SF9 Gets Futuristic in “RPM”

SF9 Gets Futuristic in “RPM”

Sophomore group SF9 is back on the scene just four months after their last release, ready to make their group a household name. The group took their music and concept in a different direction from the last two comebacks, with a futuristic aesthetic in their music video and a groovier, modern sound.

The Title: “RPM”

The first thing that jumped out at me at the beginning of “RPM” was that the opening verse was given to Youngbin, one of the group’s rappers. In the past, SF9 always began their title tracks with the vocal team, usually with Rowoon or Jaeyoon, so the shift in pattern is intriguing. This gives the track much more of a hip-hop feel than their previous releases, but that sound doesn’t last very long. The song’s drop features a heavy EDM synth rhythm that is a little jarring upon first listen, as it seems like a total 180 from the direction the song was going during the buildup. Still, the more I listen to the song, the more I find it catchy. “RPM” might not hold up to the standard I have for SF9’s titles, which regularly blow me away with how quality they are. While “RPM” has some catchiness to it, it’s not the best SF9 has to offer.

Listening to the song on its own leaves quite a bit to be desired, which is remedied slightly by the corresponding music video. One thing SF9 always delivers on is their choreography, which never fails to be intricate, eye-catching, and flawlessly performed. The choreography along with the all-white outfits and contrasting background lights really tie the whole title together. The futuristic concept the group goes for is a first and feels drastically different from the direction they’ve been going in up to this point. But regardless, it’s a good fit for this song and the video truly helps to elevate the entire package of the title.

The Album

Mini-album RPM features six new tracks, beginning with the title of the same name. While it starts off fairly intense, the rhythm shifts quite a bit in the first B-side, “Round and Round.” The track has a light, acoustic feel that totally contrasts the ferocity of “RPM.” Next up is “Dreamer,” which shifts back into the heavy sound of “RPM” and features a passionate and somewhat surprising rap line. Shifting back to the softer sound we have “Liar,” a longing sort of track that expresses regret. “See U Tomorrow” has a heavy house-infused melody that goes in a different direction from the rest of the album thus far, showing another side of SF9’s musicality. Concluding the album is “Echo,” a track that fits along nicely with “Round and Round” and “Liar.”

As far as albums go, this may be my favorite one that SF9 has released thus far, as there is a significant amount of musical variety that we’re not used to hearing in their other albums. For fans of the group, it will be a refreshing release that may not have as great of a title track as usual, but has an overall musical variety that presents more sides to SF9 that we haven’t seen much of in their previous releases.

“RPM” Title Score: 6.5/10

Music Video Score: 8.5/10

RPM Album Score: 7/10

Total Score: 7.3/10

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