K-Pop: ATEEZ ‘BEYOND: ZERO’ Mini Album

Image of the ‘BEYOND: ZERO’ cover. Copyright goes to ATEEZ and KQ Entertainment.

Hi! It’s Annie!

I was made aware of this mini album existing way later than I usually expect for a group I actively follow. I have no idea what happened, but I didn’t even know this album was going to release until a couple days before it did! I feel like I’ve been living under a rock. Anyways, now I am safely back on track absolutely obsessed with every piece of content that was released for this album. From all the songs re-released in Japanese, to the brand new piece of music and song, to the brand new MV for ‘Rocky’ that was probably altogether too badass for human eyes. We’re still getting some promotional media for the album; such as the behind the scenes shorts of the individual members doing the photobook shoot for the album. I’m going to talk about all of it! Because it’s ATEEZ and everything that they do is absolute perfection. Anyways, if you were living under a rock as much as I was and haven’t given the new album, and especially the new song, a listen yet, I guarantee that it’s absolutely worth it!

‘Rocky’ MV:

This MV has a more raw style than what we usually see from the extremely cinematic ATEEZ, though it still manages to feel cinematic with the simpler style. And the simpler style fits the feel of ‘Rocky’ almost too perfectly. Of course, the members are dressed as Boxers in this MV, walking and dancing epically in boxing gear. Most of them are also a bit scratched and bruised, as if they jumped onto your screen after just having gotten into a fight. Is it connected to their main storyline? I’d say probably not. Though ‘Deja Vu’ is one of my favorite of their MVs and as far as we know, that one isn’t either. I do wonder where their storyline will go now that Halateez has been apparently killed off on ‘Kingdom’, but I always trust them to be creative. And this MV is another example of that. ATEEZ just continues to flaunt that they can pull off any style of music or MV. While we’re usually used to more props, this MV focuses completely on the dance aspect of their performance. Though we do see a boxing ring in the MV, the ring is usually made by ATEEZ themselves; as the boxing opponents jump off of them into the “ring” to face off. It’s just another example of how ATEEZ breaks every expectation when it comes to dance. Nobody is as high-energy and intricate as they are with their routines. And can I just say, having the full MV is so satisfying after having seen them perform this live as well as seeing their released practice video. It’s clear that they worked as hard on all of the elements of this song as they did for either of the main solos on the previous album. You don’t often see groups pushing their B-tracks as successfully as ATEEZ is with this one.

Intro (BEYOND: ZERO):

They always knock the intros to their albums out of the park. ATEEZ is well known for their storytelling abilities, and the cinematic music that introduces each album is a perfect example. This feels more like an anime intro with the calming melody that builds into an epic anthem. It really sets the tone for the rest of the album and I doubt I know of anyone who focuses so much on the thematic sound of an album than Hongjoong.

Deja Vu (Japanese Version), Turbulence (Japanese Version), Take Me Home (Japanese Version), Fireworks: I’m the One (Japanese Version):

These are all the songs we know and love but in Japanese to make it more accessible for Japanese fans. They are still as amazing as they always were, of course! And I was very excited to see that ‘Take Me Home’ was included in the album. That one isn’t usually considered as popular, but it’s probably one of my favorites from them and I’m excited to see the song getting more love!

‘Rocky’ (Boxers Version):

This is absolutely the ‘Boxers Version’, because it packs a punch. From the very beginning we’re met with more musical accompaniment from this song in the form of some really badass electric guitar. I seriously haven’t been able to stop listening to this version of the song since it released. I’m always a massive sucker for electric guitar in anything, but with different genres you do have to be careful with how it sounds with the rest of the song. This addition of electric guitar made me feel as though it had always been in the song. It fit so seamlessly! And it only serves to add more energy to an already energetic song. An energy that ATEEZ makes look easy with their just as energetic dancing.

‘The King’:

This is the new song that is included in the album, and I just about died after hearing it. I think we all know that ATEEZ is great at making heart-racing anthems and epic beats. But this song felt just as royal as the title. As soon as it started it felt like I had been transported into some cinematically epic medieval fight scene. This accompanied with the badass rap and high notes made this a song that feels like it could headline its own comeback. A lot of people have been talking about the epic nature of the song and how it feels a bit like it was created to be a performance song. The beat and the cinematic intro and outro is very typical to an ATEEZ performance. You know, the kind that always blows everyone else out of the water. Their performances really are the canons on their metaphorical pirate ship. Obviously, the MV and stand out for this album went to ‘Rocky’. Which completely makes sense. ‘Rocky’ is such a badass song and also one that I love so much. But now I really want to see a performance of ‘The King’ live. Whether they unveil one in some of their mysterious promotions soon or if they decide to include a performance in their next tour, I would be highly interested in anything they could do for this song. If their performance of it is anywhere near as epic as the song itself, I think this could very well be one of the best K-Pop performances any of us will see for ages.

Promotion:

We know we’ll get some more promotion for this album, but so far we’ve gotten a few behind the scenes shorts. Yunho’s was just released, we’ve already gotten Hongjoong and Seonghwa, and none of these shorts are fair. They looked so good in the MV! I’m still not sure if I currently have the funds to buy the mini album when I’m saving up for the tour they’ve hinted at for possibly later this year; but I’m not sure how those who have the photobook are surviving. Lately we’ve also gotten the beginning of the ‘Space Sailing’ interviews where they talked a little bit more about the things they like and dislike. I always like seeing idols answer some more fun and lighthearted questions and ATEEZ always look like they have so much fun doing it too! And here’s to hoping that we’ll see a performance of ‘The King’ sometime!

ATEEZ keeps pushing the bar higher and higher with everything that they release. I still have no idea how they’re under appreciated in some circles! They manage to combine storytelling, cinematography, and music. It’s very rare that we see so many forms of media so seamlessly combined. Every time they release anything I end up asking myself the same question. How can they possibly be this good??? It shouldn’t be humanly possible!! Anyways, this is perfection (as always) and go give it a listen if you haven’t!

See you across the pond!

Sincerely, Annie

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