SF9 – 'SENSUOUS'
1. Now or Never
SF9 is back with an all-new concept. After flirting with Latin beats and even show tunes, they're back once more, ready to thrill you with their 5th mini-album 'Sensuous.' They're giving you five new tunes to play with, so let's see how this stacks up.
Sonically, "Now or Never" matches up well with the title. A seductive electropop/R&B fusion, replete with ad-libs and whispers. It's also catchy as all get out and fun to listen to. A serious bop, and a good start to this EP. Despite the title, "Different" is anything but. It has many of the hallmarks of SF9, the smoothness we know they're capable of, and some nice confident chants of the chorus in the pre-chorus. There are even two sick raps here. It's not the best song, but it has its moments. "Unlimited" is another club-banger, though it starts out a bit unassuming. It picks up steam after the first chorus, though, with some awesome hooks and rapping to boot. I didn't like it at first, but it quickly grew on me.
"PHOTOGRAPH" is a pretty standard R&B tune, with the requisite falsetto, and the autotune that's coming back into style again. I think the best thing about this tune is the rapping, but even that can't quite save it from mediocrity. It's an okay song, but it seemed a bit by the numbers. "SHADOW" again aligns with the title and concept nicely. It is sensuous, with main verses that build tension, and I like the raps and the non-standard chorus. They definitely give this song an edgy feel, and I think this might be one of my faves on here.
One of the things that grabbed me on first listen is the rather masculine chanting in the pre-chorus. I like that, as it gives it a bit more heft than a higher voice. It works well to make these songs a little better than they might otherwise be. I also like the use of multiple rap segments in these songs. I think a good rap can make an ordinary tune into a good one, and that's what's happened here. SF9 usually manages to impress me, and they've done it again.
This MV tries to paint the young men of SF9 as both sensuous and edgy. It succeeds by turns, with strange splashes of color, slo-mo effects, guns and polyhedron dice (does someone there play Dungeons & Dragons?). The whole effect seems to try to equate seduction with danger, but not overly so. In fact, a lot of what the MV is devoted to is dance moves.
The choreo is really pretty good. These guys know their stuff, as they move their bodies fluidly and violently at the same time. Their arms slash the air, their torso and legs bend in time to the beat. They even have an homage to Michael Jackson (in silhouette) busting some very familiar moves.
There's not a plot, so don't try to look for one. But the images are arresting. If they wanted my attention they have it. This is one music video that's definitely worth watching.
MV SCORE: 8.3
ALBUM SCORE: 8.6