After a year of many ups and downs, ATEEZ have returned stronger than ever. Their sixth mini-album, ZERO: FEVER Part.3., is a strong follow-up to its counterparts and is perfectly balanced with two summer pop songs, two ballads, and two songs closer to ATEEZ’s signature style. This marks the third installment of their ZERO album series and is their first official comeback with all eight members in almost a year. Main rapper Mingi took a break late last year due to symptoms of anxiety and while he recorded songs with the group, he did not participate in performances or variety shows. He was also absent in the music video for ATEEZ’s previous comeback ‘Fireworks (I’m The One).’ He came back in July with a post on fan café and made his official return in the music video for ‘Be My Lover’ featuring Kim Jong Kook.
Listen to ‘Deja Vu’ here!
ZERO: FEVER Part.2 was about reigniting the burning passion of the youth. ZERO: FEVER Part.3 tells a story of how the youth’s memories and passion will forever remain eternal. ATEEZ have built a strong international following and presence, with over 650 million streams on just Spotify alone. ATEEZ has charted #4 on Billboard’s Emerging Artist Chart and ranked No. 5 on Twitter’s most-mentioned musicians in the US. All of their EP’s have peaked in the Top 10 on Billboard’s World Album Chart. Needless to say, ATEEZ have accomplished so much since debut and have established themselves as an unstoppable force in KPOP. Fans (and us) are overflowing with pride with how much ATEEZ have grown and just how incredible this comeback is.
Oh, the title track.
There’s so much to say about ‘Deja Vu,’ but first, we should talk about The ‘ATEEZ NEXT SONG’ project.
The ‘ATEEZ NEXT SONG’ project allowed fans and artists worldwide to vote on the title track for ZERO: FEVER Part.3. Between ‘Eternal Sunshine’ and ‘Deja Vu,’ fans had two very different options and many were torn between what to choose. Internationally renowned artists like PSY, Jessi, and Rain also joined to cast their vote on ATEEZ’s comeback track.
‘Deja Vu’ is a new musical approach for ATEEZ. Where ATEEZ’s previous comebacks were powerful, loud, and in your face, ‘Deja Vu’ is much more minimalist. It’s a rhythmic, contemporary pop song, expressing the unstoppable thirst and longing for the unknown. The song’s structure is unlike anything they’ve done before and brought new vocal approaches, for instance, Hongjoong’s “whisper rap.”
Additionally, there is a stark difference in the music video set of ‘Deja Vu’ when compared to ATEEZ’s previous comebacks. The video reflects the song’s minimalistic set, a stark difference to ATEEZ’s more industrial setups in previous videos for ‘Wonderland’ or ‘Fireworks (I’m The One)’. This video is more futuristic, full of black leather, low lighting, and a more cinematic color grading that builds the mysterious and atmospheric tone of the song. The ‘Deja Vu’ music video garnered over 10 million views in the first 24 hours of its release. Needless to say, this may be one of ATEEZ’s best comebacks and marks a new era for the group.
‘Eternal Sunshine’ was the perfect choice to put against ‘Deja Vu’ in the ATEEZ NEXT SONG project. The stark contrast between the two songs provided fans with different options for concept and sound when voting. As the first song on the album, it carries a bright and refreshing synth-pop sound that sings of the beauty of youth and is reminiscent of the summer memories we create during that time. ‘Eternal Sunshine’ eases fans into the album and keeps the good vibes up with ‘Feeling Like I Do.’ ‘Feeling Like I Do’ is a tropical dance-pop song that spreads the messages of togetherness and friendship. It follows the same direction as ‘Eternal Sunshine’ with its uplifting message and summertime melody.
ATEEZ have proven to be versatile artists, but the jump from ‘Feeling Like I Do’ to ‘ROCKY’ is shocking. ‘ROCKY,’ co-composed by Hongjoong and co-written by Hongjoong and Mingi, is what we like to call a “fight song.” Inspired by the film, this track is fierce, empowering, and highlights the victory and determination of an underdog, much like ATEEZ’s journey thus far. As a group that is not under the big three labels and have well-documented humble beginnings, ATEEZ’s rise to the top is a perfect reflection of their determination to rise as the underdogs. Additionally, the song references the song ‘WIN’ from ATEEZ’s Treasure album series.
The last two tracks on the album are closer, surprisingly toned-down compared to the four previous. ‘All About You’, a lyrical contemporary R&B track, is healing for fans both sonically and lyrically. The lyrics paint the picture of undying devotion and desperation to be together. It’s a comforting song all-around. The chorus relies less on instrumental and more on isolating vocals, showcasing the range of ATEEZ’s abilities. The song has a captivating background vocal, courtesy of fellow KQ Entertainment artist Maddox, that emphasizes the healing experience.
ATEEZ closes their third installment of the FEVER series with ‘Not Too Late,’ an emotive song delivering a comforting message to the youth that is anxious about the unknown future. This is another track co-written by Hongjoong and Mingi, where they express their struggles as idols and dealing with the unknown. Above all, the track relates to youth who are unsure of their journeys and provides them with the strength to carry on. ‘All About You’ and ‘Not Too Late’ bring the balance that doubles as a nice album closer.
ZERO: FEVER Part.3 continues the stories ATEEZ has created with their previous works and shows various sides of ATEEZ’s charm. ATEEZ have such a promising future and have solidified themselves as one of the K-Pop groups to watch as they reach one milestone after another. Their versatility and storytelling positions them as strong stand-outs in the enormous world of K-POP and we’re excited to see what they do next!
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Featured Image Source: Courtesy of KQ Entertainment