Korean ‘monster rookie’ group, ENHYPEN, have finally released their long-awaited debut album, DIMENSION : DILEMMA. After the success of their two previous singles, ‘Given-Taken’ and ‘Drunk-Dazed’, fans worldwide have been anticipating the group’s next move. DIMENSION : DILEMMA clearly plays to members Heeseung, Jay, Jake, Sunghoon, Sunoo, Jungwon, and Niki’s strengths, and highlights their growth as a group.
ENHYPEN kick off the tracklist in the same way as their two preceding EPs did, with an introductory piece narrated by member Jake. ‘Intro: Whiteout’ transports the listener into ENHYPEN’s world with its cryptic lyrics. Whilst fans have created their own abundance of theories connecting the group’s introductions together, the mention of an island may allude to the survival show, I-Land, from which the group was formed. The survival show tested the talents of 23 trainees through various performances that were conducted by their future company’s producers in order to formulate Korea’s next biggest boy group. The lyrics mention hardships: “In order to get the treasure / we’ve either got to get through a brooding monster / or a swirling tornado”. This could be a reference to the challenges that the members have had to overcome in order to achieve their dream of debuting in the industry.
We are then thrown straight into the LP’s leading single, ‘Tamed-Dashed’. In spite of the song’s lack of an experimental sound, the track allows all of the members’ talents to shine equally. This single has a completely contradictory sound to their last release by having a peppy pop rhythm. With a music video to match, ‘Tamed-Dashed’ has a youthful feel and a strong bassline, which creates a captivating track that even non-fans of the group can enjoy.
The placement of ‘Upper Side Dreamin’ is slightly disappointing. While the song contains a light chorus that is easy on listeners, the incredibly formulaic style and similarities to past releases, ‘Not For Sale’ and ‘10 Months’, make this track forgettable. The rest of ENHYPEN’s latest album provides listeners with a dynamic experience that experiments with various genres and vocal styles that ‘Upper Side Dreamin’ fails to do. In spite of this, the song seems to have been made to please fans that enjoy this familiarity.
‘Just A Little Bit’ launches listeners into a new side of ENHYPEN. While the group has previously produced love songs that are similar to their bright and upbeat personalities, the track proposes a more mature side of the members. ENHYPEN is known for their absence of set positions, which are common in the majority of K-Pop groups, and this ballad only further supports this decision by showcasing every members’ vocal aptitude.
Produced by LDN Noise, ‘Go Big or Go Home’ is a song that is reminiscent of ‘80s club classics and house music. Showcasing the group’s lower vocal range, with Niki and Jungwon taking the centre stage, the looped electronic elements and rhythm make this a perfect dance track.
‘Blockbuster’ is a rap focused track that features Yeonjun of Tomorrow X Together, ENHYPEN’s senior from the same company. The chaos of Jay and Yeonjun’s verses compared to the vocally heavy pre-chorus makes for an engrossing listen. While the song seems to be dominated by Jay and Yeonjun, sections have been perfectly carved out for the vocally strong members, with Jay’s potential being allowed to shine through.
Sticking with their youthful image, ‘Attention, please!’ is a pop-punk track that has a similar vigour to songs from the early 2000s by groups like All Time Low and Paramore. This track does not allow listeners a break with its heavy guitar riffs and explosive chorus. Heeseung particularly stands out on this track due to his faultless vocal control that is highlighted during the chorus. The rebellious tone fits well with ENHYPEN’s endless energy.
The LP ends with an interlude suggesting that ENHYPEN is not quite finished with this concept. Despite their youth, ENHYPEN has managed to produce an album that focuses on every members’ qualities. The inclusion of songs like ‘Upper Side Dreamin’ satisfy hardcore fans, while the more experimental tracks like ‘Blockbuster’ help to draw in those who may have had their doubts about ENHYPEN’s abilities.
DIMENSION : DILEMMA has clearly been crafted with much thought and highlights the promising future that the group has ahead of them.
Words by Amy Britton
Support The Indiependent
We’re trying to raise £200 a month to help cover our operational costs. This includes our ‘Writer of the Month’ awards, where we recognise the amazing work produced by our contributor team. If you’ve enjoyed reading our site, we’d really appreciate it if you could donate to The Indiependent. Whether you can give £1 or £10, you’d be making a huge difference to our small team.