1THE9 spotlights how music should be fun and cheeky.

Let’s go back in time and relive the moment!


You can call me unhinged now! Because I am. After reading reviews on Spotlight by 1THE9 and how everyone felt indifferent and very snobbish of it, I’m going to defend the song’s integrity. To be honest, I might be crazy while writing this but I honestly got floored by Spotlight. When it was first released right after school finished, it became one of the most defining songs of the year for me. Honestly, what would I wish for more than just give me a good creative song. Spotlight nailed that and gave me more. It was a song I shall never forget and you bet I’ll put my credibility on the line.

The proper criticism of this song should have been the absolutely inconsistent lyrics and nonsense storytelling that danke and Ryan S. Jhun (I hate you) have put into this song. Spotlight starts as it describes how they’re gonna flip the game, but proceeds to beg the listener to listen to their songs, and then the song talks about merry go rides and returned spotlights as if they’re really interchangeable in this context. The lyrics is just so irritating to listen because it just doesn’t make sense but if Sweetune’s lyrics were in any bit cringe then I guess we have to settle on bad lyric writing.

Spotlight clearly takes inspiration and samples NCT 127’s Regular. As you know or might not, Regular is one of my favorite NCT songs, and they have nailed the jackpot to how to properly adapt an existing composition into something more poppier and more festive. Scott Stoddart and Kyler Niko both have skillfully managed to hook what made Regular great but added a twist so that 1THE9’s own flair could be seen miles away. This song is just emblematic of what my summer 2019 was, fun, free and liberating. The song albeit very generic and commericial in its whole package, still takes liberties at making conscious creative decisions that make the song just fit for my taste.

The usage of the Latin-themed piano keys, drums, electric guitar, trumpets, flute and saxophone all make the song feel like you’re in a carnival fiesta. I am intrigued at the production of this song and how they mixed it because it was mixed in a way that blended everything together in a way that suited the overall theme of the song. Notice how if you listen to the instrumental version, you’ll appreciate how vocal-centric this song is. That’s also the key factor here in why I love this song so much, vocal centric songs are very rare in K-Pop nowadays, because of they whole dance performance trend that the industry is so engrossed about.

Sometimes, the way to my heart is just a decent song. It really shows the cheat here, if you want me to kneel on your work: make it a simple, well-produced, creative, melodically sound and vocal-centric song. The key to music is not always about making the most extreme and most catchy tune, its just being capable of making multiple consistent efforts. Spotlight nailed it and so did Bad Guy. 1THE9, you’ll forever be missed, as nostalgia can tell.


Personal Score: 9

Producers: Ryan S. Jhun, Scott Russell Stoddart, Kyler Niko

Songwriters: danke, Ryan S. Jhun, Scott Russell Stoddart, Kyler Niko