After years of being under-appreciated, SF9 finally hit big with their January hit Good Guy. I enjoyed that song quite a bit and while it was no Now or Never, it felt like a solid breakout song. Thanks to members Rowoon and Chani gaining attention through their acting gigs, the group have finally gotten enough general public attention to really have a chance to hit big. Along with Oh My Girl, they’ve been one of 2020’s biggest success stories. But as important as a breakout song is, even more important is the follow up. New single Summer Breeze (여름 향기가 날 춤추게 해) arrives with more hype than any of the groups other comebacks, but does it measure up?
Well, I’m happy to say that it mostly does. Summer Breeze is one of the years most unabashedly upbeat and propulsive comebacks, powering forward on an invigorating mix of spaghetti western guitars and pounding dance beats. It’s an approach that’s rarely used in modern pop music but is a personal favourite of mine. This automatically makes Summer Breeze a standout, as its unique instrumental flourishes feel like a breath of fresh air in 2020’s moody boy group landscape. While the music videos mafia concept seems like an odd adaption of the tracks title, the song itself is probably one of the most “summer” style songs we’ve heard this year. The verses cackle with incredible energy and for once feel like the songs highlight.
The abrasive electronics in the opening verse actually reminds me of Golden Child’s incredible One (Lucid Dream) and while Summer Breeze doesn’t reach those same heights, this is a trend I wouldn’t mind seeing more of in the future. This combined with the marching band percussion during the pre-chorus and constantly engaging melody perfectly positions the track for a knockout chorus. Unfortunately, this is where I think the track kind of stumbles. While the hook maintains most of the energy from the verse, I really feel like a knockout chorus would have sent this track soaring. To me it feels a little too simplistic and repetitive and would have really benefited from a more unique and bombastic centre piece. But that’s but a small quibble with what I think is the groups strongest track since 2018.
Final Rating: 8.75 / 10