with the leg movement. It looked classy, flashy, and more than that, it looked like something that I haven't seen for quite some time. A big praise of mine for SF9 last time was that there was a lot of creativity and originality behind them, and this dance really solidified that opinion for me. I absolutely cannot wait to see this performed live.
There were also some neat visual effects for metaphors going on. In particular I loved the puzzle pieces playing out as rose petals, as well as the dye consuming the clean water and changing it completely. I just might have to make a video explaining what I think is going on in this video, but we'll see if I've got time for that later. Budget-wise, I can't imagine this being anything but SF9's most production-heavy release to date. I'm so glad to see FNC giving the group more opportunities, and I really hope that it pays off for both the company as well as the boys.
"Now or Never" is a release that presents the notion that SF9 is one of the best acts in the scene right now, and it's a notion that's damn hard to argue with. I genuinely hope that the group will get at least some level of recognition for this track and not just buried and swept away. This time around, I'm just going to have to recommend this track to everybody. I don't care if you like SF9 or not, go and give this one a listen. It's one of my favorites of the month, if not my top pick for it.