ZERO : FEVER, Pt. 2
In 2020, the edgy, eight-member, fourth-generation K-pop boy band released ZERO: FEVER, Pt. 1, seven tracks tackling themes of self-doubt and altered reality in the same breath. The sequel is even bigger: From the Bad Bunny-inspired flow of opener “Fireworks (I’m the One)” to the tonal shift of PG electro-pop slow-burner “Time of Love” and the ’80s-retro futurism of “Take Me Home,” it sounds like The Weeknd done K-pop style. In fact, the latter song is so addictive, it appears on the EP twice—once in Korean, later in English. Since debuting in 2018, ATEEZ has staked a claim as one of the best performance-based groups in K-pop, exploring eccentric concepts with the ease of a much more veteran act. They’re also bolstered by a secret weapon: Mingi, the richest baritone to come out of K-pop, possibly ever. Dive in deep.