Getting Closer With SEVENTEEN
Ever since their jaw-dropping performance at the 2018 Mnet Asian Music Awards, fans have been eagerly awaiting the release of SEVENTEEN’s new song, “Getting Closer.” With more bass and leather than any fan’s heart is prepared to handle, “Getting Closer” showcases the darker side of SEVENTEEN as they sing of wanting to get closer to the object of their affections and a desire that leaves them breathless. The departure from their usual lighthearted style suits the group well and definitely opens up their musical repertoire. While we have seen darker concepts from the individual units in the past, it’s refreshing to see the full group conquer one as a whole.
Released on December 21, the song sounds like something typically performed by the group’s hip-hop team, with its heavy bass and rhythm-focused melody. Like much of SEVENTEEN’s discography, the track is EDM-driven, though this release kicks it up a notch with the electronic drums. The track is taken to the next level—and given that extra SEVENTEEN touch—with the addition of impressive backing vocals to round out the instrumentation. As the official song credits have not yet been released, it will be interesting to see how much involvement the members of this self-producing group had in the track’s production, particularly the group’s go-to composer Woozi.
At first listen, the song can sound generic; after all, the dark concept is nothing new to K-Pop. Where SEVENTEEN shines in this release, though, is their mixing of rap and vocals. Many of their title tracks tend to lean one way or the other such as the hip-hop focused “Clap” or vocally-driven “Don’t Wanna Cry.” On the other hand, “Getting Closer” strikes the perfect balance between both, allowing vocalists and rappers alike to shine. By listening more closely, you can hear some unexpected yet outstanding harmonies between S. Coups and DK before the song’s breakdown and even between DK and Wonwoo at the end. Another part that stands out is the call-and-response between Jun and Joshua in the second verse—two voices fans don’t often see juxtaposed with each other. Lastly, it’s not a SEVENTEEN song without Seungkwan’s soaring vocals. His and DK’s falsettos throughout the final chorus are arguably what tie the whole song together, leaving listeners with a striking contrast between light and dark.
The video for “Getting Closer” only adds to the intensity. With many of their recent releases leaning towards the more lyrical side of things, it’s invigorating to see SEVENTEEN deliver such a powerful performance. Clad in black, the members dance against minimalist backdrops, letting their choreography take the spotlight. The video opens with the group standing in tight formation, gazes averted from the camera with the exception of Hoshi, whose menacing stare alone leaves you with goosebumps. Although the group knocks it out of the park as a whole, members Jun, Dino, and Jeonghan particularly shine in this concept, executing both the choreography and the theme of desire perfectly.
It’s unclear what this release means yet for the group, as it was only released as a digital single accompanied with the mysterious hashtag of #YMMD_prequel, a nod to their previously released You Make My Day. Until further information comes about an official comeback, fans can revel in the spectacle that is “Getting Closer.” After all, we’ll need some time to recuperate since this one left us all a little...breathless.