ENHYPEN had me at Just a Little Bit, one of the songs off Enhypen ‘Dimension : Answer’, the repackaged album proceeding their first album, Dimension : Dilemma. I was doing my household chores while absent-mindedly playing K-pop music videos suggested by our family’s Youtube algorithm. I’ve seen many music videos of the group quite a few times, but my brain blindly refused to recognize my now-favorites like Fever, Drunk-Dazed, and Not For Sale from the group’s 2nd mini-album Border: Carnival.
Despite Enhypen’s stunning visuals, I remained adamant because I thought I had already retired from stanning 4th generation K-pop stars, but ‘Just a Little Bit’ changed that all. More than their looks, I loved Enhypen because of their music.
At first thought, I uttered with regret why their visuals are at the forefront, not their music, but then I long accepted the reality that they are a k-pop group. Hence, I changed my perspective and appreciated their agency, Hybe, and their talented producers. Even though Enhypen’s visuals are a real kill, their company did neglect the composition and production of their music, which I’m pretty sure many mature music lovers would appreciate.
Enhypen’s Dimension: Answer, the group’s latest release, is an experimental and progressive album. It deviated from the usual k-pop music narrative, making Enhypen stand out more.
Starting from Enhypen’s Dimension: Answer intro song, Intro : Whiteout, its production and experimental mix of 90s dark trance, electro, rock, and trip-hop elements combined with Jake’s enigmatic narration and bonding vocables in the background.
I haven’t reviewed Enhypen’s Dimension : Dilemma album, so I’ll be writing about their songs there, too, starting with Tame-Dashed.
Enhypen’s leader, Jungwon, describes Tame-Dashed as an 80s electro track, although I still couldn’t put my 100% finger on it, and that might be because of the song producers’ impressive progression and fusion of its elements.
Instead of the 80s electro, Tame-Dashed is more of the 70s-80s rock anthem, in my opinion, reminding me of the more upbeat releases of artists like Bryan Adams and Starship, even though that wasn’t as intended. However, if you’ve seen Enhypen’s performance at the 2021 Golden Disk awards, where they remixed the song into a harder rock version with all the distorted guitars, I’d say that the producers might have changed their mind after calling it an 80s electronica track.
The original version is fused with incessant pop sensibilities that make pop fans appreciate it more. Hence, it’s Enhypen’s lead single for Dimension : Dilemma.
Upper Side Dreamin’ is one of my most fave songs in K-pop. It has a soulful and loungy feel. It’s very mature, and it’s pretty surprising that it was made for a new and 4th-gen group. Without the crucial elements for being sung by a boy group (i.e., the divided vocal parts per member), it would definitely pass as an R&B lounge track by a sophisticated R&B or pop artist.
Just a little bit is a simple acoustic hit that has the merits of an Asian track. Without bias, I hear OPM (original Pinoy music) on it, and it was no surprise to me knowing that many OPM tracks sell well in South Korea (like MYMP, Juris, and Ben&Ben), but it also shares the beat of R&B lounge tracks, like that of Daniel Caesar’s. Despite being an acoustic track, it gives us a ride with the bridge’s diatonic chord switch, making the song even more loveable.
Go Big or Go Home is Enhypen’s signature 90s hit. The song’s primary structure reminds me of 90s European dance outfits like La Bouche and Culture Beat, which popular 90s dance groups are known for dancing. That’s the track’s overall feel, fused with boy band vocal elements (i.e., vocoders) that make the song still fall under K-pop, albeit more experimental.
Yeonjun from TXT, Enhypen’s label mate, lent his writing and vocal skills to Blockbuster. While it starts strong with its rock and hip-hop meshed elements, the rap parts done by Yeonjun are very K-pop and remind me of a lot of rappers from different groups. However, the heavily-distorted guitars and its fusion with Enhypen’s swoon-worthy boyfriend vocals make the track unique, circling back and forth from the heavy raps to the romantic pop tune without letting go of the rock tone. Overall, it becomes an electronic rock and triphop-mixed song with the usual Korean pop sensibility.
Attention, Please! is Enhypen’s pop-punk and rock track with a few soulful elements, which is carried upon by the member’s boy-next-door vocals. The music reminds me of the late 90s to early 2000s pop-punk like Sum41 and Euro rock artists like Ash and Arkarna.
The album’s next filler track, Interlude : Question, is another experimental track. It’s a soulful and contemporary trance track with romantic overtones that will suddenly surprise you with a trip-hop fast beat like that of the alternative group, Unkle.
Blessed-Cursed, the main single of Enhypen ‘Dimension : Answer‘, would just be a usual K-pop anthem, like other K-pop groups, if not for its guitar lead distortions in the intro and the rest of the background. The track is nothing new, so I wasn’t impressed. That’s the only song and music video where I mostly focus on Enhypen’s visuals. The music video is stylistic, with elegant Y2K fashion embedded in the group’s look.
Polaroid Love is a pop and indie-influenced track, but soulful at the same time. The beat reminded me of iKON’s Love Scenario. It’s lovey-dovey, cute, dancey, and sweet. I expect they’ll release it as a single with a music video.
Outro Day 2 has a different mixture of influences this time. It has a shoegaze, rock, indie, and post-hardcore overtone, which many rock fans would appreciate. I loved it, too!
Enhypen’s main singles in each album are released for more of their fans to appreciate the songs outside of the group’s visuals. Still, if you’re a music fan or critic, you would be able to appreciate all of their songs, especially their non-single ones or Side B tracks. Because of the highly progressive tracks based on very eclectic and prolific influences, you really gotta search who their producers are ‘coz they really did a great job! If it were only the typical K-pop album, I wouldn’t have written a more in-depth review. For usual K-pop fans, if it weren’t Enhypen, I bet they’ll be quite confused about the tracks in the album.
Order ENHYPEN ‘Dimension : Dilemma’ physical album on Korean Cravings.