SEVENTEEN were always going to have an uphill climb to match “Mansae” in my book, and rather than try to outdo that type of track, they went a different direction with “Pretty U” … to their detriment.
After “Mansae” I was anticipating SEVENTEEN’s comeback quite a bit, so it was much to my surprise that “Pretty U” turned out to be more background music and less single. It was the type of song that seems as if it was just made as a fanservice gift for fans so it could play over a montage of SEVENTEEN on a vacation or a making-of video or a fan tribute, not something intended to be an actual decent musical effort.
The instrumental was lively but flat across the board, and the entire sound of the track seemed washed out, in general. As a result, “Pretty U” comes off incredibly generic, with the rapping seeming to be perfunctory and the vocals matching the flatness of the instrumental, and the track honestly just lacked a melody at all.
Also, who is going to stop Vernon? “So ice ice baby” is no “pull up on you wacks with a MAC fully loaded”, but somebody stop him.
Put down the hep-hap.
As much as I disliked the song, somehow the music video was even worse. You know all that awesome and lively and exciting choreography that SEVENTEEN has been known for? Yeah, Pledis Entertainment doesn’t want you remembering any of that, instead they want to serve you a drama-type of music video that lacks any kind of coherent direction.
While I struggle to evaluate the visuals at stake in boy group music videos, I would even say that those are downgraded in this because of the constant use of both jump cuts and what seems like Instagram filters to give it an amateurish feel.
All things considered, “Pretty U” was probably one of the worst comebacks of the year thus far, which just proves we can always count on Pledis to fuck up a good thing. After all the shit we’ve given ballads and coffee house tracks for being snoozers, “Pretty U” somehow managed to be just as boring despite a rather upbeat sound. Impressive.