Over time, the K-Pop Review community has grown from a few individuals into a full subset of the internet. Now, TheBiasList, Kbopped, 10/10 – Music, Hallyureviews, Jei’s Kulture Notes, Deforested Music, A Floating Realm in the Corner, 8.5 Music, and Kpopreviewed are working together, to create a series, where we review our favorite K-Pop summer song.
Be sure to check out everyone’s posts in the links below!
10/10 – Music Review (Hi Ya Ya)
A Floating Realm in the Corner Review (Summer 127)
KBOPPED Review (The Star Of Stars)
Jei’s Kulture Notes Review (Boogie Up)
Hallyu Reviews Review (Power)
8.5 Music Review (View)
KPOPREVIEWED Review (Hot Summer)
Deforested Music Review (Me/Current Review)
The Bias List Review (Blog)
June 10, 2019. I was coming home from a day full of uncertainties in my life. I was scared of doing research and my thesis because of our professor who was so critical and thorough in every step of the way. I was casting doubt upon myself and my abilities. Can I still go through this course that I am about to take? Can I still take it? Can I still graduate? Those words were really scaring, despair was just in my mind.
Walking towards the pedestrian and going to the bus stop, I decided to pluck my cheap earphones, listen to some new music from a group I wasn’t sure about with their last comeback, and listened WAVE, first out of all. It was unforgettable, how I met my eventual love for ATEEZ and this song. It was full of doubt and scepticism but I just rushed towards the wave of faith and it worked.
As soon as the little house synths started playing, I knew I was about to make a journey. The honey vocals of San, and Yunho was just cascading towards the beautiful cityscape I was living. I was lucky I was still alive during martial law. Yes, I was listening to Wave during Martial Law in a land where proto-fascism was just about to erect itself. Anyway, back to the review, Hongjoong and Mingi’s sung verse served as an appetizer to an amazing section they will reveal later. Wooyoung, Seonghwa, Yeosang and Jonho build the beautiful momentum and pre-chorus.
We are treated with an amazing HAKUNA MATATA that solidifies everything fun and vibrant about the song. The choral vocals of onomatopoeias is a ripple of freedom and liberation from all the worries of the world. It serves as the epitome of independence. The chorus still remains powerful to this day, I really get emotional hearing this song and I feel all the youth I had left was to be celebrated and be worth commemorating.
We go to the swaggerific rap section where Hongjoong and Mingi kick things up to a notch, not only with their effortless flow and rhyme but their bars was just hot as the Proxima Centauri. The song obviously talks about one thing. Adventure. Life is so bland, yet unpredictable. That’s why Hongjoong convinces us to go to the Mississippi River and Mingi just doesn’t care but want’s them to go on wherever they like, together. It is a deep juxtaposition on the friendship of ATEEZ as they portray themselves in a lore-binding yet effective commercial smash hit.
We repeat the pre-chorus and go to a much more brilliant and rather familiar chorus.
HAKUNA MATATA YA
It’s coming even more
It’s coming even more
But we’ll jump over the rough waves
Those lines breathe an incredible amount of dopamine into my brain. They let me be free, be my self and be who I want to be. WAVE is not just all about ATEEZ and its stories. It is about the youth’s struggle. It wasn’t about having fun but making sure the fun was all they need. Making sure that they were truly happy. WAVE rather is clingy, obnoxiously cringy, or indefinitely insufferable. But it makes me happy, sad, free, and unsure. It is a cacophony of emotions that is weirdly cynical but true. This second chorus has all the magic, I ever wanted. The vocals feel surreal, authentic, and humane. They feel emotional, desperate, and powerful. They feel hope.
The bridge is commanded by Jongho with the incredibly emotional rap twist of Hongjoong and Mingi. The final departure of Wave cements the emotional rollercoaster this song provokes. It harnesses even more languidness, unhurriedness, and joy. It is a deluge of hope, friendship, and memories. One that I will never forget, never escape and never question.
OK. So after all of that emotional semantics. I guess I need to head out for an official review. WAVE is a country-styled synthpop song about friendship and adventure. It is quite frankly fascinating to hear that a stereotypical K-Pop summer song could become one of the greatest songs in the history books. WAVE has managed what no summer song could do. It got a pretty positive audience praise and critical acclaim throughout 2019, even named as the Song of the Year at the Insider Awards.
WAVE was just a complete package of lyrical dynamism, instrumental cohesion, vocal excellence, brilliant musical direction, complete song structure, impeccable cohesion, stunning mixing and mastering, and powerful musical style and production. It was an attempt to make a classic summer hit and ATEEZ did not falter at all. It was a full on smash hit that really resonated with audiences and critics. For that I think, it is a classic.
Producer: EDEN, BUDDY, LEEZ
Songwriters: Kim Hong-joong, Song Mingi, EDEN, LEEZ, BUDDY