Making their comeback yesterday was SEVENTEEN with their latest title track, Ready To Love. The new song is the title track off the group’s 8th mini-album since debut, Your Choice. This is the group’s first comeback since the release of HOME;RUN last year in October. More recently, we saw SEVENTEEN make their Japanese comeback, Not Alone, while member Hoshi also made his solo debut with the single Spider back in March of this year. On a separate note, Ready To Love and Your Choice is the second part of SEVENTEEN’s Power of ‘Love’ project. Very little is known about project from what I can find on the internet. However the group did drop a concept trailer for it, hinting it as the recurring theme of SEVENTEEN’s forthcoming 2021 work. The first part of the project was the release of Bittersweet, a single featuring members Wonwoo, Mingyu and soloist Lee Hi I have yet to review this single, and will do so when I have a bit more time. But in the meanwhile, here is my review for Ready To Love.
Ready To Love opens up with a sentimental introduction, before the song starts incorporating a thumping beat to get the momentum going. From there, Ready To Love remains quite constant, with the occasion burst of energy. We get a small-ish dose of energy part way into each of the verses, and then one substantial one to amplify the chorus. For the chorus, that substantial dose of energy turns the instrumental into a pop rock-style, which I thought was extremely satisfying. I like how this energy doesn’t stop or pause between the two halves that make up the chorus, keeping it all thoroughly connected. While on the topic of connection, I feel that Ready To Love is the a good example of how constant and consistent a song can be, but remain engaging and doesn’t result in a bore. That being said, I do think Ready To Love isn’t as powerful or memorable as like many of SEVENTEEN’s past comebacks, but it is a different side of the group. And this different side of the group comes from the matureness they display in the vocals and raps. Sure, the group have had their fair share of serious and dark styled comebacks. But Ready To Love feels like they have aged liked fine wine. From the vocals and rapping, nothing felt like their usual fun or upbeat ways. Instead, each of their members sound like they are tapping into an emotional side that we know SEVENTEEN has but never really gotten to showcase until now. Similarly, the song’s melodies also give off a similar vibe. I particularly liked the second half of the chorus, which felt almost chant-like. It works well with the instrumentation and gives the song a catchy melodic hook. Overall, I like the song. But Ready To Love isn’t my favourite release from the group. But who knows? Maybe a few more replays of the song might change that.
To fit with the more mature vibe of the song, I think the music video opted for that same dynamic. For the first part of the music video, we see the members walkthrough their relationship with the female character. One of these moments is when the members make the decision of being friends or lovers with her. I think the video shows the members choosing to be friends, which how this whole song came about and this is back up by the face Mingyu makes while he is in the lover phone box and the presence of the friend phone box in THE8’s scene with the female character. Throughout the video, we see the members wanting to make that change from friendship to relationship, which is backed by the English phrases present on the walls and on the bus (which are some lines in the song). It isn’t the most SEVENTEEN video out there, but it is still a good video to watch. My only complaint is regarding the heavy raining at the end. I didn’t see the point of it, given that we could barely see the members amongst the rain. I wished the rain was toned done, so that we can see the members more clearly.
For the choreography, I feel that the performance (and I forgot to mention it above in the music video part of this review) takes a page out of their Japanese works. It looks quite aesthetic and pretty, which is something that recurs in their work in Japan. I really like the formations they are in, especially the formation which allowed them to form three units in the second half of the second chorus (and how the members who are not the centre of the choreography are still moving in the background). I also really liked how they ran to switch places in such an organised manner for the final sequence. That looked pretty cool.
Song – 8/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 8.5/10
Overall Rating – 7.8/10