SEVENTEEN Unit Roundup: “Change Up”, “Trauma”, “Lilili Yabbay”, “Vane”

Memeteen has came back-ish and put out a bunch of videos with their different teams. Seventeen is split up into four teams: Leaders, Vocal, Performance, and Hip-Hop; and they’ve all doused us with their different styles and music over the past few weeks, possibly hyping up for a full comeback with the rest of the group. Personally, I’m always up for more Seventeen in my life so I was excited for these releases because I like the idea of unit groups and Seventeen proved again that they’re both strong as units and as a whole group.

Leaders – “Change Up”

It’s only natural that the unit to lead this project is the leader line, and what they bring is some hip-hop and R&B fusion that sounds like a continuation of S.Coups, Woozi, Vernon, and Ailee‘s “Q&A” with more brass. This sounds like something that could be played on the radio station in the US but I don’t mean that in a bad way, I rather like this song. It’s catchy and has a groove, outside of a few rap lyric choices that were rather questionable (which thankfully are reserved for the beginning of the song) it’s pretty good to me.

I love the music video; It’s just a bunch of fun sets with pops of color but I find that these music videos suit Seventeen more than some other groups. Their director has a way of making these sets look fun and cool rather than boring and used up. There’s also onlt three boys, not thirteen so my bias Hoshi gets way more screentime than usual and that’s a mega plus for me.

Hip-Hop Team – “Trauma”

As expected, the hip-hop team offered something that’s much in line with the contemporary sound and direction of hip-hop, which is subdued and more eerie sounding beats with more subtle rapping and singing. It’s very well executed here, all the members do their job in being present in the song and helping it be cohesive. The verses are interesting and don’t rely on the chorus to take them off, and I really dig those xylophones that appear throughout. Overall, “Trauma” is pretty great.

This is another really good music video; it takes from the vibe of the song, having more muted colors not just on the sets, but in the outfits and even the filters. I noticed the scenes with the mirrors even have a more silver/cool toned filter giving it even more of stylistic and chic approach to the way it’s shot. It’s all dark, sexy and cool all at the same time.

Performance Team – “Lilili Yabbay”

My initial reaction: ASDFGHJKL!!!

This isn’t just me letting my bias of the performance team get in the way. The song is an excellent dance-pop number that never has a dull moment, and the bits of the song that have electric guitar help to give it some identity. The dance is utter perfection as the members move effortlessly together creating a mixture of both sensual and ethereal. The styling is brilliant — everyone looks fantastic; Dino and Minghao are the standouts here — not to be out-shined by Hoshi and Jun, who look damn good.

The music video is beautiful with the interesting choice of location being Brooklyn. This release reminds me a lot of a more upbeat version of something Taemin would do; and considering Taemin has just knocked it out of the ballpark with his latest single yet again, needless to say, this is my favorite release from the cycle.

Vocal Team – “Vane”

We end this on a more solemn note. “Vane” is a ballad carried mostly by piano and drums, it’s not the typical K-pop ballad as it packs some rhythm. While it’s not anything earth shattering for a ballad, at the very least, it’s pleasant on the ears. One thing it does better at than most K-pop ballads is condensing all of the good parts so that the song stays cohesive and interesting enough. It doesn’t even feel like it’s over three minutes even though it’s nearly four. I find that most piano-driven K-pop ballads tend to drag on to the point that it can seem like the song is five minutes. The vocals of the members are pretty and do the song justice. DK‘s vocals are honestly everything. Overall “Vane” is fine, not song I see myself going to frequently but it’s not something I hate.

The music video is another good one, matching the tone of the song beautifully. What separates this from others is that it captures the scenery of the locations and I notice more clever usage of filters here as well. The cinematography is gorgeous and I dig how the greenness of the grass and trees are the most saturated color, it just gives this a cinematic feel.


Overall Seventeen have done nothing but deliver with their unit work this time around. They’ve kept their original sound while also showcasing some fresher sounds associated with their individual teams which in the end, I think, was their ultimate goal. If this leads to a comeback then I’m properly excited for what’s to come next.

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R.I.P in peace.