“Rock With You” was a comeback title that immediately grabbed my attention, not just for the promise of a rock edge from SEVENTEEN but also because it shares the same title as BoA‘s 2003 Japanese hit single. And by “immediately,” I mean I noticed the title immediately but took a month to catch up on things, but I digress.
Needless to say, expectations were high, so thankfully for the most part SEVENTEEN met them with yet another one of their conceptual reinventions.
Despite having “rock” in the title, this didn’t actually quite hit home with me on the first listen. Nothing was ever wrong with the song, but my initial impression was that it was just a solid pop rock song that lacked a finishing touch. In retrospect, this was partially my fault, as I was expecting something with a bit more edge and that likely colored my judgment.
Over time, I found it disturbingly difficult to shake its pre-chorus and chorus. The instrumental dropping out a bit and the vocals over clapping effects is a standout moment in itself, and things really kick into gear with the “this time, I want to rock with you” hook, and the chorus continues to carry an addictive melody throughout. The “baby hold on” repetition in the back half of it provides another hook in itself, giving it two really crisp lyrical deliveries to go along with an undeniable rhythm.
“Rock With You” is still relatively simple and comes with minimal bells and whistles, but it’s upbeat enough to keep the momentum pulsing forward. Additionally, I give them credit for not shoehorning a rap verse into this simply because they have members who can do it. Instead, they did what was right for the quality of the song and not enough K-pop groups make this decision.
As I alluded to before, I probably could’ve used heavier rock guitar, either in sound or usage, and they did something like that in their band version of the song. The instrumental there is more appealing to me, but I get the decision since the vocals don’t have that grunge to accompany it like TXT have done.
Overall, it’s hard not to be won over by a pop rock song like “Rock With You”. It has energy, it’s catchy, there’s multiple hook-y parts, and the performances are quality. Then take a step back and you can also appreciate that SEVENTEEN continue to expand what they’re capable of, with this being yet another feather in their collective caps.