A year ago, I attended ATEEZ’s Melbourne leg of ‘THE EXPEDITION TOUR IN AUSTRALIA’ and I was blown away by their talent, stage presence and professionalism, to the point where I could have believed that they had been around for years, when in reality (at the time) they were rookies and had only debuted 9 months prior. Yet even then, this 8-member K-Pop boy group were already travelling and conquering the world. They have come a long way since then.
Hot off the heels of the success of their fourth EP ‘Treasure Epilogue: Action to Answer’ released only January this year (containing the epic instant classic ‘Answer’), ATEEZ are back with their fifth EP ‘ZERO : FEVER Part.1’. This 6-track EP (7 if you include the introduction) cements (if not already) ATEEZ as a formidable force to be reckoned with in the K-Pop industry. The mini album also has the group stepping away from their ‘treasure’ ‘pirate king’ concept and in a new direction of expression and self-discovery.
With a unique way of picking the promotional single of the mini album, ATEEZ let their fans ‘ATINY’ vote for a limited time between tracks, ‘THANXX’ and ‘INCEPTION’, with the latter winning out in the end. While at the time during the announcement, I felt that I enjoyed ‘THANXX’ more as a song due to their colourful outfits, fun vibe and impressive vocals by main vocalist Jong Ho, I have grown to really enjoy ‘INCEPTION’ as whole with their solid choreographed performance, their serious yet attractive visual concept, epic rapping by both Hong Joon and Mingi, and basically their presentation as whole. The fans were right – ‘INCEPTION’ really was the best choice.
If you haven’t heard ‘THANXX’ yet, don’t dismay, the track is available on ‘ZERO : FEVER Part.1’ and considering that ATEEZ have already recorded a music video for that song too with its own unique dance choreography, I am sure it will be released at some point.
Honestly, ATEEZ have NO BAD SONGS. Each song on the EP is as impressive as the next, and it’s great to know that the members do have creative input into their music.
Title track ‘FEVER’ is beautiful. The lyrics express passionate yet turbulent internal thoughts, questioning the correlation of their experiences due to their youth and learning the beauty of life from witnessing pain, a ‘fever’. I know it’s the title track, but it is also one of my favourites from the mini album.
‘TO THE BEAT’ is incredibly catchy and will make you want to dance, no matter how hard you try to keep still. I would say the same goes with ‘Good Lil Boy’, however, the difference is the latter feels more laid back and free-spirited. I can imagine it also would sound amazing performed live.
Last but not least, ‘One Day At Time’ is surprisingly completely in English and feels ‘boy band nostalgic’ but in an absolute good way. The slowest on the mini album, ATEEZ share, “When it’s overwhelming, hold on tight. I’ll be here, don’t forget it. ‘Cause in life sometimes we need a helping hand. You’ll be alright. Just take it slow, one day at a time”. The song itself expresses the much-needed message and understanding that we need during this unprecedented time.
I really do believe that ATEEZ’s ‘ZERO : FEVER Part.1’ is their strongest mini album to date and considering that they are still quite new in comparison to many anchors of the K-Pop industry, they still have a lot growing to do. This isn’t a bad thing. If anything, it has me quite excited, as I truly believe that despite ATEEZ putting out their best EP thus far, regarding their career, the best is yet to come.
Images by KQ Entertainment.