By Huiling Zhang, Staff Intern
Coming out with its first full studio album exploring its first year of being a K-pop boy band this Oct. 12, ENHYPEN comes back with eight new songs in “Dimension: Dilemma.” This starts a new era of the band’s future music following this concept. Apparent from the title, “Dilemma,” this album has a struggle and story intertwined with the nad’s diverse new hits.
The album has already topped iTunes album charts and had 910,000 preorders in South Korea and overseas, according to the Korea JoongAng Daily, a leading English newspaper of Korea.
Curiously, the lead-off track, “Intro: Whiteout,” is all in English but not sung. In this track, released a few months ago, Band member Jake reads a poem representing getting thrust into a new world and the group’s aspirations as a new generation boy band. It’s not a happy ending nor a bitter surprise: “The noonday sun that refuses shade / And the midday sea that gives it all away / Is a welcome and a warning.”
In tracks 3-5 (“Tamed-Dashed,” “Upper Side Dreamin’” and “몰랐어”), the music is still light and cheerful but more intense bass leads the melody, covering the lead-up,, hope and growing pains of pursuing success. “Tamed-Dashed” and “Upper Side Dreamin’” are easy tracks to bop along to, featuring a New Wave style with an EDM synth bass and electro funk with amazing vocals.
In “Tamed-Dashed,” the members sing of chasing their dreams in a summer-like situation. This situation is not happy and relaxing like most summer songs released by pop artists, the fast pace and intensity of the synths accompanying their lyrics of “dashing” and running through a hot haze they can’t see through. As in “Intro: Whiteout,” they are still confused about where they are going but still persevering.
In the next song, “Upper Side Dreamin’,” they still sing about summer and more specifically midsummer night dreams. The members are still dreaming, but now they are watching as their dreams come to life in front of them and sing about the luxuries and achievements they’ve received.
Frequently describing their experiences as being dream-like tells the listener that the members still can’t believe their success yet, even while enjoying it.
“몰랐어 (Just a Little Bit)” is softer and sweeter as the members sing about something/someone unfamiliar in the world that they fill up now. Their world that they are now in control of is being shaken up with someone that is unlike anybody else and makes them uncomfortable, but in a good way. It is a song about love whether it is about family, friends or partners. The ballad provides a heartwarming intermission before the next songs bring the tempo up once again.
“모 아니면 도 (Go Big or Go Home)” and “액션 영화처럼 (Blockbuster)” cover the climax and high points Enhyphen feels as a popular boy band.
Featuring Yeonjun from the group TXT, “Blockbuster” sings about wanting newer, bigger thrills. The band wants to be a blockbuster like a superhero in an action movie to fill them up with adrenaline and joy.
Their wishes are almost comical in the lyrics: “My heart beats like bump, bump, if I die, I’ll bе back, thumbs up /Please put me into this world, now jump off.” In this song, the members are at their highest for how they want to leave an impression onto the world by being someone invincible. “I wanting to livе without any fear/My heart is racing (Like a main character)”
“Blockbuster” is the song that brings the most hype with its fast and aggressive hip hop and rock beats and style.It’s impossible not to pay attention when it comes on.
In “Attention, Please!” ENHYPEN revisits their dilemma of fame after the novelty of reaching their success has faded. They still want the popularity, but are hungry for the attention of another party that disapproves of it. They repeat and ask for attention multiple times throughout the song.
“Attention, Please!” is a great song to rock out to, featuring a distorted guitar and 808 bass.
Coming full circle with “Interlude: Question,” Jake speaks in English again, reflecting the style of the first song of the album. In “Interlude: Question” he is back to being confused and not knowing what he wants even though “Intro: Whiteout” is set before he came to fame.
Mirroring the last lyrics of “Intro: Whiteout,” “Interlude: Question” ends with “Then I’ll arrive somewhere else, another place / But where will that be?” once again unsure and anticipating what is in store for the group.
It brings the listener back to a place of calm and their own thoughts with a sense of space created as the music continues without lyrics to the end.
It’s hard not to enjoy listening to this album and dancing along. The storyline along “Dimension: Dilemma” is obviously related to their K-pop career, but the plot of working toward a dream and losing yourself in it is easily relatable to the younger generation aiming for a career of their own, or even a smaller goal that encompasses the same struggle.
This album is great to listen to in the background while working, to wind down to, or dance to at a party. With the varying intensities for each song, it’s an enjoyable journey to be led through. Enhyphen keeps on reaching new heights with their music.