2. Round And Round
5. See U Tomorrow
Fresh off their 2019 Unlimited world tour, SF9 is back with their 7th mini-album 'RPM.' Their comeback includes 6 fresh new songs, including the title track. We haven't heard from them since February, so if you wanted more SF9, this release should scratch that itch.
"RPM" is their title track (this time actually mapping to the album title). Fronting the album, it's a stomping good time, starting with raps and generous amounts of synth during the chorus, it slips into electropop later, though, with EDM rearing its head again at times. It's an awesome promotional track, though. They take it back into pop territory with "Round And Round." There's nothing groundbreaking about the structure, but it's familiar territory, and there's comfort there. They have the same silky smooth harmonies and the gruff raps add some edginess to the tune. It's still quite well put together.
"Dreamer" ups the tempo and is a more traditional club-banger. I like the suspense in the main verses, and the fierce chorus ("I'm a dreamer") makes this tune quite awesome. And Inseong's voice takes that lyric sky-high. They soften it up some on "Liar," which starts out as a soft pop tune, but gets harder the longer it goes, like a lot of ballads, actually. But it is definitely a pop tune, but there's a pleading tone to it like he's trying to make her see what she did was wrong. There's a dreamy quality to it that I like.
"See U Tomorrow" starts off slowly, with those harmonies I mentioned, but quickly the raps take over. I like that, because it adds a more playful element to it, different from the gruff raps that characterized the title track. And it's got that feel good chorus that just reminds you of camaraderie. It's not long before we hear an EDM dance break and deeper-voiced Hwiyoung breaks in with his rap part. Definitely a great banger. The last song is "Echo," kind of a lighter affair but for the synths that rise and crash behind them during the chorus. It sounds more playful than some of the other songs, and I like the raps on this one, how they cram a bunch of syllables into it. It's a pretty good way to finish an EP.
They may not have impressed me at debut, but they certainly did so this time around. The EP is a study in contrasts, where each song has a smooth component and an edgy one, and it works well. I particularly like the time changes in "See U Tomorrow." I love how they stuffed all those elements into three and a half minutes. And "RPM" is just a kickin' song that's worth every penny if you grab it for your playlist. Yeah, SF9 rocks, and I'll stand against anyone who says otherwise.
The boys of SF9 make their way through a futuristic world.
And we finally have a story, however thinly woven. Apparently, the boys are part of some organization, probably a rebel faction, and they've stolen info. So they use smoke bombs, stealth, and just good old fashioned sprinting to make it past guards to a safe haven. At least, that's what I got out of it.
Meanwhile, the full band is dancing in what looks like a separate location, thanks to the backgrounds. It's probably the same sound stage. Whatever, it looks cool as they confidently thrust elbows and knees out, lean to one side in unison, and unleash their arsenal of dance moves.
And it does all look cool. It's got a mix of retro and future, and those combine to make a very cyberpunk style future, with repressive police and a group of young men trying to buck the system. The lighting and the cool costumes really make those sequences work. And it all boils down to an ethos to live by: "Go big or go home." Well, here they've gone big.
MV SCORE: 8.6
ALBUM SCORE: 9.0