Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

Wanna One – Energetic

Reality show gets a second season, we get another boy band…


Patrick St. Michel: Fan service comes first on a debut like this. This is, after all, a group put together via reality competition where the viewers got to vote on who made the final lineup. If pop outfits lending supporters a measure of power have taught me anything, it’s that the music often ends up secondary. “Energetic” slingshots vocals back and forth between members so everyone gets enough space, and you can just see an arena roaring when the camera pans to the next singer. Yet the music manages to keep pace with Wanna One’s singing, presenting a persistent beat that highlights the best of the title, when the battle-royal approach to vocals just feels tiring.

Madeleine Lee: There is a distinction between being so predictable as to be boring and being so predictable as to be exactly right. This song is the latter for me, a clean, well-paced pop-house track that’s pitched just high enough to stay breathless and has enough flair (like Kim Jaehwan’s hypercorrected pronunciation of the title as “enerzetic”) to keep me engaged.

Alfred Soto: The mild house influence is the sweet spot: it adds propulsion to the lust. Keep it going as energetically as possible, boys!

Crystal Leww: “Energetic” is fine, but it makes Wanna One feel like Alesso when SEVENTEEN is already at Flume. I understand that EDM-pop is a wide open world, but this is behind, even by pop production standards.

Maxwell Cavaseno: Wish I could feel something more about how K-pop is working its hardest to keep detuned electro-synths in the pop vocabulary, granting their pop-house moments a certain textural comfort in the yawn-inducing banality this approach has been recycling. The raps here are a bit melodramatically presented for their limited appeal, the main piano line might be one of the more basic house lines out there, and in general “Energetic” actually falls more flat than it’d like to admit. But hardly an effort without merits.

Alex Clifton: I’m a sucker for ’90s Eurodance pianos, which “Energetic” has in droves. I hear shades of some of the poppier boy groups — SHINee and Seventeen specifically come to mind — and my one complaint would be that the song tries so hard to sound like other groups that I have trouble discerning what’s so original about Wanna One. If you’re going to make your mark as an idol group, you’ve got to have a memorable sound, and this might not have been the best track to establish that identity with. I can let that annoyance go for three minutes of dancing, though.

Reader average: [4.25] (4 votes)

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7 Responses to “Wanna One – Energetic”

  1. Patrick, the reason I started reading TSJ was because of you (and Kogan), so it’s safe to say that I’m very happy to see your blurbs on the site the past couple weeks :)

  2. I would like to point out here that there was a vote on the title track for their debut mini, and while the other option was … a little messy, I guess, it also had a lot more character: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwGqz8BhHho

  3. Also, the video has animorphs.

  4. thankfully we’ll have wanna one until december of next year so i figure they can squeeze out 3-4 full group comebacks and maybe a unit release or two. i kinda want to see them trend hop and release a trop house song

  5. I mean I love tropical house songs but I do hope that they manage to carve out some sort of individual identity for themselves as a group… The way they’d probably divide up units would be to split up the oldest 6 and youngest 5 and I’m not sure how well that’d serve either half in the end.

  6. Wait I had another set of thoughts about units:

    First: Never team + everyone else so:
    Jaehwan, Woojin, Ong, Minhyun, Guanlin, Daehwi
    Jisung, Sungwoon, Daniel, Jihoon, Jinyoung

    These are actually pretty balanced but it would probably cause a rift among fans because Never team has such a cohesive identity and also it would prob cause another wave of … discontent about Jonghyun not making the cut.

    Second: Using some of the position evals so Get Ugly + Downpour + everyone else:
    Daniel, Jihoon, Woojin, Ong
    Jaehwan, Jisung, Minhyun, Sungwoon
    Guanlin, Daehwi, Jinyoung

    Get Ugly could actually make a decent unit because there’s a decent singer (Ong), two decent to good rappers (Daniel, Woojin), and Jihoon who’s a great dancer more than anything so that’s ok…

    Downpour would p much be a ballad unit or something

    The last one would be kind of a mess though because while Guanlin has improved a lot I think he still needs a stronger rapper to carry him through… as it were.

    I’m not sure I really like the idea of units still though.

  7. Also did you guys deliberately choose that thumbnail because it’s actually the funniest thing I’ve seen all day at second glance.

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