Album Review – Zero: Fever Pt. 2 by ATEEZ


Emily Duong, Writer

So, here we have another Kpop album review. In case you don’t know, Kpop is a music genre from South Korea, which incorporates various other genres and styles into a unique sound that, if you dig deep enough, you can find anything to suit your tastes. There are some big names dominating the industry right now, some names you’ve probably heard around. Think BTS, Blackpink, GOT7, Twice, or even SHINee, Apink, or Girls’ Generation.  There are also newer groups emerging and breaking borders, like Stray Kids, Tomorrow X Together, ITZY, and many more. Today, let me introduce you to ATEEZ, and their newest release, ZERO : FEVER Part.2, which was recently released on March 1st, 2021.

ATEEZ, pronounced “ay-teez,” is an 8-member Korean boy group under KQ Entertainment, also home to artists EDEN and Maddox. Their name is an acronym for “A TEEnager Z” and “A to Z”, meaning that their music is various with different sounds for all teenagers, and their concepts are generally powerful and have a complex storyline portraying light versus dark and one’s journey forward in the world. The members are Seonghwa, Hongjoong, Yunho, Yeosang, San, Mingi, Wooyoung, and Jongho. They are a self-producing group, where the members partake in making a good portion of their releases. Hongjoong is the group’s producer and songwriter, and Mingi also commonly participates in songwriting. They debuted on October 24, 2018, with the album Treasure EP.1: All to Zero with the title tracks “Pirate King” and “Treasure”. Their fandom name is ATINY, with the fans known as Atinys, which is a combination of Ateez and destiny.

ZERO : FEVER Part.2 is the group’s 6th EP with seven songs, two of which are alternate versions/remixes of songs on the album, and comes after their previous album Zero: Fever Part.1. In this album in particular, Hongjoong and Mingi took part in writing all the songs. Let’s take a look (listen to the audio by clicking the titles):

(Note: Mingi is currently on a mental health hiatus due to anxiety. He is not in the title track music video nor in performances from November 2020 to now, but his voice is still in the song and the rest of the album tracks.)

(Note 2: In all translations, bold=English.)


Track 1:불놀이야 (I’m The One)

불놀이야 (romanized as “bul-nor-i-ya”) translates to “fireworks,” and this song is just that. Filled with passion and a strong beat paired with an energetic sound, the song is about being passionate about one’s dreams without the need to follow trends or follow the crowd, as the song translation has Seonghwa opening with, “I’m the one in my zone / Others just peep”. They sing that their fervor is going off like fireworks and they don’t want anything or anyone stopping it as they set off in an explosive fire and Jongho exclaims, “Don’t put out the fire as if thе world is ending,” and San adds, “Right now this place is about to explode like / Fireworks”. This is the album’s title track, and the music video is filled with fire, smoke, and colors associated with heat as they filmed in a desert-like atmosphere and abandoned places such as on top of a wrecked subway car. And yes, there are fireworks shooting in the final singing of the chorus. Also, fun fact, the audio was actually teased at the end of the music video of their song “THANXX” from their last comeback.


Track 2:선도부 (The Leaders)

선도부 romanizes to “seon-do-bu”. This track is very rap-influenced and includes notes of trap, autotune effects, and a hint of Korean slang. The song is about Ateez being leaders as they lead others into the unknown. They want you to respect them, as they won’t be afraid to be harsh to keep everyone moving forward as they rise above the rest. The translation of Mingi’s rap refrain urges, “Higher and higher, stand up straight, gather around / Everyone behind me, shh, be quiet, follow my orders / Focus now, my actions changed the city,” and he says to “Be brave, brash and bold”. They say that they’re the leaders through the wilderness, and that even through pain and heavy breaths, just keep going because pain is pain, you’re gonna feel it, just suck it up and go.


Track 3: Time of Love

Different from the last two tracks, this track has a much more cheerful and peppy sound. The song is about everyone needing love, whether it be platonic or romantic, and this line from the pre-chorus of the translation says it all, as Wooyoung and Seonghwa sing in the beginning: “Everyone feels pain / The same way / Let’s tell each other / ‘I won’t hurt you’”. They sing that everyone should tell each other that they love them and not bottle it up, and that we shouldn’t have hate nor jealousy and stay by each other’s side. Hongjoong raps, “‘I love you, I like you, I’m drawn by you’ / There is such an overwhelming list of words / But why did we become stingy cats? / Tell me that you love me (Love me) / Tell me that you like me (Yah) / Don’t swallow it in and tell me”.


Track 4: Take Me Home

This track has a slightly retro instrumental and leans towards the angstier side of songs on this album. Feelings of loneliness and despair are laced into this song’s translation as the boys sing of not wanting to be left alone in their darkness and wanting someone to take them back to the light of their dreams. “Somebody, take me there,” Jongho sings, “Get out of the gray city and follow the lights / To the place in our memories”. The boys do feel comfort and they aren’t alone as Hongjoong says, “Somebody locks me up / And somebody saves me / If they turn their back on me / Somebody else comforts me / Alone, alone, alone, I’m not alone / It’s a remote island that isn’t uninhabited, I’m alive, yeah,” yet the darkness won’t let them truly find their happiness. They constantly ask what they did wrong and why they’re always in pain, and even when they have brief breaks from it thanks to others’ comfort, why does it always come back.


Track 5: Celebrate

This song is very special, as it was previously released on November 17th, 2020, as a gift for Atinys, as on this day, the fandom was given their special name. They released a lyric video that was up for 24 hours with the graphics and lyrics handmade and handwritten by the members themselves (and as mentioned, the lyric video is no longer viewable, sadly). The song’s sound itself is very uplifting and happy with hints of piano and drums. As Seonghwa, San, Yunho, and Jongho sing in the chorus translation, “Celebrate for you, yeah / How do you feel when you face the mirror? / Congratulations for being born as you / Celebrate for you / Celebrate for you, you, you, you / For being born and living as you / We celebrate, we celebrate for you,” the song is about celebrating yourself and being yourself without caring for the world’s standard and that you’re the only one of you out of the 7 billion people in this world, so be you. In the pre-chorus, Mingi raps that, “Our youth better than ever / I don’t mind it just don’t matter / No matter what moment comes / I just paint them with my own colors,” and “I’ll believe that I’m worth it (bless up)”.


Track 6:Take Me Home (English ver.)

The English version of the song retained the song’s original meaning while rewriting everything into English, excluding the rap verses and the end of the bridge. With this version, more international fans can have a deeper connection with the song with the lyrics now in an understandable language. One instance being Wooyoung, Seonghwa, San, and Yeosang in the bridge, the lyrics singing “Under the red sun I stand / Let’s hold hands till the sun falls down / With warm eyes I wanna melt your soul / If we share our dreams / You can feel the vibe, and just smile away / Go back to the place in time”.


Track 7:I’m The One (HEAT-TOPPING ver.)

This remix, besides changing the song’s style slightly, also changes a good portion of the lyrics into English while still keeping the song’s meaning the same, the only exclusions being the rap parts, parts of the chorus, the Korean word for “fireworks”, and the Korean word 삐약, or “ppi-yag”, which means “peep”. In the lyrics, Seonghwa and Yeosang open the song with, “I’m the one in my zone / All the other kids peep / Look at the other fools in sight / What is going on right now?”. The song adds EDM elements, some instrumental elements such as flute and piano, a new beat to the back of the raps, and a beat drop for the chorus, as well as speed up the song slightly.