Seventeen are a thirteen member boy group that debuted in  2015 under Pledis Entertainment. They are the agencies second male group, with Nu’est being the first. Originally there were going to be seventeen members of the group, but with the departure of various trainees, the final number of thirteen was settled upon. From the very beginning, fans (“Carats”)  were able to watch the members train and interact through their pre-debut online show, which helped Seventeen to create a strong connection with their fans from the very start. They have always been very involved in the various aspects of creating their music, from production to the choreography. They have come back with “Don’t Wanna Cry” and have already won a several music shows with it, competing against Twice. Let’s check it out.

Don’t Wanna Cry

Song

The song begins, and instantly I was able to tell that this wasn’t going to be like anything they have previously released. Its sound is very different, and we don’t get the “Seventeen!” shout at the beginning of it, which I am grateful for. This song represents a whole new chapter for the group, and helps to age their image up slightly. Gone are the cheeky boys from “Mansae” and we are greeted with a group of broken hearted young men. This particular vibe is very present throughout the whole song, and continues on into the MV.

My absolute favourite part of this song is their voices. Seventeen’s voices all work so perfectly together in this. The rapline gets to sing, and I was floored by how sweet their voices were. There is only one part of the song that a rap takes place in but it fits so well it’s hard to even single out. The vocal unit in this song are phenomenal. Every single one of them gives their all for this song, and it comes across spectacularly. Jeonghan and Woozi especially shine in this for me, and that is no mean feat, considering how wonderful Joshua, Seungkwan and DK are in this. Of course, Jun and The8 manage to get the least amount of lines again, but that’s become almost par for the course at this stage sadly.

The lyrics of this song are perhaps the most desperate I’ve heard from Seventeen. They speak of their love leaving them, and them being utterly lost without her. They don’t know how to live their lives without her, and they are so forlorn that they don’t want to cry in case she comes back and they won’t be able to see her through their tears. There are some beautiful lyrics in this song, some of the best I’ve heard all year, my favourite being:

“When half of me is gone, how can I live as one?”

Video

The MV for this song has a very simple concept. The members are all in the depths of their lonely despair after the end of their relationship. We don’t see the members in any shots together (except the dance routine) until close to the end of the video. The opening shots of nature and cityscapes work really well to help convey the sense of isolation that the members now feel. Some of the shots are shot in black and white, and some are colour, but it doesn’t feel odd or out of place. Each of the shots of individual members is beautifully done, and it’s obvious that a lot of thought and effort went into the various components of what makes a shot. Something as simple as a member with his head downcast, being framed by a seascape, and being shot in black and white, can be seen as overdone and boring, but not in this. This video is incredible.


The video works splendidly in showing us the pain experienced by the members in the lyrics. We get to see how the breakup has affected them. How isolated they have become. These shots are intercut with shots of the group choreography, and I would be remiss to not talk about this routine. It is glorious. Definitely one of my favourites of the year to date. It works on every level, and manages to look graceful and despondent all at the same time. Performance team really led the way here with The8 really shining up front.


Summary

I cannot express how much I love this song. It’s exactly what I wanted from a Seventeen song, and I didn’t know it. Its beautiful, sad, and desperate all at the same time.

If you want to hear more Seventeen, and I know you do, you should check out “Very Nice”, “Highlight” and “Boom Boom”.