K-Pop Songs of The Summer: ATEEZ – WAVE

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
HAKUNA MATATA
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.

Lyrics8
Instrumentation8
Rap/Sung Vocals8
Musical Direction9
Song Structure8
Cohesiveness10
Record Mixing9
Song Cadence10
Musical Style9
Production9
TOTAL88

Rating: 9

Producer: EDEN, BUDDY, LEEZ

Songwriters: Kim Hong-joong, Song Mingi, EDEN, LEEZ, BUDDY


Next Review: The Bias List (Blog)

15 Comments

  1. Yes! I love, love LOVE ATEEZ’s Wave! It came out on my older brother’s birthday and I remember me and him tuning into watch both music videos. From verse to chorus and conclusion, the song washed over a genuine sense of euphoria all over me, I still remember that goosebump-inducing feeling like it was just yesterday.

    As for the review, I loved it! I have always considered your writing to be “unique” because of the way how overblown all of it is. It’s really enjoyable to hear you gush dramatically about the things you love!

    As for Nick’s review, I am suspecting it to be “Sistar’s Loving U”…I am 100% sure it WILL be that song.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for really appreciating this piece of music. I know that 108Ent and you are super fans of WAVE. I am for one an absolute fan and enthusiast of the song. It is just so beautiful, I cannot resist it. Yan you are an amazing reader and I am glad that I was blessed by the legend!

      As for nick… 👀!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much! Your pick was honestly impeccable! POWER is one of my favorite EDM songs of all-time. POWER was probably what saved EXO in 2017 (yes I hate KKB). But the lashings aside, I am so amazed by your review!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I love that now, whenever I read ‘Hakuna Matata’, my first thought is ‘WAVE’ and not ‘The Lion King’ – as I was reading your post, I was just singing that part over and over in my head haha!

    Such a great review as always – thank you for giving us an insight into how it made you feel at the time, I always find that kind of autobiographical memory really special!

    GREAT choice as always! And fab writing!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. As Jei and Yan pointed out, I love your personal and dramatic review-writing style. I can write on and on about the song in its technicality, but you bring out the passion, great review StillBangtan! Loved the sort of time warp you gave us to 2019!

    I am busy today and tomorrow, so I will have to be brief, and tomorrow I may even be unable to post any comments. But I’ll still give some trivia today and maybe day-after-tomorrow for Nick.

    – StillBangtan was the first person to accept my idea for the collaboration. I had sent him an email asking for the email addresses of many bloggers. He helped a lot, I could not have started without his support in getting the emails.

    – In fact, after this, I went on a bit of a silent streak for a few weeks, StillBangtan commented on my celebration post for 100,000 views that he was open for a collab still. It was later that day when I finally stopped slacking and wrote the initial email.

    – Wave is the newest song in the series, 6 days younger than Boogie Up.

    – TheBiasList gave Wave initially an 8.75, later updated to a 10, while KPOPREVIEWED gave it an 8.

    Looking forward to Nick’s review tomorrow to conclude the reivews!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so so much 108Ent! Without your effort, time and patience we would not have even come to this point in time. This series has been phenomenal and brilliant! I hope to see more collaborations and I am extra excited on Nick’s finale writing. It will be surely eye-opening and rather great.

      Cheers to more collaborations!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Aww deforested! This was such a nice read and I love how it felt like a story. Songs really have that magic touch of reminding you of specific moments in your life whether it be good or bad, but mostly good personally. I kind of just didn’t really think much of WAVE except for Mingi’s “geonbae geonbae” and hakuna matata. But now that I’ve listened to it while reading this, it’s given me a new perspective of it.

    Liked by 1 person

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