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K-Pop Comeback Spotlight: ATEEZ Proves To Be An Invincible Force With 5th Mini-Album “ZERO: FEVER Part.1”

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ATEEZ, the rising superpower among K-pop’s 4th generation, make their highly anticipated return with the spell-binding album ZERO: FEVER Part.1. 

Ever since their debut in 2018, ATEEZ emerged fiercely into the K-pop scene with a commanding presence that could not be ignored. As rookies, they boasted raw, dynamic energy that manifested itself into powerful stages and rich music–both which have quickly become part of ATEEZ’s signature style.

Almost two years later, ATEEZ unveils their fifth mini-album called, ZERO: FEVER Part.1. The album kickstarts the group’s second musical series following TREASURE‘s conclusion and marks yet another impressive addition to their discography. 

ATEEZ


Comeback Countdown Timeline 

ATEEZ made the groundbreaking announcement for a summer comeback by posting an intriguing teaser poster. On July 2, the group unveiled a poster across their SNS channels with the caption, “So I gotta let it go. Passion, Young, Fever”. 

Following the exciting post, ATEEZ made their official comeback announcement on July 3 with the mini-album titled, ZERO: FEVER Part.1, releasing July 29 at 6 pm KST. 

One day later, ATEEZ delivered their official scheduler for their comeback, marking the beginning of an eventful promotion period. 

To launch the festivities, the group enlisted fans’ creativity, hosting a writing contest. Fans were provided with prompts exploring ATEEZ’s narrative universe and encouraged to submit their own stories based on the pictures given. 

ATEEZ

ATEEZ stunned fans with their subsequent “Diary Film”–a 16 minute cinematic experience exploring their narrative world. 

Moreover, ATEEZ treated fans with a surprise digital comeback show event. Hosted in collaboration with MyMusicTaste, the three-hour online concert promised a celebration of the group’s new music. 

Additionally, the group encouraged fan participation through a voting event to choose between the album’s title track. Offering “INCEPTION” or “THANXX” as track choices, the voting was based on the following categories. 

Following the voting announcement, the group released concept images for both tracks.

Fans were also provided with exciting song teasers to help inform their voting decisions. 

The group subsequently released performance previews, which unveiled parts of their thrilling choreographies.

On July 20, ATEEZ’s tracklist dropped, including seven songs. Impressively, Hongjoong and Mingi participated in making the group’s new album once again.

From July 21-25 the group charmed with their final rounds of concept image releases.

The members’ solo images for both concepts provided a great contrast between a more youthful approach and more sensual, summer looks. 

The comeback schedule continued as the group delivered its album preview through a youthful video of the members. 

ATEEZ’s comeback schedule came to a conclusion with the release of music video teasers for both “INCEPTION” and “THANXX”. 

Moreover, the group hosted their stunning three-hour comeback show online with MyMusicTaste, just one day ahead of their album release. 

ATEEZ

ATEEZ had one last surprise in store, dropping a final round of concept photos before the album release.


ZERO: FEVER Part.1 Album Impressions

ATEEZ’s newest mini-album is a whirlwind journey of youth, encapsulating the feelings of being on the cusp of adulthood and still navigating through life. 

“Dear Diary : 2016.07.29” is a monologue discussing the struggle to find a dream and the pressure to announce one to the world. Additionally, it speaks about the joys and comfort of friendship, themes touched upon in the later songs. 

“FEVER” is an epic, feel-good coming of age track. Against a blissful beat, the members croon lyrics touching on the feeling of endless wandering in pursuit of dreams. ATEEZ acknowledges the isolating pain youth feel in the confusion of life, but the track is anything but pessimistic. Instead, “FEVER” is an anthem that celebrates the potential of adolescence. Singing, “So, I gotta let it go,” ATEEZ encourages their fans to let go of their fears and instead live harder live and younger. 

The third track, “THANXX”, was the second contender for the album’s title track and for a good reason. The trap heavy song features a catchy bridge and Latin American influences, creating a head-banger fitting for its bold lyrics. The song is a defiant rally call against adults who try to control younger people on the basis that they have lived life already. “THANXX” states that though you may not know what you want, you can know what you do not want–and that is valid because it is your life to live. 

“TO THE BEAT” is a standout in the album and an apt follow-up to the powerful track before it. Perhaps one of ATEEZ’s hardest tracks since debut, the song is a heavy bass-hitting, trap song. Mixing whispering, fast-paced raps, and a catchy chorus, the celebratory dance track showcases ATEEZ’s confidence and distinct style. 

“INCEPTION”, the album’s title and fan-voted track, is grand in production as its verses build up to a satisfying drop in the chorus. The song’s extravagant, even galactic, instrumentals pair beautifully with its lyrics. With some of their most romantic lyrics yet, ATEEZ describes a yearning journey to reunite with a lost love, who seems lost in their dreams. 

Like most tracks on the album, “Good Lil Boy” includes lyric credits to rappers Hongjoong and Mingi. Uniquely, this track was also composed and arranged by Hongjoong too. The fast reggae-inspired song is an uplifting declaration that the world is yours to be claimed. The members sing to a “good lil boy”, encouraging them to run harder and to never fear the world. 

ATEEZ surprised fans with the last song on the album, “One Day At A Time”, which is a completely English track. In the fan-dedicated gift, ATEEZ addresses the stress of life (and implicitly, the bleak state of the world due to COVID-19). The members provide comforting advice to “just take it slow, one day at a time,” and commemorate their sweet relationship with fans by promising their endless support.


MV Afterthoughts 

“INCEPTION”‘s music video is a fitting pairing for the impactful title track. The video takes place in many of the sets seen previously in the group’s “Diary Film”. In this manner, ATEEZ seamlessly connects their narrative world to the music video, creating a cinematic effect. Additionally, the members continued their impressive acting skills in the emotive scenes. 

Moreover, the scale of the music video is much to be admired. Containing fire, a water room, and impressive lighting and editing effects, ATEEZ brings viewers on a dreamy journey much like the one they sing about in “INCEPTION”.

As the video ends with an eerie scene of Hongjoong standing alone with the hum of static in the background, the group teases even more surprises to come throughout the FEVER album series.


Image Source: KQ Entertainment

Video Source: KQ Entertainment 

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