[Review] Bittersweet – Wonwoo & Mingyu (SEVENTEEN) ft. Lee Hi

Bittersweet is nominated for Best R&B Song, while SEVENTEEN is nominated for Best Male Group and a range of other categories. Support SEVENTEEN in all their nominated categories by clicking to vote today.

As mentioned previously, I will be reviewing songs or releases from artists from categories in which I had not reviewed before this year throughout the remainder of 2021. Today’s reviews will all be focused on the ones that I have yet to review from the Best R&B Song category. First up is Bittersweet, which was a collaboration single between SEVENTEEN members Wonwoo, Mingyu, and soloist Lee Hi. This single was released back at the end of May 2021.

Bittersweet is a very mature R&B song. While we have heard all the artists in this song in some sort of mature light before, I find Bittersweet to really emphasise this and this was a very major drawing point in my opinion. You could also gather the emotions and the literal bittersweet tone behind their each of their voices, which I found to also be another strong aspect of the song. While they are two of SEVENTEEN’s rappers, both Wonwoo and Mingyu changed up their delivery/style and opted for vocals and I thought this was well executed. Wonwoo’s husky and deep tone and Mingyu’s raspier voice works really well with one another in Bittersweet. There was the tiniest smidge of rapping, however, when Mingyu switch between vocals and rapping for a brief second in the song’s first pre-chorus. I remember Lee Hi’s vocals being unrecognisable when Bittersweet was first released. I guess I am really used to hearing low tones and huskier tones from the soloist, not something as smooth and higher tone like what we got in this song. I am not entirely sure if that is a good or bad thing after all this time, but it was interesting. Both the higher tone and smoothness contrasted with the SEVENTEEN members’ vocals and I felt her vocals helped tied the song together. For the melodies, they were quite nice. Not too memorable, but just enough to get this song over the line in that regard. Regarding the instrumentation, Bittersweet was quite a straightforward R&B release, with a subdued instrumental that mainly features acoustic guitars all throughout. While this isn’t a mind-blowing or innovative combination, the simplicity and straightforwardness as definitely appreciated.

The song was all about the switch between friendship and love. In the music video, we see the friendship between the three characters played by Wonwoo, Mingyu and the female actress. But throughout the video, we see glimpse of the male characters staring at their female friend, seemingly contemplating their feelings for her. But never do we see them make the move, probably in fear of what would happen to their friendship trio if the feelings were reciprocated for one friend and not the other. At the end, it seems like the male counterparts of the friendship choose friendship over their feelings, keeping their bond. Though the ending is ambiguous, as it would make better sense for all three of them to skip into the distant in the rain if that was the case. Instead, we are shown only Wonwoo and Mingyu, so maybe the music video is trying to suggest that the pair were in love all along? Who knows! Apart from the two possible stories, I like the moody atmosphere of the music video, which went for the traditional R&B colours of brown and golden tone.

Song – 8/10
Music Video 8/10
Overall Rating – 8/10

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