Seventeen has had a wild ride of a rookie year, going from K-pop hipster favorite to bonafide hit upon the release of Boys Be. Were it not for a juggernaut rookie carrying a fanbase years in the making called iKON, they’d probably be winning rookie awards left and right1.
In a year where girl groups as a whole completely washed over their male counterparts, Seventeen joins a small cohort of boy group releases on this list, and rightfully so. Bizarrely low-budget MV aside, “Adore U” is a wonderfully vibrant and nostalgic pop track that manages to speak to a time before the likely Big Bang catalyzed “hip-hop” revolution in K-pop proper ransacked the boy band landscape. That being said, Seventeen has a highly competent Hip-Hop subunit (unlike their stylistic predecessors, the SM Brand (TM)) and they have their place, but the rap components don’t override the incredibly clean and expressive vocals (now becoming a 1 in a million occurrence in K-pop).
What I like most about “Adore U” though, is the arrangement. “Adore U” is able to make a cornucopia of sound appear cohesive–it travels from blasting electric guitar to accordion to rap to synth-y a cappella-lite and back virtually seamlessly–making the song not just enjoyable, but memorable.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rUFQJrCT7M]
1| This comment is not meant to shame iKON; rather it is an attempt at recognizing that Seventeen had 0 chance at awards, despite growing so rapidly.